Community Planner :: Advocate :: Connector
Architecture and Planning | San Francisco Bay Area, US
I am passionate about where I live, and about where you live, too. I enjoy working on the critical intersection of equity, public health, and planning.
As Planning and Policy Manager with California Walks, I work to foster partnerships in transportation safety in San José and across the South Bay while also supporting our statewide pedestrian policy and advocacy work. I am building upon these relationships as multigenerational advocates work together to positively influence transportation and land use changes that will improve pedestrian safety and walkability across the city, Silicon Valley, and the state.
Prior to becoming a planner, I completed a professional program with the DC Neighborhood College at the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, George Washington University. This experience led to a significant career change; I had previously spent 11 years in the book industry, including 6 years with Barnes & Noble and 5 years with Brookings Institution Press.
In May 2011 I graduated from UMD–College Park with a Master of Community Planning emphasizing community and economic development as well as land use policy. As a graduate assistant with MD DHCD's Community Development Administration, I assisted with the administration of a $20 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the US Department of Energy.
I joined the City of Greenbelt as a community planner in September 2011 and focused on a diverse range of projects, including working with the city’s Advisory Planning Board to complete a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Master Plan, implementing Safe Routes to School infrastructure improvements, securing a grant to carry out a citywide bike share feasibility study, performing development review, and working with county planners and the community on an updated area sector plan.
2014 - Present
Planning and Policy Manager / California Walks
In addition to supporting our statewide pedestrian policy and advocacy work, I currently focus on California Walks’ partnerships in San José and Santa Clara County. I am building upon those relationships as multigenerational advocates work together to positively influence policy and land use changes that will improve pedestrian safety and walkability across the city and Silicon Valley.
• Establish key connections and coalitions with staff at state, county, and city public agencies, as well as with national, state, and local advocacy organizations and partners
• Assist in the planning and execution of Community Pedestrian Safety Training (CPST) workshops across the state, in partnership with UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC)
• Represent California Walks, alongside Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC), as City of San José partners in Vision Zero implementation
• Implement "Walk San Jose", a community-based walk audit and asset mapping project that promotes walkability in San José and is supported with funding from the Knight Foundation and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department
• Organized Jane's Walk leaders in San José for the May 2015 International Jane's Walk Festival; increased San José's participation from one walk in 2014 to nine walks, including a group bike ride, with over 80 participants in 2015
• Worked with both the San José Department of Transportation and the Winchester Orchard Neighborhood Association on community outreach and planning to upgrade a vital pedestrian crossing
• Partnered with the District 3 City Council staff and the Camina Contigo parent group at Washington Elementary School on Walk n’ Roll and Walk to School Day programming
• Planned and held a “Safe Streets Daylight Vigil” at City Hall that brought together city staff, local advocates, and families to highlight the crucial need for traffic safety improvements
Committee Member / APA HIA and Planning Advisory Committee
• As part of a nationwide committee, advised the American Planning Association's (APA) Planning and Community Health Center as they developed a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Toolkit for Planners
Appointed Member / Ward 5 Industrial Land Transformation Task Force
• Appointed by DC Mayor Vincent Gray to serve on a 15-member task force given the charge to develop a strategic, implementable plan for the modernization and adaptive (re-)use of industrially zoned land in the District's Ward 5
• DC Office of Planning's Director, Harriet Tregoning, chaired the task force, which submitted a draft "Ward 5 Works" report to the Mayor and DC Council by deadline; the final report was released on August 27, 2014
Community Planner / City of Greenbelt, Maryland
• Served as staff liaison to the city’s Advisory Planning Board (APB); worked with the APB to complete the Greenbelt Pedestrian and Bicyclist Master Plan, the second such plan adopted by a Prince George’s County municipality (http://md-greenbelt.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1733 - 16 MB PDF)
• Implemented Safe Routes to School infrastructure improvements at Springhill Lake Elementary School
• Secured a grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation to complete a citywide bike share feasibility study in partnership with The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Prince George’s County Planning Department
• Acted as project manager on a five-year consent agreement to complete critical repairs to the Greenbelt Lake Dam
• Performed development review for projects within the city limits as well as for projects adjacent to the city
• Represented the city in a number of regional, state, and national forums, including at Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments meetings and various conferences
• Explored the role of public health in planning and how that could be integrated into the city’s planning initiatives
After moving to San Jose, California, I continued to work remotely on a handful of projects for the city on a contract basis.
