Today, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued the following statement in advance of the upcoming presidential inauguration. Mayor Schaaf also sent an accompanying message to City employees reaffirming key protections already in place to ensure the safety and dignity of local residents, many of whom are concerned and feeling vulnerable about what the new presidential administration will bring. Mayor Schaaf also expressed to City staff her thanks for their unwavering commitment to serving Oaklanders equitably.
“At a time when the political divisions in our country are so starkly drawn, many question the value of government and the legitimacy of our democratic process. It is easy to retreat into our own echo chambers – taking solace in the reaffirming comfort of what we already believe – especially here in our Bay Area bubble.
“We can’t afford to take the easy way out. It’s not the right thing to do right now for Oakland, nor for our nation.
“Now more than ever is the time to double down and go in hard for the things we believe in and what we know is right. It is possible to do it with compassion, and without apology.
“For me as your mayor, that means making sure that government serves the needs of all people especially those who have not traditionally benefited from the institution. Government done right is our collective best selves.
“We will protect our residents and continue to lift up and honor diversity in all its forms – including those forms of identity which have been left out and suffered in the past.
“We will protect Oakland, California, and the nation by flexing the levers of power at the state and local levels and fighting for change on the federal level as well.
“In the face of behavior by President-Elect Trump that has demonstrated ill-preparedness to lead, disrespect of the office and its traditions and wild unpredictability in decision-making, we know we are entering uncharted waters. We will not offer false hope. Instead we will get real and get organized.
“We will remind our workforce and our residents of the rights they already have under the law and enforce them with fairness and conviction – from voting rights to fair housing and health care laws, to the most basic tenets about whom we love and how we ensure every child receives the quality education that is their birthright as Americans.
“We will also acknowledge the very real fears and threats that come with this divisiveness and fight them with facts and fairness.
“Any attempt to weaken or limit the rights and the values we hold dear will be vehemently resisted.
“We are a sanctuary city and we will work for the undocumented. We are committed to criminal justice reform in this country and we will end mass incarceration. We believe in dignity and will bring everyone the safety and sanctity of a place to call home.
“We are a city that has stared down challenges before and won. We will do it again by standing united in our values and in solidarity with one another. When things are hard and there is temptation to lose sight of our common goals, we will turn toward each other, not on each other.”
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Erica Terry Derryck