A parade of community leaders, pastors, business owners and labor representatives took turns speaking their praises of Mayor Jean Quan on Thursday at a press conference allegedly called to talk about visions for Oakland’s future, but which proved to be more about supporting the mayor days before a recall petition is expected to hit the streets. From the first speaker – the Rev. J. Alfred Smith Jr. pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church, where the event was held – to the last, each talked about Quan or about the need for unity in the city. None of the speakers offered “possibly solutions on addressing community policing, public safety, Oakland public schools, affordable housing and other issues,” as publicity for the event promised. “She has left the tower of City Hall to be in the neighborhoods with the people,” Smith said. “I’m privileged to be here showing support for our mayor,” Richard Fong of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance said, while Richard Mead of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union local 70, said that “what Jean is doing with the port of Oakland is exactly what is needed. She gets it.” Sam McNeal of the Campbell Village Youth Center in West Oakland talked about the violence in his neighborhood. “Last night we had a vigil in West Oakland, one of many vigils,” for victims of homicide held over recent months, McNeal said. “Just to see her there, down there to give some support,” made a big difference, he added. Quan, in office only 10 months, angered many in Oakland by sanctioning a police crack down on Occupy Oakland protestors on Oct. 25, which resulted in violent clashes and critical injury to a U.S. Marine veteran of the Iraq War. Two groups have initiated efforts to start petitions for a recall of Quan as mayor. But those petitions have not even begun to circulate for signatures. That is expected to start this weekend. Some leaders Thursday were more oblique than outright supportive. Betty Olson-Jones, president of the Oakland Teachers Association, said the teachers had been upset with Quan after the Oct. 25 crack down. But she said the city now needed to unify “to come together so our students are not the victims of adult mistakes.” Michael Morgan, director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, did not mention Quan, but said the city needed to come together to save its children and save the arts. On the other hand, Carl Chan of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce went right to the point. “A recall would cost the city time, money and energy,” he said. Among main organizers of Thursday’s event was the Block-By-Block organization, a civic group that grew out of the elect Quan campaign and whose membership still includes Quan’s husband and daughter. Block-by-Block member Sheryl Walton invited many of the community leaders in attendance.