Staff

 

John_headshot_square.jpg 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. 
 

Community Promotora Educator Contractors

Dora Gabriela Segovia, le gusta que la llamen “Gaby”. Es Mexicana, del hermoso estado de Durango, MX. Es casada y madre de 4 hermosos hijos (Johana, Cesar, Quito,Gaby). Vive en Wilmington, CA. Gaby es muy sociable, le encanta cocinar, cantar y bailar. Le apasiona ayudar, no soporta las injusticias, siempre busca educarse, e informarse de las fuentes correctas. Cuando la palabra ‘no puedo’, se cruza en su camino, encuentra una razón para seguir. Buscando lo mejor para sus hijos, se involucró en sus escuelas, en grupos de su comunidad que abogan por el bienestar de las familias. Se ha capacitado y graduado de Promotora y Facilitadora. Haci educa, informa y da poder a su comunidad. Es integrante del grupo de Best Start Wilmington, es parte de un grupo de vecinos en acción, “Wilmington sin Fronteras,” y trabaja con LA Walks, como Promotora Educadora, en el grupo de “Wilmington Calles Seguras, Familias Sanas.” Ellos la inspiraron a unirse a la lucha de calles seguras y saludables y le han dado las herramientas para seguir con esa gran visión. ¡Mira su video de bienvenida en Youtube!

 

Nancy E. Cid Gomez, es esposa, madre de tres hijos y abuela de su primer nieta Aileen. Nació en la ciudad de México y llegó a los Estados Unidos en 1993. Sus primeros trabajos fueron en restaurantes siempre teniendo cierto liderazgo en lo que se desempeñaba, sobretodo cuando consideraba que había injusticias laborales, hecho que la llevó a perder un empleo, pero su lucha por la comunidad sigue en pie. Graduada de Esperanza Community housing en 2019, facilitadora de Abriendo Puertas, promotora de padres educando padres y actualmente educadora de promotoras para LA Walks (Wilmington calles seguras familias sanas) y Líder comunitaria para Best Start Wilmington. Siempre dispuesta a compartir información a los demás ,apoyar cuando es necesario y sobretodo a seguir superándose para poder tener mejor abogacía para sus comunidades por que no tiene frontera para colaborar en cualquier comunidad. ¡Mira su video de bienvenida en Youtube!
 

Safe Street Promotores

Holding their Safe Street Promotor Certification (from Left to Right): Irais Colin, Monica Sanchez, Veronica Salazar, Nancy Cid, Roberto Monroy, Gaby Segovia, Cynthia Amezquita, Irma Fernandez, Maria Andrade, Dulce Altamirano
 

Graduate Fellows and Interns

Kenny Uong (pronouns: he/him/his) is an incoming 4th year Urban Studies and Planning undergraduate student at California State University, Northridge. He is an avid transit rider and transit advocate from Glendale, CA who grew up in a car-free household and relied on public transit as a primary way to get around the region. He shares his transit journeys and observations on social media platforms, with hopes of raising awareness about the current conditions of the transit network, pedestrian infrastructure, and public space. Pertaining to transportation, Kenny sees safe streets and adequate sidewalk conditions as a crucial part of the first-mile/last-mile connections. He also emphasizes that the voices of community members should always be centered and amplified throughout the planning process.

 

Ali Pond is the Development and Fundraising Intern at Los Angeles Walks. Currently, she is in the third year of her undergraduate career at UCLA, studying Political Science and Spanish Community and Culture. A NorCal native, Ali has learned a lot about the walkability and livability issues that plague LA since moving here. Her interests in urban planning and public health originated at UCLA during her time in a year-long seminar course that addressed the intersectionality of these issues, as well as other aspects of urban life such as food deserts and lack of green spaces. She is so excited to have discovered LA Walks, as it perfectly combines these interests and gives her the opportunity to tackle them head on. Beyond LA Walks, Ali has six years of experience in food service, and currently works as a Peer Learning Facilitator at the UCLA Undergraduate Writing Center. This summer, she plans to study abroad and improve her Spanish skills. After college, she will pursue a career in law. In her free time, Ali loves to listen to music, play Rock Band (drums are her instrument of choice), and skateboard around Westwood.

