OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Oakland councilmember and council president pro tem Sheng Thao on Wednesday announced her candidacy for mayor in the 2022 election.

“My values, commitment to service, and drive to make a difference are rooted in where I come from,” said Thao, the daughter of refugees who grew up the 7th of 10 kids. “As a Councilmember, I’m inspired every day about the chance to make change for those who need it most. And I’ve shown it’s possible to be both progressive and effective at City Hall. That’s how I’ve brought the Council together to break gridlock and deliver real progressive victories on affordable housing, homelessness, and public safety.”

Among those who announced their endorsements of her candidacy were California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, former Councilmember Dick Spees, and and the leaders of Oakland Firefighters Association and Alameda Labor Council.

“Sheng Thao’s life experience, her deep understanding of the challenges facing our communities, and her broad record of progressive change at City Hall have prepared her to lead this great city,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who represented Oakland in the California State Assembly for nearly a decade. “Sheng is the true public safety candidate, because she knows we need better public safety, not just more officers on the streets. She knows we need prevention, community investment, and to address the root causes of crime to stop the violence. When she is mayor, I look forward to working with Sheng on smart, sensible, progressive solutions to make Oakland safer and more just for all.”

Thao represents District 4 on the city council (Crestmont, Dimond, Montclair, Piedmont Pines, Redwood Heights, and parts of Allendale, Fairfax, and Laurel).

She is the first Hmong-American woman to be elected to a city council in California history.

Oakland elects its next mayor in Nov. 2022 when incumbent Mayor Libby Schaaf ends her term.