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Group aiming to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao holds signature-collecting event

People gathered for a rally in Oakland Saturday, kicking off a signature-collecting event aimed at recalling Mayor Shen Thao. 

Brenda Harbin-Forte is one of the leaders of that effort. She showed up at Jack London Square to help launch the signature-gathering phase of the recall. To get on the ballot in November, they’ll need to collect 25,000 signatures. 

“I just got tired of the downfall of Oakland,” Harbin-Forte, a retired Alameda County Superior Court judge said. “I got tired of the crime, the rising crime, which is directly related to the firing of Chief Armstrong. … Every time there is a car break-in, every time somebody can’t walk home from a bank All of these things came together for me. For me, it was, ‘I can not just sit back and say nothing.’ ” 

But supporters of the mayor have also been vocal. They rallied outside city hall last month, and NBC Bay Area spoke with one person near Jack London Square. 

“I am concerned about crime,” said Ben Bunch. “I am concerned about all the things they’re talking about, but I don’t’ think that’s the fault of the people that are — I give the benefit of the doubt to the public servants that we just voted in, that just got their mandate from the people of Oakland.” 

Bunch said he doesn’t think choosing recall is the answer. 

“I think when we do things like these recall campaigns, that doesn’t help. That distracts from that. That gets in the way of them doing the work,” Bunch said. “Because now you’re constantly running, you’re constantly on the defense.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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