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Local Political Writer, Activist Honored

Sanjiv Handa, a local writer who pushed Oakland officials to improve the public’s access to government, died last week at age 55 and was remembered by Alameda City Manager John Russo and others at a service on Dec. 31.

Russo helped write Oakland’s Sunshine Ordinance, which tightened requirements for posting agendas and providing public record, but it was Handa who had fought for it and referred to it often in his speeches to the Oakland City Council, according to a Bay Area News Group report.

“He was transparency’s champion in Oakland,” said Russo.

Handa attended each and every meeting of the Oakland City Council, council subcommittees, Planning Commission, Port Commission, Ethics Commission and others.

His impact on local politics and efforts to maintain and improve both transparency and administrative order in city government are likely to be felt by Alamedans and other East Bay residents throughout 2012 and for many years to come.

(His family, based in Fremont — where Handa’s service was held, shared this image of him with the Bay Area News Group.)

Janet Levaux