I am an urban planner, policy analyst, and communicator with a passion for building sustainable and equitable cities that work for the people that live there.
I have a hard time being any one thing (clearly). I embrace this instinct because it helps me see the broader scope of strategies that can be used to meet a community’s goals. I seek holistic solutions to urban and environmental issues because, as John Muir once said, when we remove any one thing we find it hitched to the rest of the universe.
When I was 20 years old, I took a year off from school and headed west from Chicago to work for the National Park Service in Arizona’s Verde Valley. I learned the important relationship between people and the land. I saw how the National Park Service worked beyond their park boundaries to engage with their neighboring communities. The original goal was to preserve natural and cultural resources but staff quickly discovered – and then fostered – the park’s impact on local community, economic, and workforce development. I returned to school with renewed purpose; I was not sure of the professional path but I knew I wanted to help build cleaner, healthier, and stronger communities through policy and programming, just as I saw in Arizona. Since then, I’ve put this passion to work on a variety of projects, including:
- Serving on a committee of clean water policy experts to determine the Mississippi River’s current issues and create a set of policy recommendations to solve those issues.
- Creating a community-driven policy and design proposal for a sustainable rails-to-trails project in a majority-minority southwest Chicago neighborhood experiencing rapid change and legacy air quality issues.
- Drafting language and renderings for the unified development ordinance of a North Carolina community seeking to adapt to shifting coastal conditions.
- Facilitating a bilingual virtual engagement process to create a unified vision and master plan for the West Hyattsville-Queens Chapel area in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
More than a decade later, my passion for this work remains just as strong, fueled by the innovative work of my colleagues and community. I am always learning and cannot wait to see what the future holds. If you have a project that you’re excited about, drop me a line. I would love to collaborate.