HomeHmong AmericanOakland Mayor Sheng Thao to face recall

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao to face recall

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao will face a recall after the Alameda County Registrar confirmed Tuesday enough signatures had been collected to place it on the ballot.

Thao is the first Hmong American mayor of a San Francisco Bay Area city and the first in a major American city. Her possible ouster comes after just 18 months in office

It’s part of a movement in Oakland by those who think the city needs to get tougher on crime. Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price also faces a recall.

Voters will decide whether Price gets to stay in office in November. It is now up to the Oakland City Council to schedule the vote on Thao. Many believe, however, that that vote will also be placed on the November ballot, reported the Mercury News. That decision is expected to be made on July 2.

Crime spiked in Oakland during the pandemic but has dropped 33% over the last year.

“I think the numbers are clear, voters want Thao gone, voters want her gone,” said recall organizer Seneca Scott, a former candidate for mayor who spoke with NBC Bay Area.

He said some 40,000 signatures were collected in support of the recall. He pointed to crime, homelessness and Thao’s decision to fire Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong following an alleged cover up as reasons to oust Thao.

Supporters say a recall so close after an election would send the wrong message to voters- that their votes don’t matter.

“I think we’re extremely disappointed to see such a concerted effort … to really undermine these newly affected officials,” Pecolia Manigo said about both Thao and Price.

Thao credits her decision to revive Oakland’s anti-violence program as a reason for the drop in crime. She also named Floyd Mitchell her first chief in March.

Joshua Spivak who wrote a book on the history of recalls told the San Francisco Chronicle believes this could be the first recall of a big city mayor since 2011.

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