Watch CBS News

Effort to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has enough signatures to move forward

PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/18/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/18/24 10:29

OAKLAND — The move to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao took another step forward on Tuesday.

Organizers of the effort turned in the petition weeks ahead of the July 22 deadline. On Tuesday, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters said there were enough signatures.

According to recall organizers, they needed 24,644 valid signatures, but they turned in a petition with more than 40,000 signatures.

The lead recall petitioner is retired Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte. She is also a former member of the Oakland Police Commission, which Thao removed her from in 2023.

Recall supporters have said the recall is justified for several reasons, including crime, the city's financial struggles, the way Thao fired former police chief LeRonne Armstrong and her administration's mishandling of a state crime grant application that cost the city $15 million in lost funding.

Oakland police have released crime stats that show crime is trending downward, but recall proponents dispute the numbers.

They argue that it doesn't reflect reality because some people are reluctant to report crime.

Meanwhile, Thao supporters say the recall is a waste of time and taxpayers' money.

"It disheartening when I see folks trying to recall a mayor who's only been in office for a year," said Saabir Lockett, the founder and executive director of Pathways to Peace, in a February interview.

He credits the mayor for hiring more 911 dispatchers and working with the state to install license plate readers to fight crime and asked voters to give Thao more time.

In a statement, the city of Oakland said the next steps in the recall will be decided at an upcoming City Council Rules Committee Meeting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.