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Joint Powers Agency Board

The JPA Board provides oversight to the general operations and governance of the Center, giving its approval to all major expenditures, appointments and strategic decisions.

The JPA Board may have a total of 23 Directors consisting of: 9 representatives appointed (3 each) by the three JPA Public Agency partners: City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District, and East Bay Regional Park District; 2 appointees from the Eastbay Astronomical Society and 1 appointee from the Alameda County Office of Education. One seat on the board is also reserved for a representative of Chabot Space & Science Center Volunteers and the remaining seats are public.

Directors serve for a term of 3 years and there is no limitation to the number of terms a Director may serve.

Officers

  • Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD), Chair

    Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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    Michael Levi serves on the CSSC board as JPA Vice Chair and Chair of the Programs & Exhibits committee. Levi is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the project manager and project scientist for the Department of Energy Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a joint-agency satellite project with NASA to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Levi was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Levi has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Levi is an avid skier, plays tennis, enjoys backpacking in the Sierras, and is a high-power rocketeer and a member of the Tripoli high power rocketry club. He lives in Oakland with his wife (also an astrophysicist) and two children.

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  • Caleb Cheung (OUSD)

    Caleb Cheung (OUSD), Vice Chair

    Manager, Science, Oakland Unified School District

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    Caleb Cheung currently works as the Science Manager for the Oakland Unified School District. Previously, he taught middle school science for ten years. He also worked as an Adjunct professor at JFK University and Holy Names University where he taught science methodology courses. Caleb received his undergraduate education in Integrated Biology at UC Berkeley, teaching credential from California State University at Hayward, and Master's degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.

    A lifelong employee of the Oakland schools, Caleb has made significant contributions to the Oakland Unified School District in the areas of curriculum, recruitment, new teacher support, and standards. He has also written curriculum for the Center for Disease Control and UC Berkeley. In 2000, Caleb was one of the first National Board certified teachers in Oakland and has since served on the National Board's Science Standards Committee and Certification Council. In 2002, Caleb was named Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Marcus Foster Educational Institute, Oakland's Teacher of the Year Award. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2005. From 2006-2009, Caleb served as a Commissioner and the Chair of the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing.

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  • Fred Patton

    Fred Patton, Treasurer

    Retired CFO

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    Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

    He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred's experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

    Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

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Committee Chairs

  • Caleb Cheung (OUSD)

    Caleb Cheung (OUSD), Executive

    Manager, Science, Oakland Unified School District

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    Caleb Cheung currently works as the Science Manager for the Oakland Unified School District. Previously, he taught middle school science for ten years. He also worked as an Adjunct professor at JFK University and Holy Names University where he taught science methodology courses. Caleb received his undergraduate education in Integrated Biology at UC Berkeley, teaching credential from California State University at Hayward, and Master's degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University.

    A lifelong employee of the Oakland schools, Caleb has made significant contributions to the Oakland Unified School District in the areas of curriculum, recruitment, new teacher support, and standards. He has also written curriculum for the Center for Disease Control and UC Berkeley. In 2000, Caleb was one of the first National Board certified teachers in Oakland and has since served on the National Board's Science Standards Committee and Certification Council. In 2002, Caleb was named Distinguished Educator of the Year by the Marcus Foster Educational Institute, Oakland's Teacher of the Year Award. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2005. From 2006-2009, Caleb served as a Commissioner and the Chair of the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing.

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  • Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)

    Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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    Michael Levi serves on the CSSC board as JPA Vice Chair and Chair of the Programs & Exhibits committee. Levi is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the project manager and project scientist for the Department of Energy Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a joint-agency satellite project with NASA to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Levi was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Levi has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Levi is an avid skier, plays tennis, enjoys backpacking in the Sierras, and is a high-power rocketeer and a member of the Tripoli high power rocketry club. He lives in Oakland with his wife (also an astrophysicist) and two children.

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  • Fred Patton

    Fred Patton, Finance

    Retired CFO

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    Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

    He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred's experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

    Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

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  • Joaquin Rivera (ACOE)

    Joaquin Rivera (ACOE), Nominating

    Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education

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    Joaquin Rivera has a distinguished career of public service having served on the Berkeley School Board, for twelve years (1996-2008) before being elected as a trustee to the Alameda County Board of Education in June 2010. During his 12 year tenure on the Berkeley School Board he served for three terms as President and three as Vice-President of the Board and distinguished himself in the areas of academic quality, student achievement and fiscal responsibility.

