Monday, January 5, 2015

Oakland's Next Council President is Lynette Gibson McElhaney

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney is the Oakland City Council's next president. The first-term council member was named to head the City Council at a special meeting Monday morning that also included the swearing-in of two new members.

McElhaney’s appointment came without much dissent, despite news reports revealing her participation in an house-flipping scheme related to her non-profit along with unpaid personal taxes.

McElhaney replaces out-going Councilmember Pat Kernighan, who announced her retirement last year. In addition, Abel Guillen was sworn-in to replace Kernighan Monday in District 2, along with Anne Campbell Washington, who takes over in District 4 for new Mayor Libby Schaaf. Newly-elected City Auditor Brenda Roberts also took the oath of office.

In a brief statement following her election, McElhaney said, “These are challenging times in our city and in our country. We are being forced to take a look at what does it mean to be equitable in a society that promise liberty and justice for all. And I know our task ahead of us is not easy.”

Over the past two years, she added, the council has succeeded in raising its professional standard after years of fractious public infighting. “It is my deep conviction that we will make Oakland better, more responsive and more just for all of its citizens,” said McElhaney.

Councilmember Noel Gallo registered the lone no vote against McElhaney’s council presidency, saying it needed someone with experience “that can take us unified to the next level.” He subsequently nominated Councilmember Larry Reid, who later declined. Reid, though, was later
named council president pro tem. Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, the former pro tem, is now vice mayor.

No other council member spoke directly in favor of McElhaney, although a number of public speakers lauded her work in West Oakland since being elected to the council in 2012.

Earlier in the morning, Mayor Schaaf was officially given the oath of office by City Clerk Latonda Simmons. Schaaf will again take the oath in public at part of her inauguration festivities scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today at the Paramount Theater.


  1. Business as usual in Oakland. No change, ever.

  2. Gibson-McElhaney is a good choice for council president. She's smart and she has done excellent work in the community for many, many years. For all of the cheap shot press about her, I've not heard or read anything that would belie that.

  3. "Gibson-McElhaney is a good choice for council president."

    The problem is known as "ethics." G-M has failed to follow the law in her political filings and in paying her taxes.

  4. What a crook-----same old Oakland.

  5. You know...you can't believe everything that you see in print. I always take hit pieces with a really large grain of salt.

  6. House flipping schemes and non payment of taxes-----what a joke she is. How will Oakland improve with this type of person as Council President?

  7. Since when is house flipping shady? Lots of folks do it. The organization that Gibson-McElhaney leads does it for good. The taxes thing.... I get so tired of people using this as a go-to for a hit. Lots of people have issues with the IRS, it doesn't make them Satan. As long as they are resolving it there is no problem. We elect human beings not robots. It's a very "vanilla" argument.

  8. The house flipping scheme involved her non-profit and don't forget her non payment of taxes. Just another shady politician. Shame on her and shame on you for trying to defend her. What a joke she is.

  9. It sounds like people are not aware of what the non-profit does. It provides housing. Many such organizations throughout the country were encouraged to provide a silver lining to the housing crash by purchasing foreclosed properties, rehabing them thus getting rid of blight, and then selling the homes at affordable prices. Any profit realized goes back into the agency. Nothing shady in that whatsoever, but there is a lot shady about the tenor of the comments on this blog. If she was white, I am sure that people would be lauding her dedication to providing a better life for those less fortunate. California is the only state I know of where black people are not allowed to run successful and positive organizations.

  10. I'm not white, I'm brown, and shame on you for trying to defend what she did. The house flipping scheme was wrong and so was her non payment of taxes. You can cry racism all you want but I know what racism is, and no matter what color you are, if you do something shameful you will be called out in this day and age. Are you going to try and defend her non payment of taxes too?