Swanson appointed Oakland Deputy Mayor
Local politician is a former Laney student
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 19:02
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan kept a long career in East Bay politics alive by appointing termed-out California State Assemblymember Sandré Swanson (D–Alameda) as deputy mayor, effective Dec. 3, 2012.
Swanson, who served as co-chair of Mayor Quan’s campaign in 2010, is a Laney College alumnus and served as student body president from Fall 1970 to Spring 1971.
“During years of intense political unrest and civil rights activism in our country, Laney College was the first place I learned the importance of public service,” Swanson said in his Laney Alumni statement.
“It was an important time for the country and an important time in my life. It was at Laney that I got involved with student government, met my political mentors, and led a march against the Kent State shootings and the bombing of Cambodia,”
Swanson met then-Rep. Ron Dellums in 1970 at the Oakland peace protest against the killing of four Kent State students by the Ohio State National Guard. According to his campaign website, Swanson was hired by Dellums as a member of his office staff in 1973 and went on to work for him for 25 years, eventually becoming district director.
In 1993 he was appointed by Dellums to lead the repurposing of the district’s military bases, a project of major local impact.
After Dellums’ retirement, Swanson was hired by incoming Rep. Barbara Lee as district director, eventually becoming her chief of staff.
In November 2006, Swanson was elected to the California State Assembly representing the 16th District, which encompassed Oakland, Alameda, and Piedmont at the time. While in the Assembly he authored AB1980, the Peralta Transportation Accessibility Act, which enabled the creation of the current AC Transit Peralta EasyPass program.
Students taking more than nine units are charged a $36 fee, which entitles them to a semester-long discounted bus pass, compared to $80 for a 31-day pass for adults.
Swanson made a number of appearances at Peralta campuses during his time as assemblymember, including hosting a free Youth Health Fair at Laney College and speaking at the Extreme Entrepreneurship event at College of Alameda.
When it came to endorsing his replacement in the assembly, Swanson did not support Peralta Trustee Abel Guillen despite his long history with the Peralta Community College District. Swanson endorsed Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta, whom he considered to be more progressive. Bonta won.