2018 Top 40 Under 40: Claudia Burgos

Sept. 14, 2018
Claudia Burgos, Director of Legislative Affairs and Community Relations, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit)
  • One word to describe yourself: Determined
  • Alma mater: University of California, Berkeley -- "Go Bears!"
  • Favorite TV show: "House of Cards"
  • Favorite movie: "The Notebook"
  • Favorite hobby(ies): "Hiking with my husband and three kids."
  • Fun fact about yourself: She wrote the ordinance that established a municipal identification/debit card for unbanked and undocumented residents of the city of Oakland, which is now used as a model nationwide. 
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent (and why): AC Transit’s Transbay lines across the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge offer some pretty spectacular views of the bay; it’s the only way I’ll commute into the city from Oakland!

After 10 years of working for local elected officials, Claudia Burgos made the move to the public transit industry because of the intricate and critical role it plays in the daily lives of riders. She has more than 17 years of extensive experience in public engagement, advocacy, public policy development and analysis in the public and non-profit sectors and has successfully worked with diverse community groups on the planning, development and completion of a variety of capital projects.

She began her tenure with AC Transit in 2014 as external affairs representative in the legislative affairs and community relations department. During her time in this role she was instrumental in the execution of several key district initiatives, including the 2016 public education and information campaign for the district’s parcel tax measure, Measure C1, which successfully passed with more than 81 percent voter approval and which will generate more than $600 million dollars for the district over a 20-year period.

In 2014, she managed the district’s successful bid to host the 2016 California Transit Association Fall Conference and Expo, which brought public transit leaders from across California to the AC Transit service area, giving thedDistrict statewide exposure and recognition from transit agencies all over the State of California. Also in 2014, she was instrumental in the development and execution of the district’s informational and educational campaign which contributed to the successful passage of Alameda County’s Measure BB, an extension and augmentation of an existing sales tax for transportation in the county.

Currently as the director of legislative affairs and community relations, Burgos is responsible for the district’s legislative agenda and for ensuring the successful establishment and ongoing development of relationships and partnerships with stakeholders in the district’s 364-square mile service area. 

With 13 cities and unincorporated areas across two counties, a service area with a population of 1.5 million, and annual ridership of more than 52 million annually, she serves as an integral member of the AC Transit team ensuring the district has community and political support to advance all programs, projects and initiatives.

The district’s education and information efforts contributed to the passage of Measure BB which generates approximately $30 million per year in funding to the District. Burgos' role and direct involvement in these efforts to engage and educate the community about the importance of public transit has contributed to the successful passage of funding initiatives such as those mentioned above which are critical to the financial stability and growth of the district. After two years of serving as an external affairs representative, her work ethic and commitment to service led her to serve as the community outreach manager for the districts’ largest capital project, the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Project, a $213 million dollar capital project.

Serving as the district's liaison to the cities of Oakland and San Leandro staff and elected officials for the BRT project, Burgos was responsible for the management of the outreach consultant contract and direct management of five employees. She was responsible for reporting to the AC Transit Board of Directors and the Federal Transit Administration regarding the progress of all outreach activities related to the project and for ensuring that accurate and timely project information is shared with community stakeholders, businesses, and residents and that their issues and concerns are addressed.

Her efforts resulted in 18 months of successful and uninterrupted construction activity along one of the East Bay’s most dense and diverse corridors, helping the district reach 30 percentconstruction completion. Her commitment to public service and to the riders we serve, is also evidenced by her consistent presence representing the district at weekend and evening events throughout the year.

Her commitment led to her successful participation and completion of the 2015 Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Leadership Oakland Program and inn 2017, she completed the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), Women’s Leadership Training Program, aimed at preparing the next generation of women leaders in the transportation industry.

"I enjoy engaging with the community and with elected officials and sharing specifics with them about the essential public service that AC Transit provides and the role that public transit plays in ensuring that communities thrive."

"The AC Transit service area spans across 13 cities, two counties and several unincorporated areas and that means there is always something going on somewhere. Keeping up with elected officials, community stakeholders and projects in our service area could be challenging but also keeps things exciting."

"Always think through the political implications of your decisions. Don’t let politics drive your decisions but don’t ignore the politics of the situation — things could get complicated if you do!"

"In addition to enjoying that I get to play a role in providing over 180,000 average daily rides to the AC Transit community, public transit is a great industry for growth and learning. Public transit is part of the fabric of all communities across the Country so it is a great industry for long-term career growth and development."