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Staff and Board

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a grassroots organization where representatives from our 15 neighborhood groups set the annual priorities and elect our board of directors.

Our Staff

claraClara Cantor, Community Organizer, is excited to be putting her background in programs, volunteer management, and leadership development to good use advocating for safe streets with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. She believes in the power of grassroots organizing, the importance of equity and inclusion in our movement, and the incredible value of befriending neighbors. Clara is a natural community builder with a passion for making our home city a place in which all of us can live, move, and have fun.

 

 

 

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Gordon Padelford, Executive Director, believes in the potential power of local neighborhood greenways groups to transform Seattle for the better. He got involved with SNG through volunteering with his local group, Central Seattle Greenways, where he coordinated the SR 520 campaign and organized the 2013 Livable Streets Mayoral Forum. Every week Gordon is inspired by the positive impact community members are making in their neighborhoods, and comes to work everyday excited to bolster their efforts and cultivate the safe streets movement in Seattle.

 

 

 

KLwithNephewKL Shannon, Community Organizer: I am a longtime organizer who grew up in Seattle’s Central District and started my organizing career with Jobs with Justice and Mothers for Police Accountability. My body of organizing work includes issues that impact communities of color: Economic Justice, Housing, Immigration, Police Accountability, and Transportation. I’m helping to raise my fourteen-year-old nephew and actively support him by disrupting the school yard-to-prison pipeline that snags our black and brown boys.

 

 

 

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Susan Gleason, Development and Communications Director, joined the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff in 2017, after fourteen years at YES! Magazine. Susan has over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit and activism worlds, with particular expertise in outreach and engagement, fundraising, communications and event-planning. Susan feels passionately that mobility is a basic human right and shares our vision of inclusive, grassroots engagement and community-led activism. As one of the original members of the Rainier Valley Greenways neighborhood group, she knows firsthand how amazing this people-powered movement is!

 

 

 

Our Board

 

Barbara Gordon

Barbara Gordon

Barbara Gordon has been a volunteer and supporter of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways since the organization was founded in 2011. Barbara has a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health. She is passionate about tactical urbanism, climate change, public health, and reshaping our city to be the kind of place we need it to be. Barbara is a family biker and bikes with her son Hank around Lake Union and beyond.

 

 

 

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Barbara Wright, Vice President

Barbara Wright is currently a healthy community advocate working on parks, transportation and community livability issues. She was previously the Deputy Director of the Environmental Health Division, Public Health – Seattle & King County. She also served as Parks Director for King County, Washington, and Parks Director for the City of Omaha. She is a former Seattle Park Board Member and in 2014, she co-chaired the Seattle Parks Citizens Committee and that championed the successful Seattle Metropolitan Parks District. She is a former board member of the The Arboretum Foundation, Transportation Choices Coalition and Seattle Audubon.

 

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Benjie de la Pena

Benjie was the Chief of Strategy and Innovation for SDOT where he initiated the first ever city-wide Public Life Study to measure vibrancy and to understand how people use streets as public space. He led the development of Seattle’s New Mobility Playbook and the draft Transportation Information Infrastructure Plan. Benjie serves on the boards of Project for Public Spaces and Gehl Institute. He was advisor for L.A.’s Transportation Technology Strategy, the Mobiprize, and Cooper Hewitt’s The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility and Design with the Other 90%: Cities. He was instrumental to the launch of CityCamp, TransportationCamp, and Code for America.

 

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Bob Anderton

Bob Anderton is a year-round bike commuter. Bob is also a lawyer who has been representing injured bicyclists and pedestrians for nearly three decades. He is the founding attorney at Washington Bike Law where the firm’s motto is “Representing injured bicyclists statewide and helping make our streets safer for everyone.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Cathy Tuttle

Cathy Tuttle is a city planner and community organizer. After completing her Urban Design & Planning PhD at UW, Cathy worked for Seattle Parks leading the development of 40 parks and community centers. Cathy started and led several nonprofits including 350.org in Seattle and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Cathy now travels extensively by train, bus, and boat, consulting and exploring great public spaces for people. She has two delightful adult children

 

 

 

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David Goldberg, President

David has played a key role in developing national movements for smart growth and transportation reform. He led communications and strategy for Smart Growth America, a national nonprofit based in DC and for their spin-off, Transportation for America, which works to popularize support for walking, bicycling, transit and other options beyond the automobile. In 2003, working with national bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups,  David coined the term “complete streets” to describe those that provide for the needs and safety of all users, and was a steering committee member of the National Complete Streets Coalition. He has written planning guides and communications for housing, health, and transportation professionals and for philanthropists and advocates. A former chair of the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, he currently serves on the Seattle Planning Commission. He currently works at the Washington State Transportation Department, where he is the community liaison and ombudsman for Seattle mega-projects.