    Joaquin has received several teaching awards for his work with students and has been a leader in many different roles. He has served as President of the Skyline College Academic Senate and as President and Chief Negotiator of the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493, AFL-CIO. He was also Vice-President of the California Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Joaquin is a graduate of University High School in Puerto Rico. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. He earned a Master of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently Chemistry professor at Skyline College, San Bruno.

    Joaquin was born in 1965 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both of his parents, Iris Contreras and Jose Rivera, are retired public school teachers. He has a younger brother, Victor, who lives in Puerto Rico. He lives in Berkeley with his spouse Joel Cohen, the Policy Director for an oral health non-profit organization.

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Directors

  • David Barosso (EAS)

    David Barosso (EAS)

    Retired

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  • Annie Campbell Washington  (COO)

    Annie Campbell Washington (COO)

    Councilmember, City of Oakland, District 4

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  • Paul Chapman (EBRPD)

    Paul Chapman (EBRPD)

    Executive Director, Inverness Associates

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    Paul Chapman is the executive director of Inverness Associates, an educational consulting group that supports schools in sustainability, global education, strategic planning, and leadership development. He is especially interested in promoting "green" schools that embrace environmental sustainability in their facilities, operations and program. Since 2010 he has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford and UC Berkeley and published two books, Greening America's Schools and Greening America's Schools 2.0 (NAIS 2012, 2013). He is the author of Growing Connections: California Private Schools and Informal Environmental Education (2013). Together these publications tell the stories of over 100 public and private model green schools across the country. He also published Schools as Sorters: Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890-1930 (New York: NYU Press, 1988).

    Previously, he served as Head of School at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, and before that as Assistant Head at San Francisco University High School and Associate Director of Admissions at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Raised near Chicago, he graduated from Hinsdale High School and received a B.A. in history from Yale and an M.A. in American history and a Ph.D. in the history of education from Stanford.

    He has served on a number of boards locally and nationally and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to strategic planning.  He lives in Berkeley and enjoys reading, fishing, traveling and hiking with his Golden Retriever.

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  • Janet Macher (Public)

    Janet Macher (Public)

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    Janet is an air pollution research specialist with the California Department of Public Health. She has a master's degree from the University of California and doctorate from Harvard University with emphasis on environmental health, public health, and microbiology. Dr. Macher has studied engineering measures to control airborne infectious and hypersensitivity diseases, evaluated methods to collect and identify airborne biological material, conducted laboratory studies on the measurement of dampness, and participated in epidemiological studies in the state of California. Dr. Macher is a member of the American Association for Aerosol Research, American Biological Safety Association, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Gesellshaft f�r Aerosol Forschung; and the International and Pan-American Associations for Aerobiology.

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  • Aimee Eng (OUSD)

    Aimee Eng (OUSD)

    Director

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  • Gerald McKeegan (EAS)

    Gerald McKeegan (EAS)

    Space Systems Program Manager, Orcon Corporation

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    Gerald McKeegan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University, Hayward, and he holds a Master of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He has held management positions in the aerospace industry for more than 30 years, and is currently the Space Systems Program Manager for Orcon Corporation. During his career, Gerald has been involved with numerous spacecraft projects, including the Space Shuttle, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Solar B, Juno and many others. He was awarded the NASA "Silver Snoopy" award by the Johnson Space Center Astronaut Office for his work in support of the Post-Challenger Space Shuttle Return to Flight program.

    Gerald McKeegan is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area. He has been an active Chabot volunteer since the year 2000, and a member of the Eastbay Astronomical Society since 2002. He is one of Chabot's senior telescope operators, working every weekend to support the public observing program, as well as many Chabot special events.

    Gerald also heads Chabot's Asteroid Search Program, and has made more than a thousand asteroid observations using the 36-inch telescope. In addition, he serves as a Chabot contact for media inquiries, often doing broadcast interviews about space or astronomy events, especially those involving asteroids or meteors.

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  • Jean Quan

    Jean Quan

    Former Mayor, City of Oakland

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    Jean Quan  (former Mayor, City of Oakland) was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council and the first female Mayor of Oakland. A champion of preserving and expanding education and after school programs, Jean was also one of the first Asian Americans to be elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education where she served for 12 years and was a past President. She also serves on numerous boards and commissions including the California League of Cities, the Association of Bay Area Government, the Local Government Commission, and the Council of Urban Boards of Education of the National School Board Association. Jean was one of the founding members of Chabot Space & Science Center and currently serves as one of the City's representatives and as Chair of the JPA Board.

