Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb joins state Senate race

Dan Kalb, Oakland, Calif. District 1 City Council member. (City of Oakland via Bay City News)

Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb has announced that he is running for state Senate District 7, a seat currently occupied by Nancy Skinner.

Skinner must leave her position following the 2024 election because of term limits.

Kalb believes he has the background and knowledge to carry on Skinner’s work, especially her work on the environment. Skinner has long been an advocate for the environment, Kalb said, and he can be a true long-time leader on environmental issues.

Kalb studied natural resource conservation in college. Following college, he worked at several environmental organizations such as the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists where he wrote legislation.

As an Oakland city councilmember, he has written legislation such as a Charter law to create the independent civilian Police Commission and the law that requires all new buildings be all-electric, and has led the effort to ban the handling and storage of coal in Oakland. Kalb also wants to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state and reduce air pollution.

Besides the environment, Kalb cited four challenges among others he wants to address if he is elected to the Senate. These challenges are health care, public education, criminal justice reform and housing, he said in an interview by phone recently. He said the need for housing is great and the state needs below-market rate housing, too. As evidence of his experience, he touted an affordable housing champion award he was given in 2020 by the housing advocacy group East Bay Housing Organizations or EBHO.

Kalb wants to expand successful rehabilitation programs at state prisons like San Quentin State Prison. He said the programs are largely successful, reducing recidivism, so Kalb would like to see the programs taken to other state prisons.

He said is a strong advocate for single-payer health care in California.

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