Community Planning

After a decade in the bookselling and book publishing industries, I discovered a new passion, and went back to school for community planning. Around the same time, I got back on my bike for the first time in nearly 20 years and fell in love with getting around under the power of my own legs. My real “a-ha” moment in terms of getting around by foot—whether that’s walking, pedaling, or using an assistive device—came when I began to explore the intersection of public health, equity, and transportation. The disparity between the celebration of a child’s first steps and the disregard for the “pedestrian” in much of our fast-paced, auto-centric adult lives is stark, and I’m fiercely committed to narrowing that gap.

The mission of my work with California Walks is so simple, and yet tremendously challenging: through advocacy and community empowerment, we are dedicated to creating healthy, safe, and walkable communities. My work in San Jose and across the state isn’t simply policy-focused: we look to celebrate walking and the sense of community that can be gained when we’re able to view our cities, and our neighbors, on a human scale. In fact, since moving here a little over a year ago from DC, I’ve learned the most about my new home, and met many of my new friends, while walking and pedaling around.

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Article originally appeared in Issue 7.3 Style.