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Born and raised in Oakland’s District 4, Libby Schaaf has centered her life and career on building community, solving problems, and leading change in her hometown. One of her first memories was at age five, wearing a sandwich board to help her Mom raise money for Oakland arts programs – she’s been at it ever since.
Libby spent her youth volunteering through countless Girl Scout projects, at Children’s Fairyland, and as a weekly Ranger Station Aide at Joaquin Miller Park. She graduated from Skyline High School. While an attorney in her late 20s, she co-founded the non-profit Oakland Cares, which organized and implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across the city. She found her calling was in building community, so she left her legal career at Oakland’s largest law firm to build and run the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute.
Libby later served as Chief of Staff to Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and then as a top aide to Mayor Jerry Brown. Libby successfully led community input and drafting of the Measure Y Violence Prevention Plan and represented Mayor Brown on the Project Choice Re-entry Steering Committee, whose juvenile parolees enjoyed an 83% lower recidivism rate. Later as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland, she helped bring millions in state and federal funds to Oakland. Her favorite accomplishments include building waterfront parks, championing transit-oriented development, re-landscaping Park Blvd., reducing Port pollution, building affordable housing, banning Walmart Superstores, and promoting Oakland as the greatest place to live, work, play, and do business.
Libby has served on the board of directors or advisory boards of twelve Oakland non-profits and has been appointed to three City of Oakland Commissions -- all fueled by her passion for the arts, education, civic engagement, and social justice. Her current volunteer efforts include Make Oakland Better Now!, the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, the Museum of Childrens Art (MOCHA) and the League of Women Voters of Oakland. She lives in Oakland’s Oakmore neighborhood with her husband Sal Fahey and children Dominic and Lena. Her mother Barbara was Oakland’s 1995 Mother of the Year.