Bruce Quan, Candidate Oakland City Council At-Large


Bruce_Quan_-_HeadshotBruce Quan is a retired international business lawyer and law professor.


1 – What do you think should be Oakland’s response to the lack of housing stock? Do you support having a moratorium of any kind on rent increases, stronger rent control measures, restrictions on sales to foreign nationals? Please elaborate.

I would entertain additional, temporary rent control measures as long as they do not adversely impact low-income and senior landlords. However, rent control is not the long term solution to Oakland housing issues.

We must develop more local investment in Oakland and seek additional outside investors that are willing to embrace “Oakland”. We should streamline the planning and approval process with the goal of bringing projects that address the issues of low-income and affordable housing to completion more quickly.

2 – Do you support the measure creating a Police Commission that’s on the November ballot? What changes would you have made to it? What do you propose the City Council do to address the systemic issues of police brutality and misconduct?

I support civilian oversight of the police force. The city council needs to be more proactive in holding the administration accountable. It can put pressure on the administration to take the issue more seriously through its’ media access. The council also needs to make repairing the police/community relationship a priority and “hands on” program.

3 – What do you propose to do to address issues of gangs, street violence and drug addiction in Oakland?

I would continue and strengthen the ceasefire program.

4 – How do you propose Oakland should respond to formerly? What will you do to support community-based support services for formerly incarcerated citizens?

The city currently helps fund a myriad of programs to assist incarcerated citizens re-entering the community. I would inventory these programs, assess their effectiveness and strengthen the most effective.

5 – Do you support a sales tax on soft drinks? What’s your general view about sales taxes?

I support the soda tax, especially as a health issue. Soda is not a nutritional food. This is not a grocery tax.

However, I generally believe sale tax is inherently regressive. Excessively burdensome impacts on the poor need to be mitigated.

6 – How do you propose Oakland address the causes and effects of climate change? Do you have specific policy recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Berkeley? How do you propose it prepare for sea level rises?

Since climate change affects us all, Oakland needs to work with regional, state and federal agencies to develop a coordinated response plan that assigns specific responsibilities to each jurisdiction.

On a more immediate note, some of the things the city can do: require all new projects to access and mitigate sea level rise impacts; set up a program to systematically replace all fossil fuel city vehicle with alternate fuel vehicles; require increased use of green building products; promote and attract clean energy businesses.

7 – Have you ever been accused of any impropriety related to your serving in a governmental position? Please describe what took place. How do you think the Oakland City Council should address impropriety or appearance of impropriety by its members?


The city council has a moral obligation to address and discipline any member who violates the trust we put in our elected officials.

8 – Can you share an instance where you have shown moral courage? (i.e. standing up for your values in the face of opposition or other negative consequences).

9 – How many individuals have contributed to your campaign? Do you or your campaign have a financial relationship with a member of the ACDCC? Who and in what capacity?

Currently, 54 individuals have donated to my campaign. Np financial relationships exist between myself or my campaign and the ACDCC,

10 – Are you running as a Berniecrat?

No. I’m running as someone who wants to see Oakland fulfill its’ potential. I’m running because I owe it to my family to give back to the city that nurtured me and to help find solutions so my children don’t face the same issue we face today.

News Articles

Why the Oak-to-Ninth Housing Project Is Coming at Just the Right Time, East Bay Express, April ’13
Brown unveils Oakland waterfront deal, SF Chronicle, April ’13
Oakland waterfront project jump-started by Chinese investor, Mercury News, April ’13
Law Firm Program Helps U.S. Companies Secure Travel Visas for Chinese Employees, PR Wire, Nov ’04


Bruce Quan, Jr. is a fifth generation Californian whose family relocated to Oakland in 1906 after the Great San Francisco Earthquake. He was born in Sacramento in 1946, while his father was serving in the army.

His great grandfather, Lew Hing founded the Pacific Coast Canning Company in West Oakland in 1905. It was one of the largest employers in Oakland.

Bruce attended the Oakland schools – graduating from Skyline and then attended the University of California, Berkeley. He received undergraduate degrees in Zoology, Sociology, and Asian American Studies, and a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (now the Berkeley Law School) in 1975.

While attending Berkeley, he was a community activist for social justice and participated in the Free Speech Movement and the Vietnam Day Committee. Bruce was elected student body president at U.C. in 1972, where he championed environmental awareness, promoted safety on campus for women, and childcare for single mothers. In the late summer of 1973, Bruce was chosen as one of three students nationwide to clerk for the Senate Watergate Committee. He later returned to Washington in the summer of 1974 to draft the Watergate “Cover-up” and “Break-in” sections of the committee’s final report. Upon graduation from law school, he worked in the City Attorney’s office in the City of Alameda where he was responsible for environmental, planning and zoning matters. In 1978, he opened a law practice and advised Oakland’s Mayor Lionel Wilson on economic development issues in Chinatown and downtown areas. In 1988 he moved his law practice to San Francisco, and served Mayor Art Agnos as General Counsel for the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee and the San Francisco-Taipei Sister City Committee. In 1994, Quan ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He placed seventh out of twenty-six candidates contesting for five seats. In 2000, he moved his family to Beijing and continued his law practice, and worked as a professor with Peking Law School. In 2001, he accepted a senior of counsel position with the international group of Allbright Law Offices, then the largest law firm in China where he represented fortune 500 companies doing business in China. While in Beijing, he served for four years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International School of Beijing (ISB) and as a Vice Chair for the Public Policy Development Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing (AmCham). Since retirement, he has returned to Oakland and reengaged in issues affecting the Chinese community in which five generations of his family have been involved and on a wider scale, issues of social justice, public safety and economic development in Oakland.

from The Two Hundred