The Oakland Black Caucus on Tuesday issued a statement distancing itself from the new recall campaign against Mayor Jean Quan. The influential group issued the statement in response to an Oakland Tribune story that noted that the recall campaign is being headed up by Gene Hazzard, who is a member of the black caucus.
“Mr. Gene Hazzard is a member of the Oakland Black Caucus and has been active in Caucus affairs. However, Mr. Hazzard’s involvement in the Recall Mayor Quan effort is as an individual and not as an Oakland Black Caucus member, a fact that the Oakland Tribune article should have made clear,” caucus President Bishop Keith Clark and Vice President Geoffrey Pete said in the statement. “The Oakland Black Caucus is not participating in the Recall Mayor Quan effort. The Caucus has not taken a position on the recall effort, and has no current plans to take a position on the recall effort.”
Hazzard, like some other black leaders who have signed the recall petition, is upset that Quan did not reappoint Port Commissioner Margaret Gordon, a black progressive from West Oakland. Quan instead nominated Jakada Imani, who is also black and is executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Hazzard and the others who are behind the recall campaign have 160 days to collect about 20,000 signatures from registered Oakland voters to force a recall election.