In a liberal town like Oakland, it's a safe bet that several mayoral candidates will vie for the title of Most Progressive. But they're going to have a tough time edging out Dan Siegel. The longtime labor and civil rights attorney was the first major candidate in the race to openly advocate for raising Oakland's minimum wage to $15 an hour. And while he now supports Lift Up Oakland's ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $12.25 in March 2015, he adamantly opposes an alternative plan pushed by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce that would raise the wage floor more slowly and by a lesser amount, and would exempt many workers from receiving it. Siegel is also the only major candidate who is not advocating for spending tens of millions of more dollars in the next few years to beef up the city's police force to at least eight hundred cops. Siegel would rather spend that money on violence-prevention and other social programs, and has a smart plan for reducing crime with a force of about seven hundred officers: more cops on the street, community policing, and an increased emphasis on crime investigations — the last of which has been a traditional weakness for OPD.
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