“I think it’s a great symbol of Oakland, our vitality, our creativity, our secret sauce”
– Libby Schaaf on the Golden Mean Snail Art Car
It’s no surprise people are talking about Oakland’s new mayor, Libby Schaaf, but there’s one detail that seems to surprise everyone: her mayoral ride, the Golden Mean. Apparently most political figures don’t travel to their inauguration in a giant snail with flaming eye sockets.
Schaaf and I first connected during the 2013 Oakland mayoral race around West Oakland business. I agreed with Schaaf’s vision for an Oakland that supports artists, makers, and industrial businesses like mine. When she requested the Golden Mean make a campaign event appearance, I was happy to oblige.
When Schaaf won the election, we took a celebratory ride in the Golden Mean. But the greatest honor came with the last request: a ride for Schaaf and her family to her mayoral inauguration. The event was quintessential Oakland: held at the Paramount Theater, the mayor and her family arriving in the Golden Mean, Schaaf’s acceptance speech including “hella”, and protesters reminding everyone of issues to be addressed.
When we first built the Golden Mean in 2008, little did we know it would someday make Oakland history. Working nights and weekends, the snail car my wife Kyrsten dreamed up was built by her, myself, and our Empire of Dirt crew of artist makers in my West Oakland Form & Reform shop. Since building Golden Mean we’ve made the Electrobite and Serpent Twins, but you’re less likely to see our mayor riding around in them, seeing as they’re not street legal.
As part of Schaaf’s inaugural week, the Golden Mean Snail Art Car will soon make another appearance at the public event celebrating the great town of Oakland and it’s makers this Sunday, January 11. We hope you’ll join us for the “Made in Oakland” Inaugural Festival at American Steel in West Oakland from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Press with Libby Schaaf and the Golden Mean
SFGate / SF Chronicle – Libby Schaaf sworn in as Oakland’s 50th mayor
San Francisco Magazine – That Fire-Shooting Snail Car That Mayor Libby Schaaf Keeps Driving Around Oakland Is the Best Thing Ever
Inside Bay Area – Libby Schaaf sworn in as Oakland mayor
Laughing Squid – Oakland, California’s New Mayor Libby Schaaf Rides Snail Art Car To Her Inauguration
Election Victory Celebration
KQED – Video: Libby Schaaf Rides a Giant Mechanical Snail
SF Gate/ SF Chronicle – Libby Schaaf celebrates Oakland mayoral victory: “an awesome city”
SJ Mercury News / Oakland Tribune – Libby Schaaf celebrates decisive victory and ‘Oakland’s awesomeness’
CBS – Quan Concedes Oakland Mayor’s Race; Schaaf Celebrates In Fire-Breathing Snail Car
Recent Golden Mean in Oakland
Popular Mechanics Video – How Oakland Is Becoming Northern California’s Next Great Startup Hub