New Faces Bring Added Diversity and Ideas to SacRT Board
The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) welcomed five newcomers in January to its 11-member governing board, adding diversity and new perspectives to the agency’s leadership team for what will be a year of exciting growth but also fiscal challenges.
The new group includes Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and newly elected Sacramento City Councilwoman Caity Maple, who represents Oak Park and other inner-city neighborhoods. Also incoming are City Councilman Bret Daniels from Citrus Heights, Sean Loloee who represents North Sacramento on the Sacramento City Council, and Mike Kozlowski of the Folsom City Council.
Patrick Hume, a longtime SacRT board member, remains on the board, but in a new seat. Formerly a City of Elk Grove representative, he now sits on the board as a newly elected member of the county Board of Supervisors.
SacRT board chairman Patrick Kennedy said the new faces will bring fresh points of view as the agency continues efforts to modernize its system and as it welcomes back riders post-pandemic.
SacRT this year will launch a major, multi-year Light Rail Modernization Project featuring new low-floor trains, modified stations and adding a passing track to provide 15-minute service to Folsom area stations. It is also among many public agencies that must balance tight budgets amid potential economic recession.
“We’ve made great strides in our efforts to be clean, safe and convenient, but the effort is not over,” Kennedy said. “We can’t take our eye off that ball. We are going to have to find alternative funding to grow ridership and modernize the system.”
Kennedy said one of his goals is to maintain SacRT’s comprehensive free ride program for school-age youths countywide. “That is vitally important. We’ve seen student absenteeism go down and ridership go up dramatically among that age group since we launched the program. That is creating future transit riders.”
Newcomer Caity Maple is among several new board members who expressed appreciation for SacRT and its General Manager Henry Li at the first meeting of the new board this year.
“From the outside looking in, SacRT is so well respected in the community,” she said. “The community members see the work that goes on. I am looking forward to working together.”
Another newcomer, Sean Loloee, commended Li and SacRT in particular for the agency’s efforts to create a safe system, noting that SacRT was one of only a handful of transit agencies this year to win a coveted Gold Standard award for its safety and security preparedness from the federal Transportation Security Administration, the second Gold Standard award over the last three years. He also lauded the agency’s program of free rides for school-age youth.
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Patrick Kennedy, SacRT board chair, is a member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and has served on the SacRT board since 2017. Patrick is a fourth-generation Sacramentan and an attorney with a long history of activism. He championed healthy foods and anti-bullying programs as a local school board member. He previously also served as president of the Oak Park and Hollywood Park neighborhood associations.
Rick Jennings, II, SacRT board vice chair, is a member of the Sacramento City Council and has served on the SacRT board since 2015. He is chief executive officer of the nonprofit Center for Fathers and Families, and previously served as a member of the Sacramento City Unified School District board. Sports fans may remember Rick as a Super Bowl champion and a kick-return specialist for the Oakland Raiders in 1977.
Linda Budge, the Mayor of Rancho Cordova, was first elected to public office in 1978 and has held an elected or appointed office ever since. She was a founding city council member during city incorporation in 2003. Linda has served on the SacRT board since 2012. She is owner of Geometra Planning & Permitting. Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce named her Volunteer of the Year in 1999 and, as a past president of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce, she was key in saving the historic Mills Station building, now known as the MACC Mills Station Arts and Culture Center, at the Mather Field/Mills light rail station.
Bret Daniels, a Citrus Heights City Councilman, joined the SacRT board in 2023. Bret is a former Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff and the Co-Founder and President of Toys for the Troops Kids, providing toys to the kids of our military troops during Christmas. He also represents Citrus Heights on the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District board.
Pat Hume is a member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors who has served on the SacRT board since 2007. Pat is a former member of the Elk Grove City Council and planning commission. He is board president of the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation. He previously worked in the family home-building business, and often serves as a volunteer auctioneer and emcee.
Mike Kozlowski, a member of the Folsom City Council, joined the SacRT board in 2023. Mike, an architect, is an executive with an energy efficiency company. He is a youth track & field coach and participates in master track competitions. He is Folsom’s representative on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Board.
Sean Loloee, a member of the Sacramento City Council since 2020, joined the SacRT board at the beginning of 2023. Sean has over 28 years of experience as an entrepreneur and investor. He is also a proud family man devoted to his wonderful wife and two children.
Caity Maple, a member of the Sacramento City Council, joined the SacRT board at the beginning of 2023. Caity is a small business owner and former Vice President of Government Affairs for a multi-state company. She has also served as a policy expert for California Forward and in the State Legislature. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-founded the nonprofit SAC SOUP to bring food, sanitation supplies, and survival gear to unhoused people. She is a former board member on the Oak Park Neighborhood Association.
Phil Serna is a four-term member of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and has served on the SacRT board since 2011. Growing-up a Sacramento native, Phil was no stranger to civic participation and community leadership as his late father Joe Serna, Jr. served as Sacramento’s first Latino Mayor and as a long-time SacRT board member. Phil chairs the Sacramento First 5 Commission and he also served for nearly a decade on the California Air Resources Board. His interests include transit, housing, homeless issues, and improving the American River Parkway. In what little spare time he has, Phil enjoys playing music with his band ‘UnSupervised’, as well as photography.
Bobbie Singh-Allen, mayor and 30-year resident of the city of Elk Grove, joined the SacRT board at the beginning of 2023. Bobbie is a native of India and served on the Elk Grove Unified School District board for over 8 years. Currently she is an elected statewide commissioner for Visit California and represents the voice of small businesses professionally. She earned her law degree in 2002 and is a graduate of California State, University, Sacramento. She is actively involved in her community and serves on numerous boards and commissions.
Katie Valenzuela is a member of the Sacramento City Council who has served on the SacRT board since 2021. She is a community organizer with over two decades of public policy and advocacy experience. Her goals include expanding transit options, ensuring access to high quality jobs, and protecting and building more affordable housing.
Learn more about SacRT Board meetings at sacrt.com/board.