|John Yi is the Executive Director of Los Angeles Walks. Prior to joining LA Walks in 2019, John was the Advocacy Director for the American Lung Association in California, where he worked on strong tobacco control and air quality policies. At the Lung Association, John also served as a lead organizer by training tobacco control coalitions throughout the state. He helped bring smoke-free ordinances to over a dozen different cities, fighting back against secondhand smoke and Big Tobacco's efforts to target low-income and communities of color. John also served as the interim National Director for Parent Revolution, an education and social justice non-profit. In this role he led parent organizing campaigns in Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Ohio. He received his master's degree at Georgetown University and his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan. He is a brother of Pi Alpha Phi, speaks Korean and Russian, and loves to cook.|
|Daisy Villafuerte, MPL, joined Los Angeles Walks as the Advocacy and Engagement Manager in January 2018. Daisy grew up in Pico Rivera, a Latino suburb in Southeast Los Angeles County. Her previous work experiences in a clinical setting and in active transportation planning reinforced her belief in the importance of a connected, sustainable and accessible transportation system for all. Her interests include intersections of urban planning and public health (particularly mental health) and equitable community engagement in the planning process. She graduated from USC Sol Price School of Public Policy with a master's in Planning with a concentration in Sustainable Land Use in May 2017.|
|Carmina R. Gomez joined Los Angeles Walks as the Programs Manager in December 2018. She will develop programming to mobilize the public around safer streets initiatives and a healthier quality of life for Angelenos. In her professional and leadership experience, Carmina engaged communities to evaluate and address issues such as educational equity, health access, and sustainability. She served in the classroom as a High School Math Teacher for four years in New Mexico through Teach For America. Most recently, she implemented a cancer prevention program using a Promotora Model through USC’s Civic Engagement Office at the Health Science Campus. As a native of El Sereno, she continues to give back to her beloved community as the Board President of the Wilson Mules Alumni Association and an Academic Coach for the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative at the Health Science Campus. Carmina earned a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California and a Teacher Certification from the New Mexico Public Education Department.|
|David Flores joined Los Angeles Walks as a graduate fellow from California State University, Los Angeles through the Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellowship program. David is looking to apply his role as a kinesiologist into educating communities on the importance of physical activity and its related benefits. His current line of work in the health related field has given him the opportunity to create tailored exercise programs for various demographics ranging from adolescent kids to physically constraint adults. David has enjoyed training various clients; some of whom he has known for years and continues to share their ongoing life events, both good and bad. It was from these events and associated experiences that he decided to focus on the health related benefits of physical activity and its use as a preventative medicine for onset diseases. His goal is to engage in a career based on his ability to present sound physical activity prescriptions; and instead of presenting to individuals (e.g. personal training), he chooses to present to communities—an area of higher value for him.|
|Jorge A. Cáñez joined Los Angeles Walks as a graduate fellow from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He supports our Vision Zero policy evaluation for the City of Los Angeles. Jorge is born and raised in Mexico City and is a passionate road safety advocate. He worked at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) for three years, where he created walking, biking, parking, and transit policies in Mexican cities. Then, Jorge worked at the Government of Mexico City for three years, where he helped implement the Vision Zero Road Safety policy and the Night Bus system integration. In 2019, Jorge moved to Los Angeles to get his master's in Urban Planning at UCLA. His goal is to generate public value on the streets and parks of cities, where we can strengthen communities and safely commute by walking, cycling, and taking a high-quality public transit system that is accessible for all. Besides his passion for mobility and road safety policies, Jorge loves punk rock, pupusas, and Mexican lucha libre.|
|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 works freelance. Prior to this, he worked for Emerging Markets, Inc., and Emerging Markets Development Corporation, where he handled graphic design and GIS, assisted in research, and served as a project manager. Before moving to LA in 2012, 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 while 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.|
|Azusena Favela is the Director of Programs & Operations at LURN. In this capacity, she oversees LURN’s initiatives, especially its community engagement efforts and micro-finance programs. Raised in South Central LA, her career has been dedicated to serving her community in the nonprofit, private, and philanthropic sectors. She specializes in development, community outreach initiatives, training residents on civic engagement, and forging public/private partnerships. She has degrees in Chicana/o Studies, History, and Community Economic Development. She currently serves as the President of the South Central Neighborhood Council. Azusena believes our sidewalks are the last truly democratic spaces in the city, as such all Angelenos deserve to occupy or navigate the streets free of harassment and safely without fear of injury.|
Artineh Havan is a Project Control Manager at Metro and is currently assigned to the Westside Purple Line Extension Section 3 subway expansion project. While she completed high school and college in Los Angeles, she recently returned from a 16-year hiatus in New York City and is proud to say that she has largely continued her car-free lifestyle. Artineh is excited to be an advocate for pedestrians through L.A. Walks. She holds graduate degrees in public administration from USC and urban planning from NYU.
