Lateefah Simon was elected to serve District 7 on the BART Board of Directors on November 8, 2016.
The Seventh District includes Albany (partial), Berkeley (partial), Emeryville, Oakland (partial), El Cerrito (partial), Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Unincorporated Contra Costa County (partial) and San Francisco (partial).
A nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, Lateefah brings over 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities in the Bay Area. Raised in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, Lateefah began organizing at age 15 for the Center for Young Women’s Development. At 19-years-old she was appointed Executive Director of CYWD, where she served 11 years and brought the organization to national acclaim. At 26, her work earned her the distinction of the youngest woman ever to receive a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. She went on to lead the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of then District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. Lateefah later served as Executive Director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Program Director at the Rosenberg Foundation.
Currently, Lateefah is President of the Akonadi Foundation, an organization based in Oakland, that funds and nurtures racial justice movement building 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.
Born legally blind, Lateefah has never driven a car and depends on BART everyday to get to work and take her daughter to school. Her priorities for BART are affordability, accessibility, and accountability for transit-dependent people and working families.
Lateefah lives in West Oakland. When she isn’t working, she spends her time enjoying the Bay Area’s many family friendly spaces with her two daughters, trips she usually makes on BART.