Ellen has dedicated her professional career to improving the health and wellbeing of low-income communities of color. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she was Executive Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) for 12 years. She serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including: City of Oakland’s Park and Recreation Commission and the Board of Directors for the East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). She received her Master's in Public Health from UCLA.
Director of Policy and Advocacy Campaigns
Bob has led the Transportation Justice Program at Urban Habitat since 2007. In 2009, Bob helped lead a successful campaign to stop the use of $70 million in federal stimulus funds for the Oakland Airport Connector project based on civil rights violations. More recently Bob led UH's work supporting the successful Free MUNI for Youth campaign and regional equity campaign through the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network. His background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and internationally, labor organizing, as well as organizing and advocacy with refugee and immigrant communities. Bob received both his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History and his Master's in Public Policy from Rutgers University.
Program Director of Leadership Development and Advocacy
Larisa is a passionate advocate with a great sense of humor and love for justice. Working with and for communities of color and low-income communities energizes and inspires her. At Urban Habitat, she oversees the leadership development activities of the organization, ensuring alignment with our policy priorities. She is an alumna of Urban Habitat's Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). Larisa is an advisory board member for PODER, a San Francisco-based economic and environmental rights organization and board treasurer/secretary for EBASE, an Oakland-based regional economic rights organization. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she managed a ten-county immigration legal services collaborative at the International Institute of the Bay Area.
Director of Finance and Operations
For over 25 years, Pam Flood has worked to provide a strong foundation for non-profits working for equity and social justice. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she was the Director of Finance and Operations of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) for 15 years. Her experience includes financial management, operations, human resources, event management, fundraising, and grantmaking. Pam is a graduate of Amherst College, earning a B.A. in Sociology and Black Studies.
Program Director of Equitable Development
Leslie is from the Bay Area and is committed to building better cities through equitable land use and planning policies. She worked in the non-profit sector in New York City for several years before returning to the Bay Area to earn her master's degree in Urban Affairs from the University of San Francisco. Her master's thesis, "Building a Better Map: Imagining Racial Equity in Oakland," looks at institutional and grassroots visions of racial equity for Black Oaklanders and considers the ways in which urban space could promote public benefit rather than private profit. Leslie's work centers community-based research and advocacy in order to promote the right to the city and racial justice.
James hails from the suburbs of Southern California and is currently happy to lend himself to the housing justice movement in the Bay Area. He is a big fan of making food, watching anime, and the public library system. James has worked in a variety of community-based organizations as well as racial justice policy and research institutes. Most recently, he worked as a Community Organizer with the Housing Rights Committee of SF, where he focused on the city's Westside neighborhoods.
Communications and Grants Manager
Sunaena brings over 10 years of experience as a policy and communications leader in the economic inclusion and asset building fields. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, Sunaena worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she helped develop and implement a national strategy for advancing youth financial capability. She also served as Public Policy and Communications Manager at EARN, a nonprofit focused on helping low-income families build financial security. Sunaena holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley and is a proud alum of the Greenlining Institute Leadership Academy and the Women’s Policy Institute. Sunaena is an immigrant from Nepal, an avid reader who enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors.
Vallejo Housing Justice Organizer
Cristal has joined Urban Habitat as the Vallejo Housing Justice Organizer. Cristal works closely with Vallejo residents and community organizations to develop a comprehensive housing justice policy agenda for the city. She will also help raise community awareness on tenant rights, affordable housing and preservation, and alternative land and housing strategies. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, Cristal worked in municipal governance, with more than six years of experience in a variety of roles. Cristal received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis as well as her Master’s in Public Policy from Mills College.
Program Manager of Leadership Development and Advocacy
Genay is an activist from the Bay Area with over 10 years of experience working to advance racial and social justice through education and civic engagement. She is passionate about amplifying community voices and supporting leadership development in affordable housing and land-use policy. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, Genay was the Lead Community Organizer with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) where she oversaw the organization's leadership development efforts and advocated for racial justice through TNDC’s Racial Justice and Police Conduct Taskforce. She is currently a Glide Legacy Committee member and an alumna of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI).
Program Manager of Equitable Development
Ramon is dedicated to supporting low-income communities and communities of color by creating paths to equity in urban planning. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, he was the Environmental Health Community Planner for Sarasota County in Florida. Ramon co-founded the Hispanic/Latinx Association of Sarasota County, where he helped increase access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination for low-income communities of color. He previously worked for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation in San Francisco, focusing on tenant rights and low-income housing development. Ramon's expertise is in participatory budgeting, community organizing, community planning, and policy work in California and across the nation. He received his Bachelor’s degrees in Ethnic Studies and Geography from UC Berkeley and his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning & Latin American Studies from UCLA.
Tony Roshan Samara
Program Director of Land Use and Housing
Tony has conducted extensive research focused on the politics of development and the marginalization of low-income communities, with an emphasis on housing, gentrification, and displacement. Since 2007 he has worked with the Right to the City Alliance as a resource ally and currently serves on the Alliance’s national steering committee. Tony has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MA from the City University of New York. Before joining Urban Habitat he was an associate professor of sociology at George Mason University. He runs the Cities and Globalization Twitter account at https://twitter.com/CGWG2 and most of his publications are available at http://independent.academia.edu/TonyRoshanSamara.