Re-elect board member Lateefah Simon to keep BART on the right track.
About the Position
The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is split into nine districts within Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties. Each district elects one board member to a four-year term. Once elected, one member acts as president, and five officers are appointed: general manager, controller-treasurer, independent police auditor, general counsel, and district secretary. In 2019, BART served 118 million passengers, averaging 411,000 per weekday.
About the District
BART District 7 lies within the Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties and includes the following stations: Ashby, El Cerrito del Norte (partial), El Cerrito Plaza (partial), MacArthur (partial), Montgomery (partial), Richmond, West Oakland, Embarcadero (partial).
About the Candidate
Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon, a community activist and president of the BART District Board for 2020, is from the Fillmore district of San Francisco. Legally blind and a working mother, Simon is running for re-election to continue serving the working people, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on BART. She has expressed a long-term desire to secure enough funding to make public transit free.
Lateefah Simon began her community engagement at age 15, organizing for the Center for Young Women’s Development. By 19, she was appointed executive director and served 11 years, bringing the organization to national acclaim. At 26, her work with the Center earned Simon the distinction of youngest woman ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She went on to lead the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of then District Attorney Kamala Harris. Simon later served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and as program director at the Rosenberg Foundation.
Currently, Lateefah Simon works as president of the Akonadi Foundation, an organization based in Oakland that funds and nurtures racial-justice movements, seeking to eliminate structural racism and expand opportunity for youth of color. She is also a California State University Trustee, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016 to serve the largest public university system in the world.
Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon is endorsed by many progressive organizations in the district, such as the Harvey Milk Club; San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; SF Renters Alliance; the East Bay, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Young Democrats; and a number of trade unions. According to our analysis, Lateefah Simon is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.