Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quan: Not As Many Blacks In Oakland As You Might Think

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan
OAKLAND//2014 MAYORAL RACE | Was it a quote taken out of context or a mayor speaking too freely? A short Q&A in the National Journal is making considerable waves Tuesday after Oakland Mayor Jean Quan commented about the perception by some the city’s population is 50 percent black.

“One challenge is to let people know what the new Oakland looks like. [People think] that more than 50 percent of Oakland residents are black. Well, no, we're pretty evenly divided between blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians,” Quan said when asked about her biggest challenge as mayor. “We're compared to Stockton, but our finances are the best they've been in a decade. Of course, I still have neighborhoods where for now two generations, maybe three generations, we've had very high levels of violence.”

Quan’s comments are factually correct. The city’s population is 38.7 percent Caucasian, 30.5 percent black, 25.4 percent Latino and 18.9 percent Asian, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. However, the quote is also being viewed as insensitive and somewhat coded language used by some upper middle class Oaklanders and white suburbanites living in neighboring Alameda County cities.

Quan’s re-election next year will not be easy. University professor Joe Tuman and Port of Oakland Commissioner Bryan Parker have already announced their candidacy. Parker, whom Quan appointed to the Port commission, last year, has already trumped the incumbent’s campaign war chest in the past reporting quarter. Tuman, who ran in the 2010 race with race, has shown an ability, in the past, to raise competitive financial support.


  1. While it's so true that Quan's foot fits easily into her mouth, the important things about what she says are her lies and evasions.

    She's been avoiding dealing with the high levels of violence in Oakland for a very long time as a Council member and as Mayor. At present she and the city have no public safety plan and efforts to hire more cops are failing to keep up with the rate of attrition.

    Quan is an easy target, but she should be held to account for her irresponsible behavior much more than for her inability to speak gracefully.

  2. You know exactly what she meant. Oakland isn't as "black" as you think? Wtf Mayor! Who cares if its just as black or more black than you can ever imagine! Public safety and her lack of leadership is the problem not my city's color! We are all GREEN & YELLOW!!

  3. She has ten or eleven supporters who whisper into her ear that she is going to win if she runs again. Because she is a hard worker and no one will walk and talk as hard as she. She will loose regardless of this. She will loose because Oakland can see the failure she has been.

  4. Has anyone ever stopped to consider that if it weren't for instant run-off elections, this woman would never have been mayor?

  5. She won because she understood the new rules. Perata's people were just plain dumb.

  6. By MW:

    To the best of my recollection, Oakland has a population of approx. four hundred thousand people, or more specifically approx. 399,999 people plus one total idiot by the name of Jean Quan.

    In fact Quan is such an extreme example of a total idiot, that therefore if she did not have a high ranking position it is hard to imagine anyone would pay even the slightest attention to anything she said, and regardless of whether she was discussing race, crime, population statistics, Oakland's economy, or anything else.

    So my suggestion is that in the future all Bay area residents, and including both reporters and members of the general public, totally ignore absolutely everything she says and that the media cease reporting her comments and "observations."

  7. If Kaplan runs she wins easily!