Tag: 2019-07-nn-norcal

Thirty from Northern Section pass May 2019 AICP exam

Thirty from Northern Section pass May 2019 AICP exam

Just under 500 APA members passed the AICP Certification Exam administered in May. The 30 Northern Section members listed below include five who are enrolled in the AICP Candidate Pilot Program and may now use the AICP Candidate designation. Congratulations to all!

Della Acosta, AICP

Cristina Bejarano, AICP Candidate

Barry Bergman, AICP

Jeff Bond, AICP

Sarah Bowab, AICP

Brian Chambers, AICP

William Chui, AICP

Stein Coriell, AICP

Jesse Davis, AICP

Alison Ecker, AICP Candidate

Stefanie Farmer, AICP

Jessica Garner, AICP

Matthew Gilster, AICP

Anna Harkman, AICP

Jordan Harrison, AICP

Brendan Hurley, AICP Candidate

Daniel Jacobson

Ashley James, AICP

Ethan Lavine, AICP

Joseph Lawlor, AICP

Xinyu Liang, AICP

Rafael Murillo, AICP

Trever Parker, AICP

Colin Piethe, AICP Candidate

Garrison Rees, AICP

Annie Ryan, AICP

Margaret Smith, AICP

Stephen Tu, AICP

Atisha Varshney, AICP

Matthew Wiswell, AICP Candidate

Director’s note – July 2019

By James A. Castañeda, AICP, July 12, 2019

Welcome to summer

After a whirlwind spring for those of us in the Northern Section, what with APA’s NPC19 in San Francisco and our annual Awards Gala in Oakland, summer has arrived. For many of us, it’s an opportunity to bask in the longer days, take family vacations, or take a little R&R. But it’s not a slow period for your Northern Section board! We’ve been working on what’s coming up in the second half of the year in keeping with our “Clarity and Focus” theme for 2019.

Awards wrap-up

On June 7th, we hosted the annual Northern Section Awards Gala. A packed house at the Starline Social Club enjoyed a fantastic evening, caught up with colleagues, and honored 26 award recipients. Please join me in acknowledging and thanking this year’s awards jury: Rebecca Kohlstrand, AICP; Hanson Hom, AICP; Aaron Welch, and Martin Alkire. Please also thank the firms who sponsored the event: ARUP, Dyett and Bhatia, AECOM, and RRM Design Group. And a very special thank you goes to our amazing Awards Co-chairs Carmela Campbell, AICP, and Florentina Craciun, AICP, without whom this signature annual event would not be possible.

Many at the gala donated generously to the California Planning Foundation’s Diversity Scholarship. We collected $542 to help get the CPF Diversity Scholarship program closer to its $20,000 endowment goal. You can learn more about the Diversity Scholarship — and contribute — here.

The Young Planners Group is now the Emerging Planners Group

At our July 10th Northern Section Board meeting, we took action to rebrand our very successful and engaged Young Planners Group as the Emerging Planners Group. Under the stellar leadership of Veronica Flores and Danae Hall, the group has continued to be one of APA’s leading ambassadors for the planning profession among those in the early years of their careers. The rebranding recognizes the group’s tradition to engage, involve, and evolve, and signals that the EPG will continue to reach out to all planners who are starting their careers — regardless of age — with programming and networking opportunities to help them succeed. We should all be excited about EPG’s potential for engaging and helping the growing field of planners.

Northern Section partners with SPUR

The Northern Section is again partnering with our colleagues at SPUR to offer AICP CM credits and co-present several significant events and forums this summer in all three SPUR locations: Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Several of the events are free to APA members. If you haven’t done so recently, make sure to check our calendar for upcoming events.

New board members

Please welcome James Hinkamp, AICP, whom we appointed to the Board as Northern Section’s East Bay Co-RAC (Regional Activity Coordinator) and Megan Porter, AICP, who has been appointed to the Board as San Francisco RAC (Regional Activity Co-coordinator). You can see their photos and read more about them in this issue’s “Who’s where” column.

Halfway through the year

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through 2019, but I suppose that’s what happens when you start the year with a national conference! For me it’s been an exhilarating start, and we still have a lot more programming coming in the months ahead. I hope you are enjoying the summer, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our many upcoming events!

