Regional Planning Director
Joël and his family have lived in the Bay Area since he was 10 years old. His family's experiences depending on AC Transit, Muni and BART drove his commitment to improving transit from an early age.
After graduating from SF State with a BA degree in Geography of the Human Environment, Joël began his professional career as an assistant planner for the Spanish Speaking Unity Council in East Oakland, where he gained his initial community planning experience. He then moved on to build a coalition of labor, environmental and social justice groups to win community and political support for economic development around one of the largest transit-oriented development (TOD) projects in California.
For most of the 11 years he has been with TransForm, Joël has been working with the Great Communities Collaborative on several TOD planning processes, policy development and project implementation efforts, including coalition organizing around the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan, the International Boulevard TOD plan, the City of Oakland's Housing Impact Fee and BART's Inclusionary Housing Policy.
Joël has spent countless hours working to help maximize community engagement (especially among under-represented stakeholders) and to build awareness and support for transit improvements throughout the region, including AC Transit's East Bay BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line, passing Oakland's 2016 Measure KK, Alameda County 2014 Transportation Sales Tax Measures B1, and the 2016 BART Bond (Measure RR). He is also helping to lead the Bay Area Bike Share work that TransForm is doing in Oakland and Berkeley. Most recently, he helped lead the research and writing of one of TransForm's latest reports on equity considerations for a second transbay tube.
For the past 6 years, Joël has voluntarily served as an appointee on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, helping to oversee public transportation, bicycling, and parking in the city. In that role, he also represents the SFMTA on the Caltrain Peninsula Joint Powers Board.
When he is not working on policy, you can find Joël playing the chess tables at Yerba Buena Gardens, running in Golden Gate Park, or deep in a book at the Mechanics' Institute Library of San Francisco.