Steering Committee Profiles
Tony Dang, California Walks
Tony Dang is the Executive Director of California Walks, overseeing the organization’s policy advocacy, development, community engagement programs, technical assistance services, and operations. Tony is passionate about creating more vibrant, livable communities through the intersection of health, transportation, sustainability, and equity. Tony is a certified instructor of the Safe Routes to School National Course and also serves on the Board of Directors of the California Bicycle Coalition and the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). Tony holds a BA from Stanford University in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity.
Shona Ganguly, The Nature Conservancy
Shona Ganguly maneuvers through the terrain of environmental policy in southern California. Her areas of focus are: water, urban conservation, habitat connectivity, county conservation funding/open-space protection measures and campaigns, Greater Los Angeles, Ventura County/Santa Clara River/Ormond Beach Wetlands, San Diego County, Riverside County, and LA River restoration. She works for The Nature Conservancy in California as an Associate Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, managing relationships with local, state, and federal legislators, officials, partner organizations, and supporting conservation programs in southern California. Shona is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (BA in Development Studies and South Asian Studies), Claremont Graduate University (MA in Cultural Studies), and the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management (MBA).
Anya Lawler, Western Center for Law and Poverty
Anya Lawler has spent nearly two decades working in land use and housing policy at the state level. She has extensive expertise with Housing Element Law, the regional housing needs allocation process, Density Bonus Law, inclusionary housing policy, and anti-displacement policy, among others. Prior to joining Western Center, she worked for a decade as a committee consultant in the state Assembly, and served as the deputy director for policy at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. She is committed to advancing just, equitable, inclusive development policies to ensure that Californians with the lowest incomes have access to safe, stable, affordable homes in every community throughout the state.
Adam Livingston, Sequioa Riverlands Trust
As Director of Planning and Policy at Sequoia Riverlands Trust and coordinator of the Southern Sierra Partnership, Adam is a leading voice on land use and conservation in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. He is the author of two reports on Sustainable Communities Strategies, Sustainable Communities Strategies and Conservation: Results from the First Round and Policy Recommendations for Future Rounds and co-author of ClimatePlan's report Leading the Way: Policies and Practices for Sustainable Communities Strategies. Adam's nonprofit management experience includes coordinating Sequoia Riverlands Trust’s successful application for Land Trust Alliance accreditation. Adam holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and classics from Xavier University (2001), a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School (2004), and a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UCSB (2012).
Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place
Jessica Meaney is the Founder and Executive Director of Investing in Place, an organization committed to transportation investments that strengthen communities. Jessica moved to Los Angeles over 20 years ago and chose not to own a car. It was a choice she was privileged to make and continues to inspire her professional commitment to improve Greater Los Angeles County to become more safe, reliable, and accessible for all, especially for those with the least options. This passion pushed her to create Investing in Place in January 2015. Jessica has her Master of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to Investing in Place, Jessica worked at the the Southern California Association of Governments as Regional Transportation Planner, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership as the Southern California Policy Director.
Chuck Mills, California ReLeaf
Chuck has been an integral part of California ReLeaf for over 20 years, and was a founding Board Member for the organization when it incorporated as a nonprofit in 2004. He served on the Board of Directors from January 2005 to July 2010, including terms as Treasurer and President. He brings a wealth of knowledge and 28 years of experience in natural resource conservation to the organization. Currently, he manages California ReLeaf’s grants program and public policy portfolio. Prior to joining the California ReLeaf staff in August 2010, Chuck spent 3½ years with the California Council of Land Trusts and 12 years at the Trust for Public Land in program management and advocacy. Chuck holds varying degrees of degrees in communications, Canadian Studies, journalism, and government.
Andres Ramirez, Pacoima Beautiful
Andres Ramirez is Clean Energy Director of Pacoima Beautiful. Andres was born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles, child of Salvadoran immigrant parents. He has spent the last twelve years organizing and movement building in every corner of LA, leading multiple advocacy and organizing efforts to ensure that land use, transportation, housing, and environmental policies are developed and implemented equitably. Andres is part of the LA Clean Energy coalition, advocating for a Los Angeles that uses 100% renewable, clean energy. He is working to get the city to invest to modernize and clean the city’s energy consumption, and prioritize that investment in low-income communities of color such as Pacoima, Boyle Heights, South LA, and Wilmington.
Joshua Stark, TransForm
Joshua advocates for TransForm's statewide goals at the Capitol and through building coalitions with our many allies. Before coming to TransForm, Joshua represented a number of nonprofit environmental and environmental justice organizations at the state and federal levels, including the National Parks Conservation Association. He helped build diverse alliances at the state level and in the Central Valley, and represented organizations through Spanish language media. Before taking on policy work Joshua worked in agriculture, education, park management and outdoor guiding.
Sam Tepperman-Gelfant, Public Advocates
Sam is a Senior Staff Attorney at Public Advocates, which he first joined as an Equal Justice Works fellow in 2007. There, he has advocated for equitable development, community benefits, climate justice, and affordable housing in the Bay Area and statewide. He leads PA’s work with the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord to bring affordable housing, quality jobs, accessible parks, and healthy neighborhoods to the redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Sam promotes investment without displacement in low-income, urban neighborhoods in Oakland, Richmond and other Bay Area cities, and as part of the 6 Big Wins for Social Equity campaign. He has helped increase housing opportunities for low-income people and people of color through litigation such as Urban Habitat v. City of Pleasanton and Williams v. City of Antioch. Before joining Public Advocates, Sam clerked for the Hon. John P. Fullam of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Axel Santana, PolicyLink
Axel supports the Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development and California policy programs at PolicyLink. In his years at PolicyLink, he has helped convene advocates from across the country, collaborated with equity leaders on various initiatives, authored blog posts, and developed tools -- all in service of empowering and lifting the voices of our most vulnerable communities. Prior to PolicyLink, Axel was focused on international development, spending time in Kenya and El Salvador doing reproductive health advocacy and public space rehabilitation, respectively, before ending up in the Bay Area working with an agency supporting asylum seekers with legal assistance. Axel received his master's in international policy with a focus on human security and development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He enjoys running, traveling, photography, hip hop dancing, and has an eclectic taste in music.
Will Barrett, American Lung Association in California
In his role as Clean Air Advocacy Director, Will Barrett leads the American Lung Association’s work on California’s landmark clean air and climate change programs, focusing on the clean air and public health benefits of sustainable transportation policies. Since joining the team in 2009, Mr. Barrett has represented the American Lung Association before the California Legislature and California Air Resources Board and has provided testimony before federal, state, regional and local agencies engaged in clean air and climate policy. Will has served as the public health representative on advisory panels convened by the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and other public agencies, and serves on the board of directors for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.