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AC Transit Sadly Announces the Death of former Interim General Manager Mary V. King

Friday, November 20, 2015   (0 Comments)

Oakland, CA - It is with a heavy heart that AC Transit announces the death of former Interim General Manager Mary V. King. She worked tirelessly for the District and our Board of Directors to carry the agency through tough economic times. Ms. King was a true trailblazer and used her considerable expertise in government to develop and advocate for efficient transportation systems and services to help people move around the Bay Area.


In 1988, Mary V. King became the first African American woman to be elected an Alameda County Supervisor. She was re-elected twice and served as Board President for two years. During her tenure, she authored many policies with lasting impact on the Bay Area including:


  • The King Plan– a major land-use amendment to the County General Plan to protect open-space while maintaining sustainable development in unincorporated areas that’s now considered a model for smart-growth.
  • The Values Based Budgeting Process– an innovative approach to county budget reform, which received statewide recognition and continues to be used by the county.

Prior to being elected to public office, Ms. King led the drive for a successful county tax initiative campaign (Measure B) that created new sources of funding for public transit and other transportation projects and made Alameda County one of the first “self help” counties in the State.


She also worked to improve economic conditions and social services for lower income residents, promoting health and education, and youth violence prevention programs. The Mary V. King Health Education Center is named in her honor as part of the Eastmont Wellness Center in Oakland.


Mary chaired several community-based and regional committees, including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Bay Bridge Design Task Force. She was Chief of Staff to California State Legislator, Bill Lockyer; Chief of Staff to Oakland Mayor, Lionel J. Wilson; and later an assistant to Oakland City Manager, Henry Gardner.


Upon leaving office in 2001, Ms. King became a private consultant specializing in government affairs, regional housing, land-use, and transportation issues. In 2004, she was recruited to become the Assistant General Manager for Communications and External Affairs at the Alameda Contra Costa Transit District, and, in 2009, she was appointed to head the transit district as our General Manager. She retired from the agency in early 2012 and was later appointed to fill a vacancy on the BART Board of Directors in August 2012.


King has been given the 2014 Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Grand Award in recognition of her leadership as Chair of the Bay Bridge Design Task Force that oversaw the public involvement process and selection of the unique self-anchored suspension element (SAS) for the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. 


Among other honors, Mary has been given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials; the “Allen E. Broussard Memorial Award for Outstanding Humanitarianism” by the Alameda County Bar Association; the “George Moscone Memorial Award” by the American Society of Public Administration; the Community Leaders Recognition Award by the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay and was named the “Legislator of the Year” in 1992 by the Association of Retarded Citizens. Most notably, she is a founder of the Alameda County “Women’s Hall of Fame Awards,” which has grown to be a signature countywide event and is now comprised of 200 honorees.


Ms. King, a lifelong resident of Oakland, is survived by her mother Victoria King, two daughters Kimberly and Vikki King and two grandchildren.