Schaaf, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2015, has not shied away from attacking President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration, and for that, she has garnered both attention and backlash.
Here’s what you need to know about the Golden State politician.
Schaaf grew up in a more affluent residential area of Oakland called Oakland Hills.
Given the expansion of tech companies to the Oakland area — including ride sharing giant Uber — creating affordable housing has been a huge priority for Schaaf.
She is running for office again in November.
A public and controversial warning
Schaaf has been garnering national attention for her stance on immigrants rights.
She came under scrutiny in February, after she warned her community of imminent raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She issued a warning on Twitter and held a news conference the next day.
“I am sharing this information publicly not to panic our residents but to protect them,” she said. “My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents — particularly our most vulnerable.”
For that, she came under heavy criticism from ICE.
ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan said Schaaf’s warning had the opposite effect, because more than 800 immigrants with criminal records were at large in the community.
Schaaf pushed back on ICE’s criticism and stood by her decision to make the warning.
“We have to fight against the racist myth that the Trump administration is trying to perpetuate — that immigrants are dangerous criminals,” she said.
“We will continue to exercise our legal right to exist as a sanctuary city,” Schaaf said in a statement on the lawsuit. “We will continue to inform all residents about their Constitutional rights, and we will continue to support California’s sanctuary status.”
During a speech in Sacramento on Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions lit into Schaaf.
“How dare you?” he said. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open-borders agenda?”
Trump also called out the mayor’s actions.
“What the mayor of Oakland did the other day was a disgrace,” Trump said Thursday. “They had close to a thousand people ready to be gotten, ready to be taken off the streets … they say 85% of them were criminals and had criminal records. And the mayor of Oakland went out and warned them all.”