Commissioners

Amalia Leighton

Amalia Leighton

Chair
Term: Expires 2016

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Amalia currently serves on the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee.

Amalia is a Civil Engineer, SvR Design Company; and brings experience in infrastructure, transportation, environmental planning and design and environmental permitting. Interested in affordable, livable communities that include housing variety, open space, green infrastructure, and transportation options.

Amalia lives with her husband and child in the Wallingford neighborhood.

Marj Press

Marj Press

Vice Chair
Term: Expires 2016

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Marj currently serves on the Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Marj serves on the Planning Commission because it is an exceptional opportunity to give back to her community.  She has a strong commitment to make Seattle a great place to live as demonstrated by her long career in urban planning.

Marj is a small business owner in the Capital Hill neighborhood.  Marj is also an advisor to the Board of the American Planning Association (APA) in her capacity as Divisions Council Chair, a nationally elected position representing the Divisions Council (a component group of APA comprised of planners focused on practice areas, population diversity and equity).

Marj has over twenty-plus years as a planner analyzing the feasibility and environmental effects of transportation infrastructure projects in the Puget Sound Region and across the United States, with a particular focus in transportation and environmental planning; community outreach and consensus building; bringing together multi-disciplinary interests and ideas; and project management.

Marj lives in the Wallingford neighborhood but enjoys all the wonderful neighborhoods with their nuances and distinct features and to experience the diversity (food, activities, and physical features) available in and around Seattle.

Michael Austin

Michael Austin

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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An active member of the local design community, Michael became interested in joining the Planning Commission after serving as the Get Engaged representative for the East Design Review Board. He brings a passion for seeking equitable planning solutions to both short and long-range efforts that will shape the various neighborhoods of Seattle, and the City as a whole.

Michael is a Planner with Perkins+Will, where he is involved in planning and design projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. He brings experience in community outreach, neighborhood-scale planning, and data visualization. He received his Masters in Architecture from Pratt Institute in New York and his Bachelors in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, during which he studied abroad in the Czech Republic.

Michael lives in Pioneer Square with his fiancé and dog, and enjoys traveling on weekends, participating in design competitions, and eating as much food as possible.

Luis Borrero

Luis Borrero

Co-Chair of Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2018

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Luis joined the Commission because it is a great place to think about and make impact on the long-term development of the city and region. He has a commitment to understanding and analyzing city-scale solutions to some of our biggest challenges.  He has a background in researching and documenting global best practices in urban sustainability.

Luis is the founder of DRiVE, a service to accelerate better decisions for how one might develop the built environment using a virtual environment for alternate scenario analysis. It recently launched at seattle.drivedecisions.com, a subscription product for professionals working with real property -public or private- in the City of Seattle.

Luis' favorite place in Seattle is the Space Needle.  It is an iconic building and where he got married.

Luis lives in West Seattle with his wife and their two kids and they travel often to Spain and Colombia to see their extended families.

Lauren Craig

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2016

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Lauren has extensive experience at the intersection of urban development and public policy at the federal, state, and local level in four major cities. She brings to the Commission a critical policy analysis lens.  Most recently, Lauren was a transactional, legislative and regulatory attorney for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in New York City, and a public policy analyst for the regionalist think tank Bay Area Council in San Francisco.  Currently, Lauren is the Policy Counsel for Puget Sound Sage's equitable transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and land-use campaigns.  Lauren holds a law degree from Rutgers School of Law in New Jersey, where she co-chaired the Rutgers Law Human Rights Forum, and focused her studies in the fields of environmental justice and metropolitan equity.

The foregoing experiences have provided Lauren the opportunity to better understand the legal, policy and political challenges of managing our growth, improving our infrastructure, and further developing economic opportunity for all incomes.  She believes Seattle is a special place, gifted with an enormous opportunity to shape positive growth.  She is beyond thrilled to have been chosen for a seat on the Planning Commission, and cannot wait to work with stakeholders from various backgrounds to help find common solutions to city planning challenges.

Lauren lives with her husband at the northern end of Belltown.  She is a brand new kayaker, and an avid transit rider, pedestrian, hiker, and book-reader. 

