An effort to remove Oakland's embattled mayor from office was made official Wednesday afternoon, when the Committee to Recall Jean Quan was certified for signature-gathering.
Run by Gene Hazzard, a photographer for the Oakland Post and a member of the Oakland Black Caucus, the group has until May 14 to submit 19,811 valid signatures -- 10 percent of the city's population of registered voters.
Hazzard told the San Jose Mercury News he believes he can far exceed the required limit and hopes to gather at least 30,000 names in support of his cause. "I'm trying to keep a straight and level head," he told Mercury News. "This is very serious."
Meanwhile, two additional recall efforts have also sprouted, one of which was launched by a former mayoral opponent of Quan's. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday that many Oakland residents see Hazzard as too "controlling," which led the competing groups to form.
Hazzard's official Remove Jean Quan website, which launched Thursday morning, cites the mayor's failure to address Oakland's public safety issues as the main grounds for recall. "As crime continues throughout our city, she has offered no rational solution to mitigate the chaos," it reads. "After nearly a year in office she has exhibited no leadership or insight to develop and implement a sustainable solution to our growing unemployment and depressed economic development."
Quan released a statement last Wednesday vowing to keep her attention on important issues in the wake of opposition. "My energies are focused on jobs, public safety and education to move the city forward - doing my job as mayor," she said.
Although Quan became the subject of widespread criticism after a violent confrontation between Oakland police and the city's Occupy protesters made national headlines last October, Hazzard's website doesn't mention the Occupy movement or the mayor's role in the events.
It does, however, paint the leader's lips in an awfully putrid shade of green, as SFist aptly pointed out. We're confused, too.