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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid TransitCandidate for Director, District 7

Photo of Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon

Nonprofit Foundation Director
40,278 votes (46.2%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Accountability – Manage public funds openly and responsibly, and ensure training and oversight of BART police
  • Accessibility – Invest in improvements that make it easier and more comfortable to use BART, now and for the future
  • Affordability – Fight for greater affordability at BART, especially for low-income families, seniors, and students



Profession:Nonprofit Foundation Director
President, Akonadi Foundation (2016–current)
Trustee, California State University Board of Trustees — Appointed position (2016–current)
Program Director, Rosenberg Foundation (2011–2016)
Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (2008–2011)
Director of Reentry Services, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (2005–2008)
Executive Director, Center for Young Women's Development (1997–2005)


Mills College Bachelor's Degree, Public Policy (2012)


As a legally blind, working mother, I depend on BART everyday to commute to work and pick up my two daughters. I understand the frustrations of working people, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on BART, but who are stuck with a system that isn’t working despite constant promises to improve.


I have a plan to fix BART and an ambitious agenda to make it world-class, while managing public funds responsibly and openly – you can read it at


As a candidate, I refuse to accept campaign contributions from private contractors, because I believe we need independent voices on the BART Board who can’t be bought by special interests.


For two decades, I’ve led organizations that serve the Bay Area’s working families and underprivileged communities. As Executive Director for the Center for Young Women’s Development, I became the youngest woman to receive the MacArthur “Genius” Award. I then led the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry division under District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. Today, I work at a nonprofit foundation making investments to support change in our communities.


Now I am ready to shake up the status quo at BART.

I know we can do better, and I would be honored to have your support.


– Lateefah Simon

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Francisco Democratic Party
  • Contra Costa County Democratic Party
  • Alameda County Democratic Party

Organizations (36)

  • Oakland Magazine
  • SF Bay Guardian
  • SF Examiner
  • East Bay Express
  • Building and Construction Trades of Alameda County
  • League of Conservation Voters - SF & East Bay
  • San Francisco Women's Political Committee
  • East Bay Women's Political Caucus
  • San Francisco County Labor Council
  • Contra Costa County Labor Council
  • Alameda County Labor Council
  • Sierra Club
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • AFSCME Local 3993
  • ATU Local 1555
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • AFSCME Council 57
  • Latino Democratic Club of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Young Democrats
  • East Bay Young Democrats
  • Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA)
  • Transport Oakland
  • TWU Local 250A
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • IBEW Local 595
  • Democracy for America
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE Action)
  • San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion
  • Latin@ Young Democrats of San Francisco
  • Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
  • Black Young Democrats of San Francisco
  • Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
  • Wellstone Democratic Club
  • San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters
  • Evolve

Elected Officials (24)

  • Assemblymember Phil Ting
  • Assemblymember David Chiu
  • Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta
  • State Senator Mark Leno
  • Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma
  • Controller Betty Yee
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Emeryville Mayor Dianne Martinez
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
  • El Cerrito Mayor Greg Lyman
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • San Francisco City Council President London Breed
  • Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney
  • Richmond Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez
  • El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tem Janet Abelson
  • Albany City Council Member Nick Pilch
  • Emeryville City Council Member Ruth Atkin
  • SF Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Aaron Peskin, Scott Wiener, and Norman Yee
  • Berkeley City Council Members Jesse Arreguin and Lori Droste
  • Richmond City Council Members Jovanka Beckles, Gayle McLaughlin, and Jael Myrick
  • Oakland City Council Members Annie Campbell Washington, Abel Guillen, and Dan Kalb
  • BART Directors Nick Josefowitz and Rebecca Saltzman

Individuals (7)

  • Congressman George Miller (former)
  • Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (former)
  • CA Democratic Party Chair John Burton
  • State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (former)
  • Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (former)
  • San Pablo Mayor Leonard McNeill (former)
  • Read what community members have to say about Lateefah at

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (2)

Do you have a strategy to encourage bicyclists to use BART? If so, please describe in detail.
Answer from Lateefah Simon:

I support increased safe and easy bicycle access to BART stations. We need more secure bicycle parking at BART stations, as well as increased investments in safe bicycle routes to and from BART stations. We need to replace BART’s existing aging elevators with larger, modern units and add redundant elevators to our stations so that cyclists can easily access the platforms from the street while not interfering with other patrons. While I don’t ride a bicycle myself, riding a bicycle is among the most efficient transit options for so many people, being healthy, green, and affordable.  

BART's Surveillance Cameras

News outlets have reported that many of BART's surveillance cameras don't work. What steps will you take to ensure that video cameras are functional throughout the system? In your answer please specifically indicate when the cameras will be fully functional. 

No answer provided.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

BART deserves a leader, who has two decades of experience bringing unlikely allies to the table to solve problems, has dedicated her life to helping the Bay Area’s underprivileged communities and working families, and will work tirelessly with riders, labor, government, business, and local communities to create a clean and dependable BART system.

Learn more about LAteefah and her plan to fix BART at





Videos (2)

— November 1, 2016 Lateefah Simon for BART Board Director, District 7 2016

Lateefah Simon has a plan to fix BART for Bay Area workers and families.  


— November 1, 2016 Lateefah Simon for BART Board Director, District 7 2016

As a legally blind, single mother, Lateefah Simon depends on BART and will be a voice for riders, not contractors.

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