Deborah Murphy (she’s the one on the right!) is a consultant to the cities of West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Los Angeles and the CRA/LA; and to community-based organizations including the Playhouse District Association, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Trust for Public Land and Warner Center Association. She is widely recognized for her leadership and vision in community consensus building, comprehensive city and multi-modal transportation planning, streetscape design and pedestrian safety issues. As a grant writer and designer/planner, Deborah has managed projects for public agencies that have obtained $75 million in active transportation and open space grants to create more sustainable cities.
In addition to founding Los Angeles Walks, Deborah is the Chair of the City of Los Angeles Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a member of the Green LA Coalition’s Living Streets campaign, and has conducted Walkabouts in three communities—Hollywood, Glassell Park/Cypress Park and Downtown Pasadena. The Walkabouts engage community members in evaluating the walkability of the neighborhoods that leads to an pedestrian safety action plan for improved streetscape design, land use planning, traffic law enforcement, pedestrian and driver education, and other programs that encourage walking and place making to build stronger communities. Follow Deborah at @lawalksdmurphy
Alexis Lantz, MA, is a policy analyst with the PLACE Program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Previously, she was the Planning & Policy Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). During her tenure at LACBC she conducted the first ever citywide bicycle and pedestrian count for the City of Los Angeles and had a hand in shaping policies in the city and county of Los Angeles to increase infrastructure for bicycling as well as the amount and diversity of people bicycling for everyday transportation. She also worked to expand countywide advocacy capacity for bikeways and complete streets through LACBC’s Regional Partnership program and developing the recently launched Neighborhood Bicycle Ambassador program. Alexis holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. While at UCLA, she initiated a student-led course on bicycle and pedestrian planning that continues today and authored the report “Cycling in Los Angeles” as a Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative fellow. Alexis serves as the chairwoman of the CalBike Board and is a Los Angeles Walks a steering committee member.
Jessica Meaney is the Managing Director for Investing in Place, working to align transportation funding with policy for social equity, public health and environmental benefits in Los Angeles County. With a Masters in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Prescott College in Arizona, Jessica enjoys being part of efforts to strengthen communities through improved transportation investments and policies. Jessica previously worked at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the California Community Foundation. Jessica has lived car free in the City of Los Angeles for over 15 years.
Colleen Corcoran is a graphic designer and design educator in Los Angeles. She has collaborated on design projects with a variety of community organizations and public agencies in the Los Angeles area, including Metro, The City of Santa Monica, Los Angeles Walks, The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA Alliance for a New Economy, Climate Resolve, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, and many others. Her work focuses on the use of design as a tool for education and positive change within the urban environment. She is also a founding board member of CicLAvia, an organization that opens LA’s streets as a public space for cyclists and pedestrians on Sunday mornings. She graduated from the CalArts Graphic Design MFA program in 2008.
Alissa Walker writes about design, architecture, cities, transportation and walking for publications like Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Wired, Details, LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, and is an associate produce for the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. In 2010 she was named a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow for her writing on design and urbanism, and in 2011 she was awarded an ArtPlace grant for the initiative GOOD Ideas for Cities, where creatives propose solutions to urban problems proposed by city leaders, and present their ideas at lively public forums. Alissa lives in a royal blue house in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles where she throws ice cream socials, tends to a drought-tolerant garden, writes infrequently on her blog, and relishes life in L.A. without a car. Follow Alissa at @gelatobaby
My La is a planner with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Her professional experience focuses around environmental consulting, GIS, and transportation planning. She has been working on updating the City’s Mobility Plan since October 2011. She obtained her BA from UCLA in Geography/Environmental Studies and her Masters from Cal Poly Pomona in Urban & Regional Planning with a research focus on pedestrian safety and urban form. As a native Angeleno, My grew up in East Los Angeles and understands the value of having a high quality environment. My appreciates the days where she can explore the city on foot, which is pretty much everyday.
Mark Vallianatos is Policy Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute and an Adjunct Professor in Urban & Environmental Policy at Occidental College. He works on issues of food, transportation, urban design, and campus greening and is a co-author of the Next Los Angeles: the Struggle for a Livable City. Mark is a graduate of the University of Virginia and University of Virginia School of Law. He is optimistic about the potential of Los Angeles to become a more livable, just place and enjoys exploring the region by food, bike, bus, train, and car. Follow Mark at @markvalli
Daveed Kapoor contributes a diverse range of experience as an architect, united by his consistent passion for space that improves the quality of people’s lives. He began his professional career in 2000 at Johnston Marklee where he led the design of artist’s studios, restaurants, offices and custom homes, as well as participated in multiple award winning projects. In 2005 Daveed founded utopiad.org, a land development and architecture collective focused on redressing social justice issues in Los Angeles. Working with developers and operators Utopiad has designed, entitled, permitted and constructed multiple housing, hospitality, live/work, and manufacturing places in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Francisco. In 2011 Daveed began transforming warehouse office spaces with RAC Design Build, he was architect of their 3048 Coolidge riverfront headquarters and assisted in pre-acquisition, appraisal and financing of the project. Daveed commutes by bicycle and is a transit advocate that has implemented bus stops, bike lanes and bus only lanes. With the DLANC Complete Streets Working Group he helped design and was permit architect of the Spring Street Parklets. Follow Daveed at @daveedkapoor
Mehmet Berker is a cartographer, GIS analyst, and graphic designer who uses traditional GIS software as well as graphic design software to create maps which seek to be informative as well as beautiful. He currently does this for Emerging Markets, Inc., and Emerging Markets Development Corporation, where he also assists in research, and serves as project manager. Prior to this, Mehmet lived in Minneapolis, where he worked for the Ramsey County (MN) Parks and Rec Department, helping build a parks-finder webmap, Go Ramsey Communities. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Mehmet has also worked for Growth & Justice, a social and economic justice research and advocacy nonprofit in Minnesota, and for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. While his passion for pedestrian advocacy has grown immensely his past three years of living in LA without a car, he has always believed that a society is only as good as its most vulnerable members, and that everyone deserves happiness, safety, and respect.
Tilza Castillo is a children’s social worker at the Department of Children and Family Services.
Our Advisory Board
Karen Mack is founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, an organization dedicated to promoting Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods through locally based, interactive, artistic and cultural programming. LA Commons has implemented community art projects, tours and classes in communities throughout LA and in partnership with organizations such as the Central American Resource Center, the South Asian Network, Thai Community Development Center and UCLA. Prior to work with LA Commons, she served as a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she researched the role of culture in community building. Her appointment at Harvard followed work as the Vice President, Program Development and Planning at Community Partners, an organization that provides developmental support to start-up nonprofits throughout Los Angeles County. While on staff at Community Partners, she developed a wide-range of initiatives including the incubator services program and organizational partnerships with institutions such as the California Wellness Foundation and the California Endowment. She holds an MPA from Harvard University and an MBA from the John Anderson School of Management at UCLA. She is currently president of the board of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative and an appointed member of the City’s Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.