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Quan: Gang Injunctions 'Over-Ambitious'

Mayor weighs in following City Council vote to fund measures in Fruitvale and North Oakland

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, responding to the City Council's vote to fund gang injunctions in Fruitvale and North Oakland last week, called the measures “over-ambitious” and said she would have preferred alternative crime-fighting strategies.

“I don't quite get the process except that it probably looks good in the media and you do create some sense of 'Okay, we're being serious,' ” Quan said at her Friday press briefing.

As Quan spoke, Council President Larry Reid closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Reid, along with Pat Kernighan, Libby Schaaf and Ignacio De La Fuente, approved funding for injunctions, providing the margin of victory in a 4-3 vote.

Quan, while stopping short of calling for the injunctions to be rescinded, had previously called for a review of gang injunctions, a project she said has cost the city more than a million dollars. City Attorney John Russo, the main architect of a strategy that targets individual gang members, is leaving his position next month and has questioned Quan’s accounting of expenditures.

Quan continued to say Friday there are other methods to prevent gang-related crime, including issuing individual stay-away orders and fighting middle-school truancy.

“We've spent a huge amount of resources, a huge amount of energy, fighting over these injunctions,” Quan said. “I don't think it's enough. I've been trying to kick-start a lot of the other intervention and prevention programs.”

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