Tick tock, tick tock. The Committee to Recall Jean Quan got the green light late Wednesday to start collecting signatures to qualify a recall measure for a future ballot.
Gene Hazzard of the Oakland Black Caucus and author of the recall petition, has until May 14 to submit to the city clerk 19,811 valid signatures, which represents 10 percent of Oakland's registered voters.
Hazzard said he is working with a printer and people should start seeing the petitions next week. He has planned a methodical, effective campaign to gather the signatures without having to pay someone to do it. He said his team could collect as many as 30,000 signatures to ensure they have more than enough to qualify the recall measure for the ballot.
"I'm trying to keep a straight and level head," Hazzard said. "This is very serious."
Hazzard launched the recall drive because he said Quan has not done enough to reduce crime, encourage sustainable development and create jobs.
The last straw was Quan's attempt to remove Margaret Gordon, a well-respected West Oakland environmental activist, from the Port Commission.
Quan has defended her record of bringing communities together and finding resources to hire back Oakland police officers. She said she has only been in office 11 months and will not give up without a fight.
"The last thing we need is a divisive and expensive recall election," Quan wrote in response to the recall petition.
The Oakland City Council will determine when the recall election should be held.
Any recall will coincide with a new election for Oakland mayor, but it is not yet clear whether that would be conducted under Oakland's ranked-choice voting system. Although the Oakland Charter requires that mayoral elections be done with ranked-choice voting, the city defers to state elections code on recalls.
The state does not use ranked choice or instant-runoff voting.
Hazzard is not the only Oakland resident seeking to launch a petition drive to recall Quan. On Wednesday, the City Clerk's office received another notice of intent to circulate a recall petition filed by resident James Sutton, said a deputy city official. The City Attorney has been asked to determine whether there can be two separate but concurrent recall drives, the official said.
For information about the recall, go to www.removejeanquan.com.
Contact Cecily Burt at 510 208-6441. Follow her on Twitter.com/csburt.