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|Full Biography for Carole Ward Allen|
As a native of Oakland, my heart and passions are to improve our communities. I am a graduate of Castlemont High School; I earned my BA in Art and an MBA from San Jose State University; and attained a Doctorate in Higher Education from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale Florida. I also completed post- graduate studies at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, Paris France; Fourah Bay College University, Sierra Leone; University of Ile-Ife, Nigeria; the University of Kumasi, Ghana; and University of Nairobi, Kenya.
In 1970, I began my career at Peralta Community College District as a faculty member at Laney College. I later served as Director of Community Relations at Laney managing the largest Retired Senior Volunteer Program in Northern California. Later I became Director of Marketing and Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Peralta Community College District. Currently I am a retired adjunct faculty member at Laney and College of Alameda.
My career in politics began with my father Attorney Claude O. Allen becoming one of the first African American lawyers in Oakland, California and the first African American to run for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. At a very young age, I remember delivering his campaign literature door to door. My father was one of the founders and pioneers of the Minority Contractors Association and a founding member of the Charles Houston Law Club. Later his law partners John George and Fred Cooper became members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
In addition, I was appointed by former California Governor Jerry Brown in 1980 to serve on the state's Commission on the Status of Women. During this time, as a teacher in African American Studies, community engagement and participation became my priority. I introduced new curriculum at Laney including a class entitled: Perceptions of African American Women. As a result of my strong ties with community and an effective work ethic for change, I was unanimously elected as the first African American woman to chair California's Commission on the Status of Woman in 1983.
In 1987, I was appointed to the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners, where I served as the first African American woman President from 1990 to 1992. I was responsible for transportation, businesses, financial, and political strategies for the development of maritime facilities, Oakland International Airport, and commercial real estate holdings. During my tenure on the board, I was instrumental in the creation of Aviation High School which became part of the Oakland Unified School District curriculum.
After seeing a need for a better transit friendly transportation system I ran for the BART Board of Directors. Upon being elected in 1998 by the voters, I began my journey for better community outreach, cost-effective rides for our low-income communities, and cleaner and eco-friendly stations. Also, in my tenure on the BART Board of Directors, I have worked tirelessly to improve security measures, accessibility, and transparency with my constituency. As a result, BART has made significant improvements in terms of its operations, which has virtually helped increase ridership and gave me a better sense of what the community needs to enjoy the quality of public transportation.
On December 15, 2005, BART became the first major transit agency in American history to be led by two African American women after the nine member Board unanimously elected me to be its President and Director Lynette Sweet to be its Vice President.
During my tenure on the BART Board, I fought for the creation of contracting opportunities for small business owner's minorities and women. Providing employment opportunities to Oakland and Alameda residents is extremely vital on BART sponsored projects. That is partly why I collaborated with the local unions to facilitate the creation of job opportunities. The Oakland Airport Connector project will generate approximately 2,500 to 5,200 much-needed jobs.
Furthermore, I have been active in many of BART's historic measures such as the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and also, the hiring of two independent organizations that reviewed BART's policies and procedures in the process of overseeing the BART Police Department which I chaired. As the Chairwoman of the BART Police Department Review Committee, BART has made sweeping changes on many security measures, as well as corrected and implemented several policies and procedures. BPD Review Committee has led to the retraining of all of our officers on use of force, diversity retraining and other issues. Today, we now have a new police chief. Kenton Rainey, the person selected to lead BART's 296-member police force, officially took command as Chief of Police. "What impresses me most about Chief Rainey is his commitment to the community. He's a man who doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk- a trait which I am confident our customers will appreciate and our officers will find inspiring as they strive to be the best they can be in the years to come."
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