Editor & Contributor / Greater Greater Washington
• Editorial board member for and contributor to the website (GGW) which advocates for smart growth policy and its implementation in the Washington, DC region
• Copy-edited and fact-checked contributors’ posts per the site’s style guide
• Co-managed GGW’s Twitter account (15,000+ followers at the time) as well as the site’s general email account
At-Large Director, Board / National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAC-APA)
NCAC-APA represents town, city, and county planners, representatives of related professions, elected officials and citizen planners in Washington, DC and Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, Maryland. The chapter is dedicated to the promotion of sound planning and land use practices in the Washington, DC area.
• Chaired and participated in topical committees
• Coordinated and participated in community-wide volunteer and Certification Maintenance (CM) credit events
• Participated in monthly board meetings and voted on board measures
Communications and Outreach Associate / Crossway Community, Inc.
In less than three months:
• Managed a complete overhaul of the organization's website
• Organized a reinvigorated communications campaign
• Was a member of the core team working on the successful effort to become Montgomery County, Maryland's first public charter school
Graduate Assistant / Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
As an interning graduate assistant with the MD DCHD Community Development Administration (CDA):
• Aided in the support and administration of a $20 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) awarded to DHCD by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
• Assisted in the coordination of curriculum training through the Construction and Energy Technologies Education Consortium (CETEC), a network of local governments, nonprofits, and community colleges across the state, for Maryland’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
• Participated in a two-day International Green Construction Code (IGCC) fundamentals seminar in January 2011
As one of the 25 recipients from across the U.S. for this competitive grant, Maryland funds energy efficient projects, including the financing of green retrofits for single- and multi-family dwellings and small businesses, in 15 target communities across the state.
Graduate Assistant / Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
The Envision Prince George’s initiative creates a multi-faceted forum for citizen engagement in developing and implementing a vision for the future of Prince George’s County, Maryland.
As a summer graduate assistant:
• Focused on expanding social media initiatives including blogging, Twitter, and Facebook outreach to the community
• Assisted with event preparation, telephone and mail correspondence, and inter-department communication
• Supported capacity building as Envision transitioned from a Planning Commission initiative to an independent, nonprofit organization
Graduate Assistant / University of Maryland, College Park
• Research Assistant for Dr. William Hanna, Fall 2009–Spring 2010
• Teaching Assistant for URSP/LASC 100, Fall 2009
Publicity & Exhibits Coordinator / Brookings Institution Press
Publicity & Exhibits Coordinator (September 2006—August 2009)
Sales & Marketing Coordinator (November 2004—September 2006)
As Publicity & Exhibits Coordinator:
• Worked with the Publicity Manager to develop press releases and new book announcement flyers, organized media lists, coordinated bound book mailings, and responded to media requests
• Responsible for generation and management of content on the Brookings Press Blog and Twitter feed
• Planned and executed attended and unattended book exhibits—selected conferences, reserved booths and furnishings, coordinated program advertising, created title lists, drafted order forms, provided customer service, and submitted final book orders to fulfillment
• Acted as liaison with domestic and international sales reps on issues of publicity, promotion, and exhibits
• Worked with other members of the marketing department and the Brookings Press to draft copy for covers, catalogs, marketing pieces, and websites
• Recruited and supervised interns
Prior to being the Publicity & Exhibits Coordinator, I was the Press' Sales & Marketing Coordinator from November 2004 through September 2006.
Department Manager / Barnes & Noble, Booksellers
Department Manager, Washington, DC (June 2003—November 2004)
Café Manager, Macon, Georgia (October 2001—May 2003)
Lead Bookseller, Macon, Georgia (September 2000—October 2001)
Front-end Supervisor, Beavercreek, Ohio (November 1998—August 2000)
• Opened, closed, and supervised general operations in a $9 million store with a staff of 60 employees
• Contributed to achievement of financial goals established for the store
• Analyzed sales trends, profit and loss statements, and inventory
• Assisted in interviewing, training, developing, and evaluating booksellers
• Delivered, and ensured staff consistently delivered, our customer service commitment
• Maintained positive working relationships within my department and the store
• Managed the merchandising and operation of my department
• Reinforced performance standards established to control potential loss to the company