EJC Members

Click "more" to learn more about the EJC members. 

Nancy Huizar - Co-Chair (she/her, they/them)

Got Green

More + -

Nancy Huizar was born and raised in Beacon Hill. In 2015, she graduated from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. As a young professional, Nancy interned and worked for many environmental organizations. Most of the organizations she worked for looked at environmental issues in one dimension: how humans affect the environment. By serving on the Environmental Justice Committee, Nancy looks forward to working within different dimensions and intersections of the environmental issues we face and supporting communities that are disproportionately affected by them.

Pah-tu Pitt G., co-chair (she/her, Warm Springs and Wasco)

Community Liaison

More + -

Pah-tu Pitt G. currently works on advocacy for indigenous climate change resiliency, sustainable economic development, and grassroots organizing at regional and local levels in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle with an interest in solidarity with other BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) and LGBTQ+ communities. She feels strongly about power sharing and collective action with diverse constituents utilizing various strategies. Past work experiences include experience with States, Tribes, the nonprofit and private business sector, and within academia. Through encouragement from other tribal members, she became the first female in her tribe to obtain a professional degree in the environmental sector and holds a degree in environmental science from Portland State University and a Master of Environmental Studies from Evergreen State. Her research emphasized treaty rights, climate change, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and management in connection with food sovereignty. Recently, she served on her tribe's education committee, Economic Ventures board, was a Tribal Governance Fellow at the University of Arizona, Institute of Indigenous Planning Summer Institute Participant, and serves on Equity and Environmentally focused committees throughout the King County area and more regionally. 

Ruby Stacey, co-chair (she/her/they/them, Quileute)

Community Liaison

More + -

Ruby Stacey grew up on the Olympic Peninsula and has lived in Seattle for over a decade. She has a vision for social and environmental justice that centers sustainable self-determination for Native peoples. With a foundation in Indigenous ways of knowing, community organizing, and urban design, she believes that strategic communications play an essential role in advancing positive change. Ruby graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Community, Environment and Planning with a focus in American Indian Studies and is currently Project Manager with Indian Country Team for Pyramid Communications. She has supported strategic communications campaigns and projects at regional and local scales with clients including but not limited to Seattle Indian Health Board, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and Chief Seattle Club among other Native-led organizations and tribes.

 

Abdullahi Jama (he/him)

Community Liaison

More + -

Abdullahi Jama is an independent consultant on East African community issues focusing on research, at-risk youth, economic disparity, strategic planning, and leadership training. He has a long history of organizing and community building in the East African community. In his home country of Somalia, Abdullahi taught human rights law at the Somali National University and worked with the Government of Somalia negotiating peace treaties. Abdullahi served on the Community Partners Steering Committee that led to the creation of the Equity & Environment Agenda.

Debolina Banerjee (she/her)

Puget Sound Sage

More + -

Debolina comes to the EJ Steering Committee with a deep commitment towards socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and just development for communities whose voices are not heard in the mainstream. Her experience ranges from research on the environmental impacts of unorganized industries, transit‐oriented development, anti‐displacement, affordable housing, and project management for real estate development to extensive community based work with grassroots activists and marginalized communities in India organizing for social justice and human rights around food, sustainable agriculture, clean environment, community development and women's empowerment. She holds Master's degrees in City Planning as well as Applied Environmental Studies in Planning, and has a Bachelor's degree in Architecture. Grounded in Puget Sound Sage's mission to advance racial equity, strong democracy, good jobs, clean environment and thriving communities, she works as Climate Justice Policy Analyst, performing research‐based analysis of climate policies and providing support to climate justice campaigns and coalitions.

Dennis Comer (he/him)

Community Liaison

More + -

Dennis Comer is a retired military officer and co-owner of Brown Sugar Baking in the Central Area of Seattle. He is a member of both the Central Area Land Use Review Committee and the Central Area Collaborative, two community groups comprised of residents and business community stakeholders who work to ensure commercial vitality and a collaborative approach to development in the Central Area.

Joshua Jenkins (he/him)

Yes Farm

More + -

Joshua Jenkins was born and raised in Columbia, SC. During his time at University of South Carolina Upstate, where he received a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and History, he created an internship at the Spartanburg Area Conservancy where he oversaw everything, from tabling to event planning to social media management. Joshua relocated to Seattle to pursue a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington focused on Environmental Policy and Food Systems. While at the University of Washington, he co-founded the UW Food Systems Coalition to advocate for equity in food policies in Washington State and remained engaged in the environmental/food justice space throughout South Seattle. Joshua is a volunteer and planning committee member for Yes Farm, a black-led urban farm located in Yesler Terrace and is the Senior Program Coordinator for the National Parks Conservation Association's Seattle office. Joshua applies a systems-based approach to bridge environmental work across the natural and urban spaces and is committed to advancing food sovereignty and improving air quality, particularly for black and brown communities throughout Seattle. He hopes to further his passion for food justice through the EJC by connecting black and brown communities to the City as well as advocating for policy that gets us closer to achieving food sovereignty.

