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Rebecca Kaplan elected Oakland City Council president

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Veteran councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan was elected president of the Oakland City Council at the council’s first meeting of the year on Monday.

Kaplan, who was elected in 2008 and twice unsuccessfully ran for mayor, said in a statement that the vote makes her the first openly LGBT person to hold the post.

Being named council president means that Kaplan will preside over council meetings and assign council members to committees.

She will succeed Larry Reid, who was elected vice mayor.

Kaplan said in a statement, “I am honored to serve the people of Oakland as council president. I thank my colleagues for their confidence in my leadership and for the opportunity to serve Oakland.”

Kaplan said her priorities include making council meetings more effective by changing how ceremonial items and scheduling are handled so that people coming to speak on important decisions are not made to wait around for hours before substantive discussions begin.

Kaplan said addressing homelessness, expanding affordable housing and expanding access to job training and career pathways to good-paying jobs are other priorities for her.

Preventing and remedying blight and illegal dumping will be another area of emphasis, Kaplan said.

Kaplan finished second in the 2014 mayoral election and third in the 2010 election.

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