Outgoing California Assemblymember Sandre Swanson was appointed Deputy Mayor of Oakland today by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. The email announcing this popped up just five minutes ago. Sandre was one of Jean Quan’s first major supporters in her run for Mayor, and back when many others, including this blogger, didn’t think she had a chance until seeing her first rally of about 300 people – including Sandre.
Here’s the long press release, uncut:
Assemblymember Swanson appointed Deputy Mayor
Oakland, CA – Mayor Jean Quan (Oakland California) announced today the
appointment of Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson as Deputy Mayor in her
Swanson’s first day on staff will be Monday, Dec. 3.
“Sandre will add years of high-level administrative and public policy experience to
City Hall, and will make an invaluable member of our team,” Quan said. “This is
an important and exciting appointment as we continue to move our city forward
and improve the quality of life for everyone in Oakland.”
Swanson is a veteran in East Bay politics who served as Chief of Staff for both
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and then-Congressman Ron Dellums.
Swanson said he looks forward to the new job, naming public safety and job
creation as among his top priorities.
“I’m excited to join the Mayor’s administration. I think I can make a significant
contribution, and I look forward to working with her to implement her strategies
for moving the City forward,” Swanson said.
The position Swanson will fill had been vacant throughout 2012 following the
resignation of former Deputy Mayor Lewis Cohen on Jan. 1, 2012. His salary will
Swanson has served in the California State Assembly for the past six years and is
termed out of the Assembly at the end of November.
He was elected a member of the California Assembly in November of 2006 and his
very first bill in December of that year required the State of California, who had
given the Oakland schools an emergency loan, to return local control for Oakland
schools to the elected school board. Mr. Swanson said at the time, “Education truly
is our greatest example of democracy and parents in Oakland should be able to
hold a local school board accountable for the education of our children.”
As a member of the Assembly Mr. Swanson served as Chair of the Assembly
Labor and Employment Committee. He briefly lost his Chair of that Committee
when he refused to support Assembly Leadership and vote for a budget
compromise that capped future spending on programs for seniors, the disabled and
the poor. He regained his Chairmanship a year later and earned a reputation as a
strongly principled legislator.
Working with Mayor Quan and the Alameda County District Attorney’s office,
Swanson passed several landmark pieces of legislation to combat human
trafficking of California youths. Several of these laws have won national acclaim.
Swanson and Mayor Quan worked together on passing into law the Seismic Safety
Financing Act (AB184, signed by Governor Brown on June 20, 2011) that
provides a financing option to homeowners who wish to make seismic
improvements to their homes, removing much of the upfront expense.
Swanson and Mayor Quan also worked together to improve the development of the
Port of Oakland.
In addition to serving as Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee Mr.
Swanson was the Chair of the Select Committee on State School Financial
takeovers, and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color in
California. Other key legislative committees, included: Member of Assembly
Budget Committee, Budget Subcommittee 2 on Education Finance and the
Committee on Utilities and Commerce.
Swanson also served as past chair of many important civic committees. He served
as Chair of the Alameda County Retirement Board, which manages the multibillion
dollar pension fund for Alameda County employees; Chair of the City of
Oakland Civil Service Commission, which supervises employment rules and
conduct for the city of Oakland; and Chair of the Oakland Base Reuse and
Redevelopment Authority which was in charge of military base reuse planning for
the City of Oakland.
Before his election to the Assembly, Swanson served five years as
Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Chief of Staff after working for twenty-five years
as the District Director and Senior Policy Advisor to former Congressman Ron
In addition to being the Campaign Chair for Mayor Quan’s historic election, Mr.
Swanson was campaign manager for Judge Lionel Wilson’s successful campaign
to become Oakland’s first African-American Mayor in 1977.
Swanson is a native of Oakland, married to wife Anita. They have four children
and five grandchildren.
Congratulations to Sandre. He will be a fine addition to Mayor Quan’s staff.