Jaimée Marsh (they/them)

FEEST

More + -

Jaimée Marsh is a Seattle transplant from Spokane, WA, who specializes in community organizing, organizational leadership and development, and assessment. For over 15 years, they have applied this skill set to build community and shift power, particularly with queer and trans people of color. Jaimée is an alum of the University of Michigan School of Social Work (MSW) and the University of Washington, which is where they developed their passion for cultivating creative spaces that center radical joy and healing, as well as fostering sustained partnerships between school systems and the community at large. Currently, Jaimée serves as Executive Director of FEEST, which sets the table for young people to transform the health and equity of their community by gathering around food & working towards food systems change. They look forward to uplifting youth voices and perspective to the work of the EJC, particularly on food justice and sovereignty for youth in South Seattle. 

Jose Chi Bertoni (he/him)

ECOSS

More + -

Jose Chi Bertoni has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors since 2007. Raised in three different countries, Bolivia, Argentina and the King County unincorporated neighborhood of White Center as well as Seattle's South Park, Jose has always, almost inevitably, been the new foreigner kid. He is committed to social justice and advancing racial equity projects that lift communities and families out of poverty and into prosperity. Jose currently works at ECOSS (Environmental Coalition of South Seattle) as a Multicultural Outreach Manager overseeing environmental projects that increase awareness of a wide range of topics by providing environmental education, technical assistance and access to resources that served most impacted communities throughout King County. He is particularly interested in anti-displacement efforts as well as access to and electrification of our transportation system. Jose brings a commitment to serving the Latinx and immigrant communities of South Seattle and facilitating their involvement and participation to understand, inform, and influence City policies and programs. 

Edwin Wanji (he/him)

Community Liaison

More + -

Edwin Wanji is the owner and founder of Sphere Solar Energy, a Seattle-based solar company in its fourth year of business and brings expertise in the renewable energy sector, renewable energy policy, and workforce development. He has worked intentionally to build a diverse team from various backgrounds, whose skill sets create balance and allow his company to produce individualized systems of the highest quality. In 2018 alone, his company installed over 750 kW of solar in communities across the state. He continues to be committed to participating in opportunities to give back to both our local and global communities and is also passionate about developing jobs pathways for youth in his community of Lake City. As a minority business owner who is passionate about expanding the use of solar energy, Edwin brings an important perspective to the industry and is committed to fighting for a future in which solar should be affordable, particularly for historically disadvantaged communities in our region. His background working with the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative offers a broader lens of equity and social justice to the development of policies and projects that impact the ability of our local communities to access solar. 

Dana Wu / 吳 淑 如 (she/her/they/them)

Community Liaison

More + -

Dana Wu identifies as queer, ethnically Teochew, and is the eldest child of refugee parents displaced by and survived what some choose to call the "Vietnam War". Born and raised on the ancestral homelands of the Tongva and Gabrielino tribes (or what modern-day settlers can come to know as Los Angeles, CA), Dana relocated to the Salish Sea region over 14 years ago. They are a first-generation college graduate with degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies and currently serve as a board member for Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition as well as an advisory member for the Environmental Science Center. Through their role as the Seattle Aquarium's Community Outreach Coordinator, Dana connects historically disenfranchised peoples from across Seattle to their local beaches, watersheds, and marine environment in a safe, fun, and reciprocal manner. Dana is a graduate of Puget Sound Sage's Community Leadership Institute and looks forward to applying skills in power mapping, policy development, and decision-making frameworks to better connect the queer community as well as immigrants and refugees, particularly from South East Asia, to the City.

Kimela Vigil, MSW, LICSW

SEIU 1199NW

More + -

Currently Kimela is a Social Worker/Mental Health Therapist at Harborview Medical Center Women's Clinic. Kimela has been a Social Worker for 18 years and has always worked in social services. Kimela's first job in college was working at the campus' recycling program in Bellingham, WA where her passion for environmental work began to bloom.  To this day, Kimela is a hardcore recycler!  She always appreciated her upbringing in New Mexico where her Latino family taught her to live off the land and connect with nature. Kimela learned gardening and raising animals and had an opportunity to visit National Parks because her grandfather worked for the National Park Service. In 2011, Kimela ran the lunch-time composting program at her son's elementary school.  She hates to see food go to waste, as her sons know well. For many years, Kimela has been an active member of her union SEIU 1199NW. Over the last two years since joining the Union's Executive Board, Kimela been a representative of SEIU 1199NW on the Environmental Justice Committee, bringing together two of her life passions.

Karia Wong

Chinese Information & Service Center

More + -

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Karia completed her high school and college education in Toronto, Canada. From a young age, she witnessed and experienced environmental injustice and was conditioned to believe that only real estate developers and high government officials have the power to make decisions related to the environment.

Karia has found her involvement in the EJC a very inspiring and self-awakening experience- she worked in collaboration with the other members in the development of the framework for the Environment & Equity Initiative. She is currently a Family Center Coordinator at Chinese Information & Service Center (CISC), a community-based nonprofit organization located in the International District/Chinatown, which specializes in supporting immigrants to settle and thrive. She is a committed advocate of environmental justice for underprivileged immigrant communities.  "Local issues, local voices, local leaders and local solutions." Karia served on the Community Partner Steering Committee that led to the creation of the Equity & Environment Agenda.