BART’s board of directors has a lot on its mind these days — tanking ridership, soaring costs, anti-pandemic measures and on Thursday, the unjust vilification of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
What has the losing side’s general in the Civil War have to do with mass transit?
According to Nico Savidge, the San Jose Mercury reporter who was attending Thursday’s meeting, BART’s board was discussing “a budget amendment from several progressive directors to explore non-police responses to problems of homelessness and addiction.”
The directors — Bevan Dufty, Rebecca Saltzman, Janice Li and Lateefah Simon — proposed shifting $2 million in budget funds from police to “unarmed ambassadors.”
BART director John McPartland then pivoted from police funding to “monuments we are ripping down all over the place.”
Savidge quoted him as saying:
“I will have to tell you that from a political perspective, we are really shooting ourselves in the foot by virtue of the fact that using — and I’m going to extend this a little bit farther: Robert E. Lee was an exemplary gentleman.