Libby Schaaf is a lifelong Oaklander dedicated to community work and public service.
Born and raised in Oakland's District 4 and a graduate of Skyline High, Libby spent her youth volunteering, through countless Girl Scout projects, at Children's Fairyland, and as a weekly Ranger Station Aide at Joaquin Miller Park.
While an attorney in her late 20s, she co-founded the non-profit Oakland Cares, which organized and implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across the city.
She found her calling building community, so she left her legal career at Oakland's largest law firm to build and run the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute.
Libby later served as Chief of Staff to Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and then as a top aide to Mayor Jerry Brown. Libby successfully led community input and the drafting of the Measure Y Violence Prevention Plan.
She represented Mayor Brown on the Project Choice Re-Entry Steering Committee, whose juvenile parolees enjoyed an 83% lower recidivism rate. Later, as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland, she helped bring millions in state and federal funds to Oakland.
Among her proudest accomplishments in her time working for Mayor Brown, Council President De La Fuente, and the Port have been building waterfront parks, championing transit-oriented development, re-landscaping Park Blvd., reducing Port pollution, banning Wal-Mart superstores, and building affordable housing.
Prior to her election to the City Council, Libby served on the Board of Directors of Advisory Boards of twelve Oakland non-profits and was appointed to three City of Oakland Commissions — all fueled by her passion for the arts, education, civic engagement, and social justice.
Her volunteer effort include Make Oakland Better Now!, the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA), and the League of Women Voters of Oakland.
Since her elections to the Oakland city council, Libby has worked tirelessly to build a safer city, increase government transparency and efficiency, empower residents, and strengthen our neighborhoods.
Libby helped speed up police officer recruitment so academies can begin training new officers sooner. She helped hire more civilian staff so officers can spend more time in the field fighting crime, and pushed through a plan for Oakland PD to team up with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office so we can have more officers policing our streets.
Libby's leadership has led to reforms that have modernized government technology and made government more transparent and accountable, increased public access to information, and saved taxpayer dollars. Libby strongly believes that a more open and efficient government means a better government.
Working with local Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Libby pushed for state legislation that would enable Oakland to implement stricter gun licensing laws than other cities in California, so we can get illegal guns off our streets and make our neighborhoods safer.
In 2013, she organized the Safe Oakland Speaker Series, where Oakland residents heard from leading criminal justice scholars and practitioners about the most effective approaches to reducing crime. The Speaker Series has helped spur a critical community dialogue about what Oakland is doing — and should be doing — to make our community safer.
Libby has also been a champion for economic development. She has worked closely with business leaders throughout the District to support local business growth and encourage Oaklanders to shop right here at home so that we can keep our sales tax dollars funding vital city services. Along with City Attorney Barbara Parker, Libby sponsored legislation making Oakland the first city to serve as a Kiva Zip micro-lending trustee supporting small Oakland-grown businesses.
Libby currently chairs the City Council Finance and Management Committee, and also serves on the Public Safety Committee, Rules Committee, and Community and Economic Development Committee. She represents Oakland on the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority, and the Chabot Space and Science Joint Powers Authority.
Libby has been honored to serve the people of Oakland on the City Council, and to help promote Oakland as the greatest place to live, work, play, and do business.
She lives in Oakland's Dimond neighborhood with her husband Sal and their two young children who attend the same public elementary school that Libby attended.