NBC Bay Area: Oakland mayor recall effort moves forward

Published by Nicole Zapata on

The group pushing to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says it now has enough signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

Now it’s up to the city to decide the next steps regarding a vote to potentially remove Oakland’s top leader from office.

“I think you’re going to see a different tune from the mayor’s administration,” Seneca Scott said.

He is one of the lead organizers pushing to recall Thao.

On Tuesday, the Alameda County Registrar’s Office confirmed that organizers have submitted enough verified signatures to put a recall vote on the ballot this November.

The efforts to recall Mayor Thao began in January and Scott says they were able to gather just over 40,000 signatures.

“I think the numbers are clear, voters want Thao gone, voters want her gone,” Scott said.

He said recall supporters are unhappy with the mayor’s handling of issues ranging from crime, homelessness, and her controversial firing of then-Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

“She demoralized the city. We trusted LeRonne Armstrong, we don’t trust Mayor Thao,” Scott said.

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

She is the political director of Oakland Rising — a nonprofit focused on increasing voter participation in the city.

She’s opposed to this recall vote as well as the upcoming recall vote of Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, claiming it could impact voters who may feel they’re vote doesn’t matter if recalls become the new norm.

“It’s made people question, ‘why vote?’ and I think that that consequence is what’s really what concerns us, that this is starting to turn off voters,” Manigo said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to the mayor’s office for comment but were forwarded to her campaign team who have not responded.

With the signatures verified, the city council will be in charge of what happens next with the next council meeting set for July 2.

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