 

Board of Advisors

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.

 

Carlos Hernandez is a planner, designer, and builder born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He received degrees in urban planning at CSUN and UCLA, and currently works as a project planner in Toole Design’s Los Angeles office. He draws from his experience in street design and project delivery to improve safety and comfort for people walking and bicycling. Most recently, Carlos worked with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), where he developed pedestrian safety projects for the city’s Vision Zero initiative. Before LADOT, Carlos worked with the City of Oakland’s Department of Transportation planning and implementing bicycle facility projects. He specializes in multimodal planning and design, public engagement with Spanish-speaking communities, and is always looking to connect with folks in the San Fernando Valley that want to improve conditions for people walking, biking, and taking transit. Outside of work, Carlos enjoys boxing, visiting the eastern sierras, and playing boleros.

 

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

 

David Roachford is a planner and advocate for improving active transportation and public transit in Los Angeles. Originally from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, David moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to study urban planning at USC. Since earning his degree, David has been working full time at Gibson Transportation Consulting, Inc. where he conducts transportation and parking studies for a variety of projects throughout Southern California. He previously completed internships at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Public Matters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving civic engagement particularly in communities of color. He also conducted research on the effects of gentrification in Los Angeles Metro rail transit adjacent neighborhoods and presented his findings at the Urban Affairs Association conference in 2017. He hopes that one day Los Angeles can be a city where car ownership is an option, not an everyday necessity. David also aspires to create streets that are safe and enjoyable for people of all ages, races, genders, and abilities. In his free time, David loves watching baseball and football (Go Eagles), eating his way through Los Angeles, biking, baking, and binge watching videos on YouTube.

 

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.

 

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_Square.jpg

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.

 

Lili Trujillo Puckett is the founder and Executive Director STREET RACING KILLS. By trade she is a certified Interpreter and marketer. Lili founded Street Racing Kills (SRK) on 2014, in California after her 16-year-old daughter Valentina Dalessandro was killed by a young man who was street racing and crashed while giving her and her friends a ride home. She knew then that her daughter’s death would not be in vain, and that she would do everything she could to prevent a parent from losing a child. Lili’s life changed forever that day. With Valentina by her side in spirit. SRK’s mission is to raise awareness regarding the dangers of illegal street racing and traffic safety among the youth. She is active in our community as a Key-Club advisor for North High the Kiwanis club of Torrance she also currently serves as a co-chair for Families for Safe Streets a project of LA walks and volunteers her time with other organizations that focus on traffic fatalities. To date she has been interviewed by over 25 media outlets, including the LA Times, Daily Breeze Channel 4 News, Univision, GTN America. Lili’s additions to SRK are the Respect the Road Teen Traffic Safety program which covers all aspects of traffic safety in partnership with other nonprofit organizations and the Val’s Respect the Road Scholarship in honor of Valentina which provides drivers education specifically design for foster and disadvantaged teenagers Her Motto is “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain".

Former Advisory Board members:

Azusena Favela

Mehmet Berker

Luke Klipp

Colleen Corcoran

Felicia Garcia

Monica Gomez

My La

Alexis Lantz

Amanda Levin

Jeri Dye Lynch

Jessica Meaney

John Mimms

Alba Pena

Bill Sadler

Mark Vallianatos

Alissa Walker

Karen Mack

Dr. Randal Henry

 

Former Fellows & Interns:

Thita Sitthiphap (California State University, Los Angeles)

Yanel Saenz (University of California, Los Angeles)

Cristina Valadez (University of California, Los Angeles)

Carrie Huang (UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program, University of California, Los Angeles)

Clara Karger (Coro Fellow 2018)

Arnold Shir (University of California, Los Angeles)

Loumaile Finau (2019 CAUSE Leadership Academy)

Firye Bediye (UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

David Flores (California State University, Los Angeles)

Jorge A. Cáñez (University of California, Los Angeles)

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