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Carole Quan, Oakland Schools’ First Asian Superintendent, 79

On the day of her forced retirement, she paraded out of the district headquarters at 1025 Second Ave. with her family, friends and supportive colleagues. Defiantly, she carried a bottle of champagne that she had been given and climbed into a limousine that was waiting for her at the entrance of the building. Someone carried a boombox, which was blaring Johnny Paycheck’s famous country tune, “Take this job and shove it. I ain’t working here no more.”

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Carole Quan

Carole Quan, a lifelong educator who serve as the first Asian superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), died of cancer on Jan. 2, 2021. She was 79.

Born on March 30, 1941, she attended Oakland schools as a child including Franklin Elementary, Roosevelt Middle and Oakland High school. Dedicating her life to educating Oakland children, she worked as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent before her appointment as superintendent by the district’s Board of Education.

While a teacher she worked at Rockwood Elementary School (now CUES and Futures Elementary School) and Lincoln Elementary School.

“Quan represented the community with passion and dedication,” said current Supt. Kayla Johnson-Trammel in a statement. “She was always … there for our staff in every way and was a role model who was a pioneer Asian American education leader.”

Former OUSD principal and administrator Principal Denise Saddler called Quan an “educator’s educator.”

“She was the leader of everyone in the district and cared about all the students,” said Saddler. “No matter who you were, she made you feel like you were personally known to her.”

Quan’s mother, like her daughters Holly and Heidi, attended Oakland schools.

“I came from a strong female family, so my sister and I couldn’t have any (better) role models,” said her daughter Holly, a KCBS Radio reporter. “Through her success, Mama … taught us tenacity and elegance while fostering intense pride in our hometown. From the tailgate in the A’s and Raiders game to the duck on Lake Merritt, she was Oakland’s daughter to the end. “

Quan served as superintendent of the school district. 1997 to 1999. Her love of Oakland, including her solidarity and respect for the African American community and the then Black majority on the school board, put her on a collision course with Mayor Jerry Brown and State Senator Don Perata who orchestrated a campaign to push her out as part of their plan to remove the board and take over the school district.

On the day of her forced retirement, she paraded out of the district headquarters at 1025 Second Ave. with her family, friends and supportive colleagues. Defiantly, she carried a bottle of champagne that she had been given and climbed into a limousine that was waiting for her at the entrance of the building. Someone carried a boombox, which was blaring Johnny Paycheck’s famous country tune, “Take this job and shove it. I ain’t working here no more.”

 Post reporter Ken Epstein and news services contributed to this story.

Activism

Oakland Post: Week of September 27 – October 3, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of September 27 – October 3, 2023

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The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of September 27 - October 3, 2023

To enlarge your view of this issue, use the slider, magnifying glass icon or full page icon in the lower right corner of the browser window.

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Antonio Thomas Stiles

Mothers in Mourning: Moms, Allies Protest Gun Violence in California

On Sept. 9, elected officials, community leaders and concerned citizens took to the streets of Watts in South Los Angeles to march against gun violence in California. Dubbed the “Mothers in Mourning March,” the women-led event was organized by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) featured guest speakers and over 34 participating organizations.

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"For our children we lost, we are their voices, and their voices will continue to be heard here and everywhere around this nation,” Mattie Scott, the California chapter leader of the advocacy organization Mothers in Charge, said. “We will stop the killing and start the healing because this is for all of us or none of us.”
"For our children we lost, we are their voices, and their voices will continue to be heard here and everywhere around this nation,” Mattie Scott, the California chapter leader of the advocacy organization Mothers in Charge, said. “We will stop the killing and start the healing because this is for all of us or none of us.”

Aldon Thomas Stiles | Califoria Black Media

On Sept. 9, elected officials, community leaders and concerned citizens took to the streets of Watts in South Los Angeles to march against gun violence in California.

Dubbed the “Mothers in Mourning March,” the women-led event was organized by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) featured guest speakers and over 34 participating organizations.

Participants marched from Jordan High School to Edwin Markham Middle School and walked back to Jordan in temperatures that hovered up to the high 80s, shouting impassioned chants like “put those guns down,” “stop the killing,” and “start the healing.”

“We are proud to be here at Jordan, and from the housing complexes to the highways we are making our voices known: Let our babies live,” Gipson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

At a post-march rally, speakers shared personal accounts, some tearful, about their experiences with gun violence.

“For our children we lost, we are their voices, and their voices will continue to be heard here and everywhere around this nation,” Mattie Scott, the California chapter leader of the advocacy organization Mothers in Charge, said. “We will stop the killing and start the healing because this is for all of us or none of us.”

Scott reminded voters that they have power to push anti-Gun policies against the forces across the country that fiercely oppose them — from “our house, to the courthouse, to your house, to the White House.”

As of last year, firearms are the leading cause of death among children in the United States.

While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that California has the 8th lowest death rate by guns and Los Angeles has seen a decrease between 2021 and 2022, Los Angeles County accounts for a majority of California’s gun related deaths, according to Hope and Heal Fund.

African Americans between the ages of 15 and 34 experience gun-related deaths more than any other group in the United States, according to the Center for American Progress.

Overall, Everytown Research & Policy reports, that Black Americans “experience 12 times the gun homicides, 18 times the gun assault injuries, and nearly 3 times the fatal police shootings” as compared to White Americans.

Karren Lane, the Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, stressed the importance of all Californians getting involved in the legislative process to help stem gun violence.

“Our commitment is to prevent that violence,” she said. “We cannot do that as a city without the organized political power of everyday people.”

She went on to speak about how the march might have an impact on those who have a vested interest in the prevention of gun violence.

“This event is so significant because one mother suffering alone feels isolated and silenced,” she said. “But when we come together and organize our voices, we are political power. We are organized power.”

Speakers also focused on explaining anti-gun violence bills that Gov. Newsom has signed and others the Legislature has approved.

Assembly Bill (AB) 28, for example, which has been approved by the Legislature, would impose an 11% tax for sales for firearms and firearm related items like ammunition and other “precursor parts.”

Gov. Newsom signed AB 1621, authored by Gipson, last year. It bans ghost guns, which are “unserialized and untraceable firearm” parts that can be assembled without any form of regulation or oversight.

LA Unified School District board member Tanya Ortiz Franklin, one of the speakers, encouraged Californians to vote to protect their children.

“We have the power to change the world with the kids in our district. We have future presidents, we have future engineers, we have future public safety officers, we have future changemakers right here in our district. But they need to have a future and they have to live into their potential and it’s going to take all of us demanding that,” she said.

Franklin’s voice echoed that of many of the women and allies attending the march who chanted at intervals, “No more silence, end gun violence!”

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Bay Area

Writer Marc Spears Honored in Oakland

Bay Area leaders and key notables in the city of Oakland congratulated Marc Spears, NBA writer for Andscape/ESPN for receiving the 2023 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award

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Bay Area leaders and key notables in the city of Oakland congratulated Marc Spears, NBA writer for Andscape/ESPN for receiving the 2023 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award. The event was held at Hiiiwav, a new location at 2781 Telegraph in Oakland recently purchased by Grammy Award-winner Bosko Kante and his wife Maya Kante. Pictured here, left to right, are Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce President Cathy Adams, Chef David Lawrence, Marc Spears, and Nola Turnage of Okta, Inc. Photo courtesy of Cathy Adams.

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Oakland Post: Week of September 27 – October 3, 2023

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