Monday, February 25, 2013

Oakland's New Deputy Mayor Sandre Swanson

New Deputy Mayor Swanson to continue his career after mayor's term ends

New Deputy Mayor Sandre Swanson
New Deputy Mayor Sandre Swanson
Sandre Swanson is not ready to give up on politics.

Despite being termed out of the California State Assembly, the new deputy mayor of Oakland said this won't be his last political rodeo.

"Before I left the Assembly, I said that four years from now, when Senator Loni Hancock has served her turn, that I would considerrunning for the (state) senate," he said.

Swanson is a long time politician with a pedigree resume. Before his election to the state assembly, Swanson served five years as Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s chief of staff after working for 25 years as the district director and senior policy advisor to former Congressman Ron Dellums. Swanson held his state assembly seat for six years.

Swanson's recent appointment as deputy mayor keeps his political career humming while he waits for the state senate seat to open up.

"That would be four years from now, two years after (Mayor Jean Quan) finishes this term," he said. "So I'm committed to this term for the mayor."

Like most of the leading city officials, he said he will focus much of his energy around the city's crime problem.

"I think Oakland is at a very serious crossroad," he said. "We are having what I like to call an historic crime wave. As a community it is incumbent upon us and moral imperative that we come together as a community and address this."

Former Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta won Swanson's seat in November. Bonta said Swanson is a perfect fit as Oakland's deputy mayor.

"He's a leader," Bonta said. "He fights for social safety net programs that are critical for many Californians."

Swanson, who has a 30 year friendship with Quan, said he admires the work she has done as the mayor of Oakland.
"I feel from a historic point, she's probably one of the hardest working mayors that the city has ever had," he said.

Swanson said that although he is good friends with Quan, he has no plans to hold back when giving policy advice.

"I'm not an inexperienced young advisor," he said. "I'm a seasoned veteran and it's been my job to tell those senior elected officials when they are wrong."

Swanson said that in his political work he has carried with him an adage from his grandfather.

"My grandfather told me, 'Son whatever you do, follow your passion'. And my passion has been public service," he said. "I believe that it is an honorable service and it's a service that can bear significant fruit for the people."

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