Our Upcoming Events
Sonya Smith, (Chair) 1/22/2014 - 1/21/2017
Sonya Smith is a 10-plus-year Oakland resident, residing in the Santa Fe neighborhood in North Oakland. She is an attorney for the California Commission on Judicial Performance, which is the independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges, pursuant to the California Constitution. Her background includes international work on Rule of Law projects through the American Bar Association and other U.S. Agency for International Development-funded organizations. She served as the director of a Rule of Law project in Yerevan, Armenia between 2006 and 2008 and has also participated in Rule of Law projects in Serbia, The Republic of Georgia, and Ecuador. These projects, in collaboration with local counterparts, worked toward the goal of building strong, independent, and transparent legal and political institutions that engender public trust and confidence. Before serving with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in Armenia she worked as an attorney for the California Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts. In that capacity, she made policy recommendations and drafted rules of court and legislative proposals relating to the administration of justice and judicial independence. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Marc Pilotin, (Vice-Chair) 3/5/2015 - 1/21/2018
Marc Pilotin is a trial attorney with the Office of the Solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor. Previously, he was an associate at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, where he represented consumers and employees, and a law clerk to a federal district judge in Oakland. Prior to law school, he worked as a fourth-grade teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and as the administrative director for the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy.
Mr. Pilotin received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Psychology and his master’s degree in education from UCLA. He received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall). In addition to serving on the Public Ethics Commission, Mr. Pilotin serves on the board of directors for the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.
Dana King 1/22/2015 - 1/21/2018
Dana King traveled the world during her 25-year career as a broadcast journalist. She reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Taiwan, Kosovo, Central America, Ghana, and Rwanda. King is the recipient of 5 Emmy Awards. She also earned an Edward R. Murrow Award for her reporting on the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide.
In 2012, King announced she would be leaving San Francisco's KPIX-TV to pursue her lifelong passion for creating art. She is currently working on a commemorative sculpture for the City of Berkeley of civil rights leader and former California Assemblyman Byron Rumford, whose significant legislation changed the landscape for minorities in California with regard to housing and employment.
King volunteers with "Rites of Passage", a program for young men jailed in the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center's maximum-security units. She is a Commissioner on the Oakland Public Ethics Commission and The Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Dominican University of California.
Krisida Nishioka, 1/22/2016 - 1/21/2019
Krisida Nishioka is a retired Mental Health Hearing Officer for Alameda County and Santa Clara County. Prior to that appointment, she worked as an attorney in the Office of the County Counsel for Alameda County and as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland. Ms. Nishioka was born in Louisiana and moved to California during the migration of African Americans from the segregated South during the 1960's. Ms. Nishioka began her college education while awaiting the birth of her 5th child. She completed her studies in 4 years and began her law school education t Boalt Hall, University of California School of Law, Berkeley. While in law school, Ms. Nishioka clerked at the Neighborhood Legal Services Office in Berkeley California.
After graduation, Ms. Nishioka worked for various federal agencies while remaining active in neighborhood organizations near her homes on East 27th Street and later on Hanover Avenue. Ms. Nishioka has been a member of the Committee of Bar Examiners, serving on the Moral Character subcommittee. Following her tenure on the Committee of Bar Examiners, she served as a member of the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct. Her tenure on these committees and her training in ethics as a judicial officer have given her a keen appreciation of the absolute necessity of ethics training for anyone entrusted with a role in public service. In addition, she understands the critical role the Public Ethics Commission plays in investigating and holding public officials accountable where their behavior falls short of basic ethical rules. She has also served on State Bar committees on Human Rights and Public Employment. Ms. Nishioka has served on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Mental Health Hearing Officers, Oakland Youth Chorus, Family Builders by Adoption, Black Women Lawyers, Law and Government Academy for the Oakland Unified School District, and Sisters 3, a breast cancer advocacy group for African American women, among others.
Since her retirement, Ms. Nishioka has been studying Spanish and volunteering in the Oakland Unified School District reading program.
Stephen Shefler, 1/22/2014 - 1/21/2017
Stephen Shefler is a retired attorney. He worked in a variety of legal and administrative positions over the course of his career including Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the United States Department of Transportation, and counsel on the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. During more than more twenty years as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Shefler specialized in fraud cases brought on behalf of the United States. He was a pioneer in the development of the False Claims Act. Following his retirement from the Justice Department, Mr. Shefler taught a course on fraud as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.
Jonathan Stein, 1/22/2016 - 1/21/2019
Stein is a voting rights staff attorney for the ACLU of California, working to increase access to California's democracy for historically disenfranchised communities, including communities of color, low-income communities, people with disabilities, young people, and the formerly incarcerated. While studying to receive his master's in public policy and J.D. from UC Berkeley, Stein served as the Student Regent on the University of California's Board of Regents, working on issues of access, diversity, and affordability, and advocating for the interests of the 230,000 students of the UC system. At Berkeley Law, Stein was a member of the Men of Color Alliance and the South Asian Law Student Association. Prior to graduate school, Stein spent four years at Mother Jones magazine as a researcher, assistant editor, blogger, and campaign correspondent during the 2008 presidential elections. He serves as chair of the board of directors of California Common Cause.
Carol Wyatt, 1/22/2014 - 1/21/2017