Challengers Lining Up to Oppose AC Transit Board Member Joel Young

AC Transit At-Large board member Joel
Young and challengers Tyron Jordan
and Igor Tregub.

AC TRANSIT | Former Berkeley Rent Stabilization Commissioner Igor Tregub announced Tuesday morning he will challenge embattled AC Transit board member Joel Young for his at-large seat in the fall.

“I am running to put the trust back in AC Transit,” Tregub wrote in an email to supporters. “AC Transit needs a representative who understands the needs of the public–whether they have the luxury to choose, in the name of greenhouse gas reduction to leave their car at home, or whether the bus is their only way around and across our cities.”

Tyron Jordan, a legal analyst at the State Department of Justice, is also a candidate for the at-large seat this November. Like Tregub, he has hinted at the incumbent’s long list of transgressions over the past three years. “It is paramount to restore the public’s trust in those who sit on the AC Transit Board of Directors, particularly the At-Large seat,” Jordan says on his website.

Needless to say, Young’s is one of the most notorious public officials in the entire East Bay. In 2011, Young was accused by his then-girlfriend of striking her in the face after a romantic tryst with another woman. A judge later dismissed competing restraining orders before suggesting Young, in fact, may have abused her.

Subsequently, during Young’s run for Oakland’s 18th Assembly District seat in 2012, he was stripped of an important labor endorsement after he was found to be distributing union questionnaires of his Democratic opponents to undermine their candidacy among moderate and conservative voters. Young also created an uproar by often falsifying personal endorsements for his Assembly campaign, incidentally, including Tregub, who threatened legal action that year.

Furthermore, last year, the AC Transit Board of Directors voted to censure Young for using his position on the board for personal benefit when he used a closed session legal strategy involving labor negotiations in another case he led for the law firm he was employed.

However, running for the at-large seat involves an expensive and unwieldy countywide campaign. In addition, transportation board elections are typically down ballot races that favor the incumbent and garner very little press coverage. Despite Young’s clear vulnerabilities, beating him will be no simple task.