GVRD Director Karen Sims dies

by John Glidden | Dec. 11, 2020

VALLEJO – Activist, and Greater Vallejo Recreation District Director Karen Sims suddenly died Friday, Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan confirmed to JohnGlidden.com.

It wasn’t immediately known how Sims died.

The mayor praised Sims, who served as Sampayan’s campaign manager when he was elected mayor in 2016.

“She was my friend,” Sampayan said by phone. “She was an activist that cared about this community. A lot of people call themselves activists, but Karen was one, making sure the community got what it needed. She made this city better.”

Last year, the council appointed Sims to the five-person GVRD Board of Directors.

“I’m very excited,” Sims told the Vallejo Times-Herald on Dec. 11, 2019 about her appointment. “Part of my focus will be on making sure we continue to serve kids.”

In the same article, Sims said she aimed to keep GVRD’s afterschool program going, while also making sure the John F Cunningham Aquatic Complex in East Vallejo was repaired for future use by the community.

Prior to her appointment to the GVRD board, Sims was an unsuccessful candidate for the Solano Community College Governing Board in 2018. Both Sims and Karimah Karah vied to represent Area 1 seat on the college board, which includes all of Vallejo west of Interstate 80, and Mare Island.

According to her profile on the GVRD website, Sims retired after 38 years with the Social Security Administration.

“Throughout her career/working years she continued to be involved with setting policies, working with institutions and building community. She taught technical classes and helped develop skill training,” her bio states. “With a team of managers, she became a certified mediator as well as a certified instructor in communication, listening skills, labor-management collaboration and even developed curriculum in ethics and workplace skills.”

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

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