This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
Alameda County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Jean Quan

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Oakland

This information is provided by the candidate

Jean Quan is the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council. She is currently serving as Vice Mayor of the City Council. She Chairs the Finance and Management Committee and serves on the Life Enrichment, and Public Safety Committees of the Council.

She represents Oakland at ABAG, the Association of Bay Area Government, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority/, and was Chair of the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board.

She is currently Chair of the Chabot Space Science Center of which she was a founding member. She also represents Oakland on the board of Safe Passages, a collaboration of the county, school district and city organized to improve services that keep children safe and healthy.

She is the city representative to the League of California Cities and sits on the Environmental Policy Council. She has also been appointed to the Central Cities Council and Immigration Task Force of the National League of Cities and was Chair of the Board of the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials of the National League of Cities.

She is Vice Chair the executive board of the Local Government Commission, a national non-profit leader in networking local elected officials, planning and industry experts, and other community leaders to create healthy, walkable, and resource-efficient communities.

In her term as Council member she played a leadership role in:

  • Preserving and expanding education, recreation & after school programs for youth;
  • Stopping the closure of library branches and services, co-authoring and passing Measure Q which has preserved and expanded library services;
  • Co-authoring and passing Measure Y for Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Jean initiated new services and coordination of programs for sexually exploited minors and domestic violence.
  • Preserving fire services and authoring legislation to restrict secondary units on narrow streets,
  • Leading community discussion and support for the formation of the Wildfire Prevention District and expansion of CORE (Citizens Organized to Respond to Emergencies) training
  • Organizing and expanding Neighborhood Crime prevention programs and groups.
  • Working with the community to close the crime ridden Hillcrest Motel and to build senior housing on the site;
  • Co-authoring Public Nuisance Ordinance to focus and coordinate city action against nuisance properties linked to crime,
  • Authoring legislation to restore the View Ordinance and the Big Tree Registry
  • Obtaining funding to purchase Castle Canyon and Butters Canyon watershed as park open space and working for increased funding for Sausal & Peralta creek preservation;
  • Coordinating a long term planning process for improvements in Shepherd Canyon, Joaquin Miller Park, Dimond and Brookdale Parks;
  • Working with dog advocates to open the Joaquin Miller Dog Park, the city's second;
  • The citywide and regional effort to stop a casino on Arrowhead Marsh;
  • Coordinating and expanding efforts to combat domestic violence and the sexual exploitation of minors;
  • Leading city and regional efforts on Zero Waste sustainability goals including authoring Food Ware Legislation to ban polystyrene food ware and to require biodegradable containers as they become affordable and plastic bag legislation.
  • Passed Seismic Retrofit standards and funding assistance for Oakland homeowners

Jean was also a founding member of the new Chabot Space and Science Center as the School Board's representative since 1989. She serves as Chair and as the City's representative on the Board of Directors.

Jean helped re-establish the City Education Partnership Committee and has been a member for most of the last ten years, improving City-Schools collaboration on preschool, library, after school, public safety, traffic and pedestrian, recreation, and job training programs. She continues to serve on this committee now as a councilmember.

Jean served on the City Budget Advisory Committee. She worked with the City's Public Ethics Commission process to develop the recent campaign reform measures and has served on the Emergency Planning Board from its founding (1993) to develop a citywide response to possible earthquakes, fires, and other disasters. As part of the Homeless Commission's education committee, she helped develop a master plan for homeless youth and families. Advocate for Youth and Public Education.

After years of parent organizing, Jean was elected to represent District 4 on the School Board from 1990 to 2002. She was one of the first Asian Americans elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education and was past president. As a Board member she led many education reform efforts, including the restoration of music and arts, class size reductions, higher graduation standards & community service requirements, school-to-career programs and modernizing playgrounds. She led campaign efforts for two facility bond measures totaling half a billion and two parcel tax measures which provide over $14 million annually to classrooms.

Jean is recognized nationally as a spokesperson for immigrant and urban children as Chair-Emeritus of the Council of Urban Boards of Education of the National School Board Association, Council of Great City Schools Executive Committee Member, and as past president of the Association of California Urban School Districts and the Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association. She chaired the 1995 California School Boards Association (CSBA) Annual Conference, introducing educational technology as a major theme, and the first CSBA Symposium on Asian Pacific Islander issues. She was a member of the National Marcus Foster Educational Institute Board.

Jean is a National Kellogg Foundation Fellow. She was also a founding member of the Friends of Hibakusha, a nonprofit organization helping Japanese American atomic bomb survivors, the Asian Pacific Labor Association, and Asian Americans for Justice. She is affiliated with many civil rights organizations and served on the Alameda County Medical Center Foundation and on the Oakland Red Cross Board.

Her professional affiliations include serving as division director for the northern California hospital and health workers union and as a representative for social worker and service unions in the Bay Area. In health education, she worked as a New York City Hospital patient advocate and as a drug abuse prevention specialist in Los Angeles.

Family and Oakland Roots

Jean's family roots in Oakland date back to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake when her great-grandfather, grandfather and his two brothers took the ferry across the Bay and became part of a new Oakland Chinatown.

Jean helped found Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Chinese at Yale University in China. Jean's children attended Oakland Public Schools, both are Skyline High School graduates: William Huen, (Princeton University '99), currently Assistant Medical Director at SF General Hospital, and Lailan Huen (Columbia University '03), a graduate student working with Oakland youth programs. She has been married to Dr. Floyd Huen for over 40 years and they have raised their family in Oakland for the last 32 years.

Next Page: Political Philosophy

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
November 2010 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.
Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 26, 2010 17:44
Smart Voter   <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund