Emelyn C. Rodriguez, a Sacramento attorney practicing in the law of politics and political reform, has been named executive director of Californians Aware (CalAware), a nonprofit organization supporting citizens’ access to governmental meetings and records, constitutional free speech and press rights, and whistleblower protections.
Ms. Rodriguez has been a member of CalAware’s board of directors for the past eight years, most recently as its secretary/treasurer. She previously served for 13 years as Senior Commission Counsel with the Fair Political Practices Commission, where she specialized in conflicts of interest rules under the Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090, the California Public Records Act and open meetings laws, lobbying rules, and campaign finance laws.
As a senior legal division counsel, she authored the state’s electronic campaign advertising regulations, among the first of their kind in the country. She headed the agency’s first major revamping of lobbying rules in 25 years, and closed loopholes involving political legal defense funds. She also interpreted, analyzed and drafted regulations and legislation.
Prior to her legal career, Ms. Rodriguez was the Oakland Tribune’s capitol bureau chief, where she provided and coordinated state news coverage of the Governor’s office, the state Legislature, and statewide public policy issues for six San Francisco Bay Area daily newspapers. She also reported for the Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, the San Francisco Examiner, and was senior editor for the California Journal, the state’s political magazine.
Tim Crews, president of CalAware, spoke for the board in welcoming Ms. Rodriguez to the position, calling her “the ideal choice to lead, inform and inspire our continuing fight for government at the state and local level that is both open and ethical.”