Lateefah Simon

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"Let your fear of running feed your fervor."

Lateefah is elected President of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board and won her race on a platform of transportation justice. Her dedication to public transit stems from being born legally blind - she has never driven a car and depends on BART everyday to get to work and take her daughter to school. She is a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice who in 2003 was the youngest woman to receive a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship for her leadership of the Center for Young Women's Development (now the Young Women's Freedom Center).

Name: Lateefah Simon
Location: Richmond, CA
Role: President of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board
Coalition(s): African American, Americans with disabilities - legally blind, mother, woman
Social Media: @lateefahsimon

Can you tell us about the office you are running for/your current elected position? I'm running for the BART Board of Directors. The Bay Area Rapid Transit District is one of the nation's largest rail districts serving 5 Bay Area counties. 

What made you decide to run for office? I didn't see anyone speaking for me on that board. I'm a black, widowed transit dependent mom. After losing so much, I decided that running for office and fighting for women like me was my obligation. 

What is the most important issue you are focusing on in your campaign? Public transportation is in crisis. Not just in the Bay Area but nationally. My goal is to lift up the voices of essential workers and transit dependent people during this covid crisis as legislators make critical funding decisions. 

Why is the leadership of Black women needed right now? Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic Party. Black women have been in the background holding up the progressive movement - and now we're taking our rightful space in the front. Black women get things done. 

What advice would you give other women who want to get involved in their community or who want to run for office? Let your fear of running feed your fervor.  For all the people who've told you no, - let that "no" propel you to run faster.