    Jean helped found Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Chinese at Yale University in China. She is a National Kellogg Foundation Fellow. She has been married to Dr. Floyd Huen for over 38 years and they have raised their family in Oakland for the last 30 years.

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  • Libby Schaaf (COO)

    Libby Schaaf (COO)

    Mayor, City of Oakland

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    Born and raised in Oakland's District 4 and a graduate of Skyline High, Libby spent her youth volunteering, through countless Girl Scout projects, at Children's Fairyland, and as a weekly Ranger Station Aide at Joaquin Miller Park. While an attorney in her late 20s, she co-founded the non-profit Oakland Cares, which organized and implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across the city. She found her calling building community, so she left her legal career at Oakland's largest law firm to build and run the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute.

    Libby later served as Chief of Staff to Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and then as a top aide to Mayor Jerry Brown. Libby successfully led community input and the drafting of the Measure Y Violence Prevention Plan. She represented Mayor Brown on the Project Choice Re-Entry Steering Committee, whose juvenile parolees enjoyed an 83% lower recidivism rate. Later, as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland, she helped bring millions in state and federal funds to Oakland.

    Among her proudest accomplishments in her time working for Mayor Brown, Council President De La Fuente, and the Port have been building waterfront parks, championing transit-oriented development, re-landscaping Park Blvd., reducing Port pollution, banning Wal-Mart superstores, and building affordable housing.

    Prior to her election to the City Council, Libby served on the Board of Directors of Advisory Boards of twelve Oakland non-profits and was appointed to three City of Oakland Commissions �€� all fueled by her passion for the arts, education, civic engagement, and social justice. Her volunteer effort include Make Oakland Better Now!, the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA), and the League of Women Voters of Oakland.

    Since her elections to the Oakland city council, Libby has worked tirelessly to build a safer city, increase government transparency and efficiency, empower residents, and strengthen our neighborhoods.

    Libby helped speed up police officer recruitment so academies can begin training new officers sooner. She helped hire more civilian staff so officers can spend more time in the field fighting crime, and pushed through a plan for Oakland PD to team up with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office so we can have more officers policing our streets.

    Libby's leadership has led to reforms that have modernized government technology and made government more transparent and accountable, increased public access to information, and saved taxpayer dollars. Libby strongly believes that a more open and efficient government means a better government.

    Working with local Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Libby pushed for state legislation that would enable Oakland to implement stricter gun licensing laws than other cities in California, so we can get illegal guns off our streets and make our neighborhoods safer.

    In 2013, she organized the Safe Oakland Speaker Series, where Oakland residents heard from leading criminal justice scholars and practitioners about the most effective approaches to reducing crime. The Speaker Series has helped spur a critical community dialogue about what Oakland is doing �€� and should be doing �€� to make our community safer.

    Libby has also been a champion for economic development. She has worked closely with business leaders throughout the District to support local business growth and encourage Oaklanders to shop right here at home so that we can keep our sales tax dollars funding vital city services. Along with City Attorney Barbara Parker, Libby sponsored legislation making Oakland the first city to serve as a Kiva Zip micro-lending trustee supporting small Oakland-grown businesses.

    Libby current chairs the City Council Finance and Management Committee, and also serves on the Public Safety Committee, Rules Committee, and Community and Economic Development Committee. She represents Oakland on the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority, and the Chabot Space and Science Joint Powers Authority.

    Libby has been honored to serve the people of Oakland on the City Council, and to help promote Oakland as the greatest place to live, work, play, and do business.

    She lives in Oakland's Dimond neighborhood with her husband Sal and their two young children who attend the same public elementary school that Libby attended.

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  • Nina Senn (OUSD)

    Nina Senn (OUSD)

    Director

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    Director Nina Senn joined the OUSD school board on January 5, 2015 and will serve a 4 year term. Director Senn grew up in a multi-cultural family and is the product of a solid K-12 California public school education.  She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University. When she graduated from law school, her father expressed his hope that she would use her education to help others. Nina has dedicated both her professional and personal life to realizing that wish.

    As an attorney, Director Senn has worked with global and domestic companies and organizations focusing on international, logistics and technology transactions and dispute resolution processes. For over 18 years, five of which were based in Brussels, Belgium, her work involved building consensus and negotiating agreements in complex multi-cultural environments. She has also been an integral member of high performing senior management teams.

    After returning to the Bay Area in 2000, Director Senn re-kindled her passion in dispute resolution by volunteering as a mediator and then as the President of the Board of SEEDS Community Resolution Center.  In 2014, Nina started her own dispute resolution and legal services practice in Oakland and was particularly delighted to work on an OUSD project that focused on special education. This project was an independent assessment to determine the feasibility of establishing an alternative dispute resolution process within Programs for Exceptional Children using problem solving, Restorative Justice and other conflict resolution skills and techniques.

