Jackson elected county superior judge; incumbents win big in BART, AC Transit elections

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Alameda County superior judge

Scott Jackson has been elected the Alameda County Superior Judge, edging out his opponent, Barbara Thomas, with about 51 percent of the vote.

Jackson was endorsed by both the California and Alameda County Democratic parties. Jackson previously worked as a District Attorney from 1997 to 2011 and currently works as an employment discrimination lawyer and a law professor.

In addition to serving in legal capacities, Jackson has given presentations about truancy, gun violence and college pathways to local students. He also serves on the board of a nonprofit that helps women with children who face homelessness, violence or poverty.

BART Board of Directors   

District 3

Rebecca Saltzman, BART’s District 3 director of four years, has been re-elected to a second term in her position with about 61 percent of the vote.

Saltzman aims to continue her efforts to reinvest in BART’s infrastructure, some of which she said is 44 years old, and invest in expanding the capacity of BART. Other District 3 candidates included transportation engineer Ken Chew, founder of Analytix Consulting Varun Paul and web programmer Worth Freeman.

While representing District 3 — which encompass the North Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley, Rockridge, San Leandro and Bayfair BART stations, among others — Saltzman restarted a committee to promote collaboration between BART and AC Transit that established a pilot program to increase discounts to users of both. Additionally, she helped to pass a BART policy mandating that 20 percent of housing units at BART developments be affordable and setting a systemwide goal of 30 percent.

According to her website, Saltzman’s priorities include fiscal and environmental sustainability as well as accessibility and equity.

District 7

Lateefah Simon, a political organizer who has served on several nonprofit boards, has been elected District 7 BART director with about 58 percent of the vote.

Simon, a widowed mother of two who is blind, said on her website that she depends on BART to pick up her two daughters. Accessibility for people with disabilities and equity for all BART riders is a central focus of her platform.

Simon was running against incumbent Zakhary Mallett who has served on the board since 2012. She hopes to increase oversight of the law enforcement BART oversees after the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant.

Simon has served as the executive director of the Center for Young Women’s Development, executive director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and the program director at the Rosenberg Foundation and is currently the president of the Akonadi Foundation, a racial justice organization. When she was 26, she became the youngest woman to ever receive a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

District 7 encompasses parts of the city of Berkeley as well as the Ashby, West Oakland and Richmond BART stations, among others.

AC Transit Board of Directors

Ward 2

Greg Harper, the Ward 2 director of 16 years, has been re-elected to serve another term with about 58 percent of the vote.

Harper ran against  local resident and green transportation designer Russ Tilleman. As director, Harper aims to implement bus schedules in intervals in order to prevent buses from running behind schedule and arriving in groups.

Additionally, Harper plans to increase service to San Francisco, mitigate AC Transit’s environmental impact and improve recruitment efforts by hiring more part-time drivers and improving driver pay.

Harper is also a principal in his business law firm and has served on several other Bay Area governing bodies, including the Regional Planning Committee of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Alameda County Housing Authority.

Director at large

Incumbent H.E. Christian Peeples has been re-elected as AC Transit director at large with about 63 percent of the vote.

Peeples has served on the AC Transit Board of Directors for 18 years and, during his tenure, worked against the elimination of the F line bus. He ran against former bus driver Dollene Jones.

In his upcoming term as director at large, Peeples aims to increase clean transportation efforts and facilitate consistent communication between AC Transit and city officials.

Peeples has also been involved in the AC Bus Riders Union, Alliance for Sensible Transit, Regional Alliance for Transit and several other transit organizations.