Patricia Kernighan

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Patricia Kernighan
Patricia Kernighan 2011.jpg
Kernighan in 2011
Member of the Oakland City Council
from District 2
Preceded byDanny Wan
Succeeded byAbel J. Guillen
Personal details
BornEastern Washington
Spouse(s)Paul Gordon
ResidenceOakland, California
Alma materUniversity of Washington
University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Patricia (Pat) Kernighan, a politician and a lawyer, was a District 2 city council member in Oakland, California until 2014, noted for her advocacy of instant run-off voting in city elections.


Kerninghan, a native of rural Eastern Washington state, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences in 1973 from the University of Washington and a law degree in 1977 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.[1][2][3]

In Seattle, Washington, while a college student in the 1970s, Kernighan was a member of the Feminist Coordinating Council, an organization that proposed a city ordinance to establish a commission on crimes against women and a protection unit.[4]

She was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1977.[citation needed]


She was a legislative aide to Councilmember John Russo and later was chief of staff to Councilmember Danny Wan from 2000 until his resignation in 2005.[5]

She was elected to the Oakland City Council in 2005 and reelected in a 2006 election against challenger Aimee Allison.[6] In 2010, she defeated Jen Pae to win a third term.[7][8]

Abel J. Guillen succeeded Kernighan in 2014.[9]


Voting system[edit]

In 2006, Kernighan co-authored a measure to implement instant-runoff voting in Oakland,[10][11] and voters approved the measure in November 2006,.[12][13] Oakland began using the voting system in its November 2010 elections for mayor, three city council races and four other local offices.[14]

Lake Merritt renovation[edit]

Kernighan co-authored a measure to fund major park renovations around Oakland's Lake Merritt. The measure passed in 2002.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Paul Gordon and has two grown daughters.[citation needed]


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External links[edit]