Bob Allen is Director of Transportation Justice at Urban Habitat. Urban Habitat's goal for the San Francisco Bay Area is to shift transportation priorities in order to develop a connected, affordable, and reliable transportation network. As transit systems and bike networks improve and increase the desirability of urban neighborhoods, Urban Habitat works to avoid the displacement of low-income people.
Watsonville Mayor Francisco Estrada is a native of the Pajaro Valley. He holds a Masters in Public Administration and a special interest in public health and social equity.
Of 103 California cities of similar size, Watsonville ranks among the highest in rate of injuries to pedestrians.
Christopher Escárcega is Network Engagement Coordinator at Climate Plan, working to (a) shift state transportation funding from auto-centric investments to more sustainable transportation; (b) strengthen California's land use laws in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster more diverse and compact communities, with homes available at a range of incomes, with convenient public transportation and streets that are safe for walking and biking.
Benjamin Eichert directs the Romero Institute's Greenpower initiative, which implements local climate change solutions to help communities produce renewable power. Under Benjamin’s leadership, Greenpower is in the forefront of efforts to organize for a California Green New Deal, to bring change soon to our state and also to provide a model for state and federal initiatives. He is passionate about social justice organizing, and co-founded Big Noise Films — with whom he directed the award-winning documentary Zapatista. He has worked as an organizer and contract negotiator with the New York State Nurses Association and was the field director for US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's successful reelection campaign in 2012. He studied political science at Brown University.
Local land use decisions can either proliferate car trips or reduce the need for auto travel. Invited back by popular demand, Cathy DeLuca, formerly of Walk San Francisco, currently works at Livable City. Livable City works to create a San Francisco of great streets and complete neighborhoods where walking, bicycling, and transit are the best choices for most trips, where public spaces are beautiful, well-designed, and well-maintained, and where housing is more plentiful and more affordable. Moderator Len Beyea, an urban planner, will lead a class on land use and transportation for Campaign for Sustainable Transportation in early 2020. Mike Guth, Santa Cruz County Planning Commissioner, has long advocated for land use planning where growth is focused on transit corridors with complete bicycle and pedestrian networks.
Peter Bennett is the lead engineer working on the City of San José’s protected bike lane network. San José has attracted national attention for its “quick-build” installation that uses low-cost materials to establish protected bike lanes in a short period of time. San José built five miles of protected bike lanes in its Downtown in 2018.
Gina Cole is the new Director of Bike Santa Cruz County. BSCC's goal is for people of all ages and abilities to feel comfortable using their bikes for daily trips.
What can Santa Cruz County learn from
other places about how to get to the next level of transit
service? Jeff Wood is creator of The
Overhead Wire, a daily newsletter on transportation and
urban planning, and host of Talking Headways podcast.
Brandon Freeman is a bus operator for METRO and is the Vice-Chair of SMART Local 23.
Sally Arnold is Board Chair of Friends of the Rail and Trail—a local group that advocates for transit on the rail corridor.