Former 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 12 years he was with TransForm, Joël served as Regional Planning Director. On dozens of projects across the Bay Area, he worked to maximize community engagement and participation in transportation projects and decision-making (especially among under-represented stakeholders), and build awareness and support for smart transit and housing improvements. Joël's major initiatives included the Great Communities Collaborative, AC Transit's East Bay BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line, passing billions of dollars in transportation ballot measures, and 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.
From 2011 to 2018, Joël also 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. He left this position and TransForm to accept a staff role at the SFMTA as a transportation planner, focusing on community engagement.
Outside of work, 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.