Sandra Fried

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2018

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Sandra holds a degree in Public Policy.  She has worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a grantmaker working internationally to improve access to information through public libraries.  Previously she led homelessness grantmaking and programming at United Way of King Country.

She is happy to serve on the Planning Commission, and has a special interest in considering policy and programming through the lens of the lowest income earners and those experiencing homelessness in our community.

Sandra is a native of Quito, Ecuador, and has lived in Seattle for thirteen years.  She lives in Columbia City with her husband and daughter.

Yolanda Ho

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2018

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Yolanda is committed to making cities environmentally sustainable and socially just. As a
Planning Analyst at Community Attributes, she works with a wide array of clients to develop
economic impact studies, subarea plans and economic development strategies.

She joined the Planning Commission because of her interest in helping to develop policy that improves the
quality of Seattle's built environment for the benefit of all residents. In addition to her
background in environmental management, planning and urban design, she brings to the
Commission her insights from the design and construction profession with her prior experience
as a landscape architect in Philadelphia.

Yolanda lives with her husband and their dog in Columbia City.

 

Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2014

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Grace joined the Commission because she is passionate about the planning policies that they weigh in on - family-sized housing, transit communities, affordability, vibrant streets.  She brings to the Commission her professional experience in affordable housing, transit oriented communities, and mobility/transportation as well as her personal experience of raising a young child in downtown Seattle.

Grace is a founding partner of Schemata Workshop, an architecture and urban design practice based in Seattle. They work with a variety of public, private, and non-profit clients to create community focused projects.  Their current projects include work on Seattle's Central Waterfront, a modular construction project for the Renton Housing Authority, a dense urban cohousing project in Seattle, another cohousing project in Portland on a former land-fill for a Zen Buddhist community, and the new urban Seattle stores for CVS Pharmacy.

Grace's favorite place in Seattle is Capitol Hill, where her office is located, as well as her future home.  She is a founding member and lives at the Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing project.  She chose the location because of its ability to support the full spectrum of life without reliance of the automobile.

Grace lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and daughter.  When she isn't designing for her clients she can be found skiing, enjoying food with friends and experiencing traditional Korean dancing and drumming.

Jeanne Krikawa

Jeanne Krikawa

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2016

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Jeanne served as chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Board and during that time realized that by being involved in her City she could have a voice and make a difference.  Since then, she has continued to serve on boards and commissions and stay active in local organizations.  She hopes to share her passion and commitment for making Seattle a great place for all people, and encouraging involvement of fellow commissions and citizens alike.

Jeanne is a partner at Underhill Company, a transportation and community planning firm.  The firm's focus is on transit planning, because it affects so many aspects of city life - health, social equity, sustainability, and building great communities.  She is most proud of her work on community-based playgrounds where neighbors were involved in a very collaborative design process and provided hours of sweat equity and labor.

Jeanne just could not decide one place to call her favorite in Seattle; instead she enjoys the fun of exploring new places on foot.  Finding your way around the City without a car adds a new and exciting twist!  Whether exploring neighborhoods, parks and off-the beaten track places, one gains a different appreciation for place depending on time of year, day of week
and time of day.

Jeanne lives in West Seattle with her husband and spends her free time hanging out with friends and family.

Kara Martin

Kara Martin

Co-Chair Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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Kara joined the Planning Commission because she is passionate aboutensuring residents can live healthy, active lives in all Seattle neighborhoods. Kara is committed to seeing that community health and equity are addressed and integrated with other critical planning issues such as affordable housing, job creation, and transportation access.

Kara is a partner and land use planner at Urban Food Link, a consulting firm that works with communities to create fair access to healthy food and grow a thriving local food economy.

Kara lives in West Seattle with her husband, son and dogs. Her favorite place in Seattle is Schmitz Park.

Jake McKinstry

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2018

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With a passion for developing unique urban mixed-use infill projects that focus on community & sustainability, Jake brings a broad depth of development experience to the Commission. His expertise spans many project types from new ground up development to adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

Jake is a Principal at Spectrum Development Solutions - a real estate advisory and development firm that approaches every project with the goal of meeting a need and providing value to the communities in which we work, build and live. Spectrum's development projects encompass new student housing and mixed-use multifamily projects to neighborhood healthcare clinics and master redevelopments of large sites. 

