Help Lead the Public Ethics Commission to even Greater Impact

Date Posted: January 26th, 2021 @ 10:07 AM
Last Updated: April 12th, 2021 @ 3:07 PM
image of race for power

Commissioner Vacancy Announcement

The City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission (PEC) is now accepting applications to fill two PEC-appointed Commissioner positions, as part of its seven-member volunteer citizen board. This is a special vacancy and will expire on January 21, 2023.

The application deadline is May 5, 2021.

Note: As part of the application, all applicants must attend a Public Ethics Commission meeting. The next and last opportunity to observe a PEC meeting for this application process is May 3, 2021.


The Public Ethics Commission is a seven-member board of volunteers dedicated to the City Charter goal of ensuring fairness, openness, honesty, and integrity in City government. Guided by duties and authority set out by City ordinance, the Commission works to achieve its goals through a three-pronged approach that focuses on prevention, enforcement, and collaboration. Specifically, the following local laws are the foundation of the Commission’s responsibilities in three general areas – campaign finance, ethics, and transparency:

  • Oakland Government Ethics Act
  • Oakland Campaign Reform Act
  • Conflict of Interest Code
  • Sunshine Ordinance
  • Limited Public Financing Act
  • Lobbyist Registration Act
  • Oakland's False Endorsement in Campaign Literature Act

Commission Members

Each member of the Commission must be an Oakland resident who is registered to vote in Oakland. Three Commissioners are appointed respectively by the Mayor, City Attorney, and City Auditor. The remaining four are appointed by the full Commission on a rotating schedule. Once appointed, a Commissioner is expected to participate in monthly meetings and occasional subcommittee meetings to provide guidance to staff in the conduct of the Commission’s business, make final decisions on enforcement matters, and serve as an adjudicative body/hearing officer (neutral judge) in cases that require an administrative hearing.

Commissioners are appointed for a term of 3 years, and during his or her tenure a Commissioner may not do any of the following:

Have an employment or contractual relationship with the City during the member’s tenure and for one year after the date of separation;

  1. Be a registered Oakland lobbyist or be required to register as an Oakland lobbyist, or be employed by or receive gifts or other compensation from a registered Oakland lobbyist during the member’s tenure and for one year after the date of separation;
  2. Seek election to any other public office in a jurisdiction that intersects with the geographic boundaries of Oakland, or participate in or contribute to an Oakland municipal campaign;
  3. Endorse, support, oppose, or work on behalf of any candidate or measure in an Oakland election.

Commissioners receive no compensation and may serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms.

Selection Process

Following the application deadline, a subcommittee of three Commissioners will review applications and conduct oral interviews of candidates. The subcommittee will select the top several candidates who will be introduced and briefly interviewed by the full Commission at the Commission’s public meeting.

Desired Skills and Abilities

Commissioners should represent a variety of backgrounds and professions so that the Commission, as a whole, provides a well-rounded perspective on Oakland City government, law, community building and engagement, leadership, program administration, enforcement, and policies related to campaign finance, ethics and transparency. Specifically, a Commissioner should be able to do the following:

  • Read, analyze, and understand written information and make decisions based on the information
  • Listen to public input, assess community needs, and make decisions about how to best accomplish the Commission’s goals
  • Understand the context in which the Commission operates within City government and the broader community
  • Communicate orally during a public, televised meeting
  • Collaborate effectively with other Commissioners, the public, City officials, and staff
  • Interpret rules, laws and policies and objectively apply a rule to a particular set of facts
  • Identify personal conflicts of interest or other factors that could lead to actual or perceived improper influence
  • Serve with fairness, openness, honesty, and integrity
  • Complete a Form 700 – Statement of Economic Interests annually, disclosing information such as one’s financial interests in investments, property, income, and gifts (to view a copy of a Form 700, contact Commission staff or visit
  • Adhere to all Commission-related laws and policies, including but not limited to the Oakland City Charter, Oakland Government Ethics Act, Oakland Sunshine Ordinance, Commission Complaint Procedures, and Commission Operations Policies (by-laws).
  • All applicants must attest in their application that they have attended (observed in-person via Zoom) a PEC meeting. The next and last opportunity to observe a PEC meeting for this application process is May 3, 2021.

Apply online:

For More PEC Information

For more about the Public Ethics Commission, visit us online at We also suggest you attend a City Council meeting in person or watch one on local television (Channel 10). For more information about the Commission or this position, contact Whitney Barazoto at or (510) 238-6620.

Media Contact

Whitney Barazoto
Executive Director
Public Ethics Commission