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BART removes only African American board member

Former BART board member Lateefah Simon
Jay Gash
Flickr / Creative Commons
Former BART board member Lateefah Simon

According to BART, Simon's current residence sits outside the bounds of District 7, which includes parts of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties, making her ineligible to represent the district on the Board of Directors.

Simon said in a statement to supporters that she moved from her previous residence last year due to threats her family received as a result of her support for police reform.

She added that she had consulted with BART officials prior to moving and was "assured that the building is within District 7."

Simon, the only African American member of the nine-member board, was first elected in 2016 and served as the board's president in 2020.

Board Director Janice Li, who represents part of San Francisco and is now the only person of color sitting on the board. She called Simon's removal "a loss to this board" and argued that few cared more about the transit agency than her.

BART officials said an interim board member will be chosen within 60 days to fill the District 7 vacancy. Voters in the district will eventually choose a permanent successor.