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 who 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
Luke Klipp is a Metro Board Deputy to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, where he ensures that the Mayor’s objectives for Metro-related items are met. He works closely with Metro staff around the Metro A Line, active transportation projects, and budget matters. Outside of paying work, Luke volunteers as the Education Director for Abundant Housing LA, as a founding member of Neighborhoods United for Safe Streets, and as a founding producer of A Little New Music.Luke has worked over a decade in local, state, and federal politics on a range of topics, from transportation and land use, to health care, to student loans. He’s the past President of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, a former candidate for Democratic County Central Committee, and former Chair of the New Leaders Council San Francisco chapter. Luke is grateful to be a graduate of two awesome public schools: the University of Michigan, where he got his B.A. in Music, and the University of California-Berkeley, where he got his Masters in Public Policy.In the time he’s not working or volunteering, Luke loves hanging out with his husband and their two pups at their Los Feliz home. He’s a big fan of the Los Angeles Football Club, where you can spot him and his boo taking Metro to games at Banc of California Stadium.
Charu Kukreja is an urban planner, writer, and designer with broad experience on projects on the east coast and Southern California. Her work supports her vision to enhance transportation access and equity, and promote the development of vibrant, safe and walkable communities. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Charu was a core member of the New York City Department of Transportation’s WalkNYC project team to develop a citywide pedestrian wayfinding system. A variety of print, digital and environmental applications of this world-class map and signage system now serve pedestrians, bike share cyclists, tourists, and transit riders across New York City.
Charu’s love of walking was inspired at an early age by her grandfather, who showed her how a daily stroll allows us to connect with our surroundings and with each other. Now 98 years old - and still walking every day - his life is a testament to the positive impacts of walking on long-term physical and mental health. With this inspiration, Charu is driven forward on her mission to improve walkability in urban communities.
|John Mimms is Project Manager with Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a non-profit affordable housing developer. At Community Corp., John has focused on sustainability initiatives and how the organization can reduce its use of electricity, water, and gas. His background is in City Planning and Architecture and he is interested in incorporating quality design and sustainable principles into real estate and infrastructure development. John is a native Angeleno, but got his BA in Urban Studies at Columbia University in New York where he learned that cities are not inherently for cars and urban walking is possible. He graduated from USC with a Master’s degree in Planning, and lives in South LA, within walking distance to the Expo Line.|
|Deborah Murphy, Founder of Los Angeles Walks, 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 DistrictAssociation, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Trust for Public Land and Warner Center Association. 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. Follow Deborah at @lawalksdmurphy|
Jim Pocrass is a leading Los Angeles trial lawyer who has spent more than 30 years representing people who suffered serious personal injuries and families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death because of the negligence of another. Almost 10 years ago, Jim decided he wanted to get involved in the transportation space to work with others to create systematic change that would make streets safe for everyone. Since that time, Jim has been an active advocate for safe streets for all. He spent 7 years on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, two of them as vice president. He currently is working with LACBC to create an advisory council of former board members. Jim also is on the board of the East Side Riders Bike Club and on the advisory board of Walk n’ Rollers. Through his firm Pocrass De Los Reyes LLP, Jim sponsors numerous transit-related events, educational programs, and the printing of collateral materials. In his spare time, Jim is a recreational cyclist, flies radio-controlled airplanes, golfs, and is a licensed commercial airplane pilot, but he loves nothing more than hanging out with his two grandchildren.
Kaitlin Scott is a planner in Los Angeles. She currently works with Alta Planning + Design, where she focuses on pedestrian planning, programming, and inclusive outreach tactics in communities across southern California. Through her work, Kaitlin has addressed issues of safety, accessibility, and equity surrounding streets and public space. She recently received her a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA. Despite the uncomfortable and unsafe walking conditions of her southern California hometown's auto-centric streets, she grew up preferring biking or walking. This preference eventually led her to her career as an active transportation planner and her life as a pedestrian advocate. Kaitlin believes streets as our largest public space, so they should be safe, accessible, equitable, and engaging for users of all ages and abilities.
Jacqueline Torres is a multi-lingual Transportation Planner with 10 years of experience and is currently working for Arup where she is focusing on transportation and transit planning. Jacqueline has extensive international expertise in active transportation and multi-modal transit planning, most notably for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Among her international and domestic projects, she has evaluated and mapped first/last mile city-wide pedestrian access plans, including accessing existing and future transportation infrastructure as well as analyzing transit networks and station capacity. As a first-generation Mexican-American Angeleno who primarily walked to or from school, Jacqueline values the important role that sidewalks and transit play in providing greater access for all angelenos.Jacqueline Torres holds a BS in Political Science/Spanish Studies from Santa Clara University. In addition, she has a MA in Urban Planning focused on Transportation Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Former Advisory Board members:
Jeri Dye Lynch