Quan’s historic first as Asian-American female mayor is secondary for many at Fremont

Jean Quan became the first Asian-American woman to lead a major American city during her inauguration in Oakland on Monday, but Fremont Federation is mixed on the significance of her achievement. Many just want to see that she makes positive changes to the city.

 “I’m proud of her,” Media Academy sophomore Katelyn Bauzon said. “I’m Asian myself, and it’s good to see that an Asian made it.”

 But Media Principal Benjamin Schmookler doesn’t think Quan’s gender or ethnicity is very important.

“It’s great that people think she’s good for the job,” Schmookler said. “She’s had a lot of experience with Oakland politics. But for me it doesn’t matter if she’s Asian or a woman.”

Before becoming mayor, Quan served as an Oakland City Council member and a Oakland Unified School District Board member.

With a new mayor and a new year, those at Fremont campus are looking forward to the mayor to find new resolutions to old problems in the city.

When asked what problems they would hope for Quan to solve, those interviewed saw crime and violence as a pressing issue.

“Crime, crime, crime,” Schmookler said. “Crime reduction, the elimination of gangs and just regular public safety, for us to be able to walk to and from school or around the lake without feeling threatened.”

Monica Gonzalez, human service specialist at the Tiger Clinic, agreed that crime and the homicide rate need to be addressed. But she also hopes that Quan will revitalize Oakland’s image.

“We need to beautify Oakland, to make downtown more attractive, to open up more shops, to fix potholes in the streets,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez thinks Oakland’s unemployment rate would be helped through these kinds of projects.

“[Quan] has been working with the city and living in the city for a long time,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully, she knows the ins and outs of Oakland.”