    As a parent of two school age children in Oakland, Director Senn has been an active public school parent leader for over ten years and is dedicated to the CARE of the whole child of every child. CARE stands for "Community Access to Resources and Education." Whether the need is related to academics, health, safety & nutrition, sports, the environment or social/emotional issues, she works in collaboration with others to support the needs of the whole child.

    Director Senn has also been a long time friend of Chabot.  She has brought literally hundreds of Oakland students on field trips as well as her own children to visit Chabot and experience its magic.  A magical moment for her was when she first looked through a Chabot telescope at the moon.  From then on it was her hope that every child in Oakland would have the chance to experience that same sense of wonder.

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  • Hon. Dick Spees (Public)

    Hon. Dick Spees (Public)

    Retired-Councilmember, City of Oakland

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    Hon. Dick Spees was elected six times and served nearly 24 years on Oakland's City Council, representing the Montclair and Laurel districts, before retiring in January 2003. He earned a reputation as a consummate consensus builder, someone who could be relied upon to broker compromises. In the private sector, Spees was with Kaiser Aluminum for 32 years, retiring as vice president of public affairs. Since then, he has worked as a government relations consultant, representing clients on education, economic and environmental issues. He is a former chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party. Dick was a driving force in the creation of the new Chabot Space & Science Center and one of its founding board members.

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  • Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD)

    Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD)

    Business Consultant

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    Mary Ellen has been on numerous nonprofit boards and taken many community roles. Mary Ellen was a member of the Oakland Zoo Board and served as their president. At the Zoo, Mary Ellen helped initiate and fundraise for the zoo expansion and new veterinary hospital. She then served on their Foundation Board. Mary Ellen has also participated in other Oakland nonprofit boards including: Children's Fairyland board, Elizabeth House board and as an appointed park commissioner for the City of Oakland.

    Mary Ellen is a Certified Public Accountant with expertise in Finance and Management. She began her career working for Ernst and Ernst and Forbes CPA firms. After, she worked for 10 years at Wells Fargo Bank serving as Senior Vice President and divisional Chief Financial Officer for their commercial real estate lending, bank owned property, and leasing divisions and subsidiaries. Mary Ellen then worked in the business consulting industry with Robert Cliff and Associates and worked on numerous corporate projects throughout the bay area.

    Mary Ellen lives with her husband Bryant in Oakland. She has two children. Mary Ellen enjoys playing golf with groups in Oakland, Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

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  • Leo Wong

    Leo Wong

    Financial Analyst, Google

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    Leo Wong is a 2010 graduate of California State University, East Bay where he obtained a BS in Business Administration, options in Accounting and Finance. Just starting out in his career, he works at Google in Mountain View where he is developing his business and financial experience as a Financial Analyst involved in a variety of internal financial control projects, process improvements, and training programs. Prior to joining Google, Leo interned with a number of local businesses including Novogradac & Company, LLP in San Francisco where he was a Staff Accountant.

    Leo has been a volunteer at Chabot since he joined the Galaxy Explorer program in 2006 and while at college he continued to participate in the program during the summer months. In the summer of 2008 he became a Team Leader for the Galaxy Explorer program managing a team of 15 teen interns, facilitating their safe participation in activities that aligned to their interests and abilities.

    Leo is currently a resident of South San Francisco and his interests include, Cycling, Photography, Technology, and Renewable Energy.

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  • Joel Young (Public)

    Joel Young (Public)

    Partner, Tidrick Law Firm

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    After graduating with a law degree at Cal, Joel Young worked for two of the Bay Area's most prestigious law firms helping to launch some of the region's most successful start-ups. Now, Joel is a partner at the Tidrick Law Firm focusing on class action litigation.

    Joel is also the AC Transit Director-at-Large, representing 13 cities in Alameda and Contra Costa County. He was the youngest African-American to serve on the AC Transit Board. At AC Transit, Young advocated for a Buy America policy that will steer hundreds of millions of dollars to local businesses over the next decade. He ran workshops explaining to small business owners how to contract with the agency. Young supported a Climate Action plan that will serve as a blueprint for the agency as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint. He spearheaded the Freedom Bus Project, which aims to promote public transit, arts education, and the history of the civil rights movement.

    Joel Young is deeply involved in the local community as an active member of the Alameda Democratic Lawyer's Club, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay, and the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc.

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