Who’s where

Who’s where

Jonathan Atkinson, AICP, is now Senior Planner at the City of Vallejo, where he once interned. Over the past six years, Atkinson has been an associate planner with the City of Fairfield — where he assisted in implementing the adopted Heart of Fairfield Plan — and an assistant planner for the City of Sebastopol. Atkinson holds a master of city and regional planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a B.A. in sociology and criminal justice studies from San Francisco State University. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, exploring new places, and attending festivals and sports events.

Jim Bergdoll, AICP, is, since April, Senior Planner for Housing, City of Dublin. There he will implement affordable housing programs, develop housing policies, and lead the effort to produce additional affordable housing. Before Dublin, Bergdoll contracted for two years with the Alameda County Community Development Agency on developing housing and planning policy and programs. Over the course of his career he was a housing and urban planning consultant, a director of real estate and development programs with Habitat for Humanity (East Bay for 11 years and Virginia for three years), and an urban designer/planner with the San Francisco planning Department, 1991-1997. Bergdoll holds a master’s in planning from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in architecture from the University of Virginia. He has resided primarily in Oakland for the past 30 years and enjoys biking on the regional park trails and in the city.

Jim Carney is now Principal Planner with the Metro­politan Planning Group, Santa Rosa. Early in his career, Carney served 12 years with the Santa Clara County Planning Department (1974–1986) and five years with the San Jose and Sacramento re­develop­ment agencies and housing departments (1986–1991). He created and directed the Nevada County (CA) Department of Housing and Community Services and Housing Authority (1991–2003), and has been a housing, planning, and government agency consultant for the past 18 years. Carney holds a master of urban and regional planning from San Jose State University and a B.A. in urban studies and economics from Temple University (Philadelphia). You can reach him at jmcplanning1@gmail.com.

Sharon Grewal, AICP, is now Aviation Project Manager for The Port of Oakland, where she will be working on capital improvement projects for the Oakland International Airport. Grewal had been Alameda County’s policy planner for renewable energy, environmental planning, current planning, transportation, and housing for nearly four years. Before that, she worked for the California Dept. of Conservation for 10 years. She holds a land use and environmental planning certificate from UC Davis and a B.A. (public administration/urban studies) from CSU Fresno. Grewal was Northern Section’s Director, 2017–2018, and is APA California’s Vice President of Professional Development. For APA related matters, you can contact her at sharon.grewal.aicp@gmail.com.


Shayda Haghgoo has been promoted to Transportation Planner III at SFMTA. She has been with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency since 2017, most recently coordinating with the Livable Streets Project in developing and implementing bicycle and pedestrian projects. Haghgoo had twice interned with SFMTA (2015 and 2016) and was a Transit 511 data analyst at Leidos (formerly SAIC) in Oakland before that. She holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania (sustainable transportation and infrastructure) and a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from UCLA.

James Hinkamp, AICP, has been appointed as Northern Section’s East Bay Co-RAC (Regional Activity Coordinator). He is the associate transportation planner at Contra Costa Transportation Authority, responsible for monitoring programs and projects funded by the Measure J countywide transportation sales tax, implementing the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and supporting local and regional plans and studies. Earlier, Hinkamp was transportation planner for the City of Lafayette. He holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning + engineering from CalPoly SLO and a B.A. in urban studies/history from Loyola Marymount University.

Noah Housh is now Com­munity Develop­ment Director for Cotati. He was, until June 11, planning and community improvement director, St. Helena. Before St. Helena, Housh was a planner with the City of Santa Rosa from 2005 to 2015. He holds a master of public administration from Sonoma State University and a B.A. in economics and planning from Humboldt State University. Housh and his family live in Santa Rosa.


Catarina Kidd, AICP, has joined FivePoint in San Francisco as senior development manager, focusing on the multi-phase planning of Candlestick Point. Previously, she was senior planner for the City of Cupertino, and in prior years, directed a private practice providing planning and program management for multiple city clients. Kidd holds a bachelor of arts in cultural anthropology from Temple University and a project management certificate from Cornell University. Since 2015, she volunteers on the APA California–Northern Board of Directors as associate editor of Northern News. When not working, Kidd enjoys travel, skiing, and spending time with her spouse, twin daughters, and dog.

Edgar Maravilla recently joined the City of Hayward as Associate Planner. He previously worked in the planning departments of South San Francisco and Watsonville. Maravilla began his public service career as a community outreach coordinator for the City of San Rafael. He holds a master’s in urban and regional planning from San Jose State University and a B.A. in community studies, immigration, and social justice from UC Santa Cruz. Maravilla, who lives in Oakland with his partner, strives to improve the daily life of individuals by encouraging equitable, sustainable, and functional cities.


