Politicians who claim to support open government and transparency are a dime a dozen. But Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, who was elected to represent North Oakland in 2012, stands apart: He not only advocates for good government policies, but he actually drafts proposals and works to turn them into law. This year, Kalb has spearheaded two important good-government proposals for the November ballot: one that would strengthen Oakland's Public Ethics Commission, and another that would create an independent redistricting commission to draw the city council and school board boundary lines. Oakland's Public Ethics Commission has long been weak and ineffective, mostly because the city council has starved it of funds. So Kalb partnered with good-government groups including the League of Women Voters to craft a city charter amendment that would guarantee staffing and empower the ethics commission to effectively go after politicians and lobbyists who violate the law. Likewise, the city has long needed to create an independent commission to draw district boundary lines and take that power out of the hands of the city council.
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