Meet the Team

The Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division (EJSE) leads the implementation of the City of Seattle's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) within SPU and in partnership with other City departments and community-based organizations.

Kathleen Baca, Division Director

Kathleen Baca, Division Director
Kathleen.Baca@seattle.gov
 
Kathleen provides oversight and strategic direction for Community Affairs and Environmental Justice and Service Equity. She oversees internal and external communications and advancement of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative throughout the Utility.

Patricia Bell Wyrick, Administrative Assistant

Patricia Bell Wyrick, Administrative Assistant
Patricia.Bell-Wyrick@seattle.gov

"I manage a wide array of logistical details and processes for our division. In addition, I am a key member of department-wide and interdepartmental initiatives focused on creating a more inclusive and racially equitable workforce culture. When not in the office, you will find me enjoying family time and the arts." 
 
Core areas of work include:

  • Division Administration
  • RSJI Coordination and Project Assistance
  • SPU Change Team Member
  • SPU Culture Change Work Representative
  • Citywide Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Interdepartmental Team Member

Katia Garcia, Women & Minorities Business Enterprise (WMBE) Mgr

Katia Garcia, Women and Minorities Business Enterprise (WMBE) Manager
Katia.Garcia@seattle.gov

"I have lived in Seattle since the age of three and received my Master’s in Public Administration and B.A. in Accounting from Seattle University. I feel fortunate to work toward imbedding racial equity within the City every day. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two sons and our extended family as well as exploring the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest."

Core areas of work include:

  • Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) Program Manager
  • Branch Equity Teams Liaison – WMBE Subcommittees

Steve Hamai, Senior Racial Equity Advisor

Steve Hamai, Senior Racial Equity Advisor
Steve.Hamai@seattle.gov

Over the past 11 years Steve has led efforts to establish and embed racial and service equity into Seattle Public Utility policies, plans, decision-making, and project design processes. He is a trusted core team member of multiple utility-wide initiatives, teams, and line of business decision-making bodies, bringing voice and equitable design alternatives to customer engagement and problem-solving. A native of Berkeley, CA, Steve received his degree from San Francisco State University, has resided in Seattle for the past twenty-four years.
 
Core areas of work include:

  • Racial Equity Analysis and Planning Lead
  • Branch Equity Team Program Manager
  • Drainage and Wastewater advisor and BET Liaison
  • Financial Risk & Services Branch Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Project Delivery and Engineering Branch Advisor and BET Liaison

Natalie Hunter, Management System Analyst

Natalie Hunter, Management System Analyst
Natalie.Hunter@seattle.gov 
 
"I’ve been an employee of SPU since it was first established. I’ve been involved in the formation of the City’s Race & Social Justice Initiative as a key partner in its development at SPU. Employees around the City refer to me as the RSJI Historian. I house the RSJ and Diversity learning resources including books, DVDs, VHS, and historical & current documents."
 
Core areas of work include: 

  • Racial Equity Analysis and Planning
  • Drinking Water Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Financial Risk and Services Advisor and BET Liaison
  • WMBE Data and Reports 
  • SPU RSJI Training, Resources and Reporting, SharePoint Site 
  • SPU Culture Change Work Representative 
  • Citywide Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Interdepartmental Team Member 

Sam Keller, Senior Community Planner

Sam Keller, Senior Community Planner 
Samantha.Keller@seattle.gov
 
"I am social worker by education, community organizer by trade, and racial equity enthusiast by heart. I am honored to join EJSE where we seek to embed racial equity throughout the utility. I work from a place of curiosity and learning with a deep commitment to meeting people where they are. In my spare time, I am a long-distance runner."

Core areas of work include:

  • Racial Equity Planning and Analysis
  • Community Connections Operations Manager
  • Hazardous Waste Management Program Racial Equity Team liaison
  • Drinking Water Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Solid Waste Advisor and BET Liaison

Vicky Raya, Racial Equity Advisor

Vicky Raya, Racial Equity Advisor
Vicky.Raya@seattle.gov
 
"I am passionate about inclusive engagement and working to advance racial equity. My experience includes leading high-impact public engagement programs and facilitating complex project collaboration. Outside the office, you will find me spending time with family and friends, doodling, or enjoying the outdoors."
 
 
Core areas of work include:

  • Racial Equity Planning and Analysis
  • Community Connections – Department of Neighborhoods Liaison
  • Drainage and Wastewater Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Project Delivery and Engineering Branch Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Solid Waste Advisor and BET Liaison
  • Summer Youth Employment Program Co-Lead