Jake is a LEED Accredited Professional with a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Boston College. Jake recently served on a working group for the Mayor's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) taskforce and has been an active leader in Habitat for Humanity & Jimmy Carter Work Projects since the age of 15.

Tim Parham

Tim Parham

Co-Chair Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2016

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Tim is a Real Estate Development Associate, Plymouth Housing Group; a non-profit that works to prevent homelessness and address its root causes.  He has experience in transit-oriented development, low impact development, economic development, and affordable housing policy, and developing and maintaining urban supportive housing. Interested in creating affordable communities near our cities transit investments. Involved with Othello Station Community Advisory Team and Othello Park Alliance.

Tim lives with his wife in the Othello neighborhoood.

Commissioner David Shelton

David Shelton

Co-Chair Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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David joined the Planning Commission to apply his experience as a professional planner and his personal commitment to sustainable transportation and development to help make Seattle a great place to live and work.

David is a transportation planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, where he leads planning studies on multiple transportation modes, including light rail, streetcar, bus, ferries, pedestrians, bikes, and autos. David previously served on the board of Transportation Choices Coalition and is passionate about providing abundant, convenient, and safe travel choices for residents of Seattle. He regularly bikes or walks from his home to his office in downtown Seattle, and he loves that his kids would rather walk, bike, or take transit than ride in a car. His favorite parts of Seattle alternate between the verdant natural places (such as Volunteer Park, Interlaken Park, and Lake Washington beaches) and the vibrant urban places (such as Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and the Pike/Pine corridor).

David lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and two kids.

Spencer Williams

Housing and Neighborhoods Committee
Term: Expires 2018

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Spencer is an Urban Designer and Planner at Futurewise, working within the Livable Communities
Program promoting healthy, connected and equitable communities. He is committed to enhancing the
experience of the built environment, broadening prosperity, strengthening the viability of community
plans, and contributing to the vitality of the places people live, work, and play.
 
He brings to the commission years of policy and design experience at a variety of scales, a love for
urban environments, and a commitment to expand opportunity throughout the Seattle. Previously,
Spencer worked within the Urban Design Studio at the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and
Sustainability on a variety of neighborhood plans as well as citywide strategic and comprehensive
plans. Spencer's previous work focused on growth management, designing integrated infrastructure
systems, creating & tracking performance metrics, and community engagement- with a special focus
on engaging youth in the planning process.
 
Spencer lives in the West Seattle neighborhood. He enjoys cooking, biking around Seattle, and
exploring Washington State.

Commissioner Patti Wilma

Patti Wilma

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Term: Expires 2017

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Patti's commitment to a livable Seattle spans a 40 year career in land use planning and architecture.  Her interests include how residential communities must accommodate higher densities and a population that desires “in-city” services and amenities while maintaining the neighborhood character as well as open space, how the public realm can enhance the livability and health of a city, and quality transit oriented/mixed use development.  

As a life-long resident of Seattle, Patti is a past member of both Queen Anne and Wedgwood Community Councils and the Queen Anne/Magnolia Design Review Board.  She currently works for the City of Bellevue Planning and Community Development Department with a focus on urban design and land use. 

Patti lives with her husband in the Wedgwood neighborhood. 

Lauren Squire

Lauren Squires

Land Use and Transportation Committee
Appointed by: Get Engaged
Term: Expires 2017

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Lauren is an urban planner at SvR Design Company. She is enthusiastic about bicycle and pedestrian planning and sustainable community development. She is the Get Engaged commissioner for 2014-2015. Lauren is eager to use her background in planning and sustainable design and her interests in social equity and active transportation to shape Seattle’s growth as a livable city for all. She is active in the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways movement for safe and healthy streets in the Rainier Valley. A recent transplant from Bellingham, WA, Lauren has worked on a variety of projects from WWU campus sustainability initiatives to envisioning Bellingham’s industrial waterfront as an EcoDistrict.

Lauren lives in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. She enjoys neighborhood coffee shops, bluegrass music, living a car-free lifestyle and being on the water or in the mountains.