Steve McHarris, AICP, who has been deputy city manager for the City of Milpitas since June 2018, is now that city’s Interim City Manager. From 2015 to 2018, he served as planning official and deputy director for the City of San Jose’s Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Department. McHarris had earlier worked for Milpitas in Planning and Neighborhood Services, from 2012 to 2015. He holds a master’s degree in public administration with an urban planning concentration from CSU Fullerton and a B.S. from Cal Poly, Pomona.

Megan Porter, AICP, has been appointed to the Northern Section Board as San Francisco RAC (Regional Activity Co-coordinator, San Francisco). A planner at AKRF, Inc., she holds a master’s in regional and urban planning from University College Dublin (Ireland) and a B.A. in urban studies and environmental studies from CUNY Hunter College. Originally from Long Island, NY, Porter moved to San Francisco two years ago and enjoys the running, hiking, and snowboarding northern California offers. She looks forward to collaborating with fellow board members to bring unique and engaging activities to our Northern Section APA members.

Avalon Schultz, AICP, is now Principal Planner, City of San Leandro, where her primary focus will be long-range planning. Schultz had been with Union City for nearly 14 years, most recently as senior planner working on a variety of current and long-range planning projects. She holds a master of urban planning from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s in comparative urban development from UC Berkeley.


Jason Su is now Executive Director, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. He will lead the organization’s advocacy, education, and stewardship initiatives to enhance the accessibility and activity of San Jose’s river park. The Knight Foundation recently recognized Su for his role in placemaking, and placemaking is exactly the task ahead at Guadalupe. Su is a lecturer in urban and regional planning at San Jose State University and had been street life manager at the San Jose Downtown Association for five years. He holds a master’s in urban planning from San Jose State University, a certificate in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley, and a BA in business economics and sociology from UC Irvine.

Kristy Weis has been promoted to Principal Project Manager at David J. Powers & Associates, Inc. Over her 16 years with the firm, she was the project manager on environmental documents for notable projects including the Vallco Special Area Specific Plan, Main Street Cupertino, Avaya Stadium, Downtown San José Health Center, and Newby Island Sanitary Landfill expansion. Weis holds a master’s in urban and regional planning from San Jose State University and a bachelor of arts in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in Santa Clara with her husband and two daughters.

New: Bay Area Equity Atlas

New: Bay Area Equity Atlas

A new equity data resource, “The Bay Area Equity Atlas,” has been released.

By Victor Rubin, PolicyLink, June 6, 2019.

The Bay Area economy is experiencing phenomenal growth, yet rising inequality and displacement are making it impossible for working-class people and communities of color to stay and thrive — ultimately undermining the region’s future.

This first-of-its-kind tool brings the power of the National Equity Atlas to the local level, providing 21 equity indicators — from income growth to police use of force to voting — for 271 geographies across the region.

The data is nested within a narrative about how and why bolder equity strategies are key to solving the Bay Area’s racialized inequality and housing insecurity. And the numbers, charts, and maps are complemented by policy solutions, examples, and residents’ stories of challenge and progress.

The Atlas was produced by a partnership between the San Francisco Foundation, PolicyLink, and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). It has the potential to bolster grassroots efforts, inform news stories about the region, and elevate equity in the local policy debate.

For more information, contact the project director, Sarah Treuhaft, at sarah@policylink.org.


CPF NEEDS YOUR HELP in supporting planning students

CPF NEEDS YOUR HELP in supporting planning students

The California Planning Foundation is now accepting items for the annual CPF auction and raffle to be held at the APA California Conference in Santa Barbara, September 15-18.

To donate items for the auction and raffle, please fill out the donation form and email it to Aaron Pfannenstiel, or call him at (951) 444-9379 if you have any questions.

Regarding what to donate, here are some suggestions:

  • A weekend stay at your cabin, beach house, or local resort
  • A day (or more) of consulting services
  • Tickets to sporting events, movies, or live performance theater
  • New high-tech electronics
  • Artwork, antiques, and heirlooms
  • New household decorating accessories
  • Deluxe item gift baskets
  • Gift certificates: Retail establishment, restaurant, coffee shop, or candy store
  • Rare, out-of-print, or “hot-off-the-press” planning books
  • Wine: Individual bottles or cases

You can also donate money to CPF here.