 

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Dai Toyama

Dai Toyama is a resident of Pinehurst who advocates for safe streets for people of all ages and abilities. Dai currently serves as the president of Pinehurst Community Council, working to bring a safe walking/biking environment into the neighborhood. He is also a member of the organizing committee for District 5 Community Network, facilitating communication and information sharing among the neighborhood groups in District 5.

 

 

 

 

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Janice Wu

Janice Wu is a Business Program Manager at Microsoft where she focuses on brand management, integrated communications strategies, and campaign development. Her past experiences include client relations at ADP, corporate relations/foundations at the Alzheimer’s Association, and Certified Nurse Aide at ManorCare. As an early-career professional board member, Janice is excited to learn about Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and is humbled by the opportunity to be involved with her community in such an intimate way while connecting with and learning from talented and passionate individuals.

 

 

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Mark Ostrow, Treasurer

Mark is a CPA who runs a consulting practice specializing in process improvement at very large nonprofits like UW Medicine and Sound Transit. In a prior life, he was creative director at an ad agency. Mark’s current creative outlet is the Twitter feed for Queen Anne Greenways, where he serves as co-leader. Mark loves to travel and observe what works and what doesn’t in cities around the world.

 

 

 

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Merlin Rainwater

After retiring in 2012 from a career as a Home Hospice nurse, Merlin unleashed her passion for sustainable transportation, with the bicycle at the center. She co-led Central Seattle Greenways, served on the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board and the Cascade Bicycle Club Board, and joined SNG’s Racial Equity team to develop SNG’s Racial Equity Action Plan before joining the SNG Board in (was that 2018? 19?). She leads SLOW Rides with Senior Ladies on Wheels, including biking and walking tours exploring Redlining and Racial Segregation.

 

 

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Mike O’Brien

Mike O’Brien has been a daily bike commuter for nearly 20 years and, having raised both his sons in the city in a multi-modal household, he cares immensely about the safety of all transportation systems users. Mike is a former Seattle City Councilmember having chaired the transportation committee for the past four years. He also serves on the Sierra Club’s national board of directors. He lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

 

 

 

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Phyllis Porter

Phyllis Porter is a community outreach and engagement specialist and was a co-founder and long time leader of the SNG’s Rainier Valley Greenways-Safe Streets group. She was recognized by SDOT as a 2015 Community Bridge Builder for initiating funding and organizing outreach for a new Rainier Valley neighborhood greenway. Phyllis served as a member of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board and she is the founder/director of the Seattle Chapter of Black Girls Do Bike. In 2019 she was a candidate for Seattle City Council for District 2.

 

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Shannon Nichol, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP, Hon AIA (Seattle)

Shannon Nichol is a founding partner of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). Her designs, including Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus, and the Burke Museum, are widely recognized for being deeply embedded in their neighborhoods and natural contexts. She and her partners received the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011, and GGN is the recipient of the 2017 ASLA National Landscape Architecture Firm Award. Shannon lectures internationally, frequently juries for design awards, and serves on advisory committees for universities and nonprofits.

 

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Troy Heerwagen, Secretary

Troy Heerwagen is a pedestrian advocate, professional consultant, and author who has supported Seattle Neighborhood Greenways since 2013. Troy operates @WalkingSeattle on Twitter and also produces the annual “Worst Intersection in Seattle” competition for The Urbanist. He loves to solve problems as a professional consultant and is the author of Move to the Place of Your Dreams: A Relocation Handbook. Troy enjoys walking, hiking, and biking with his wife and two children.

 

 

Past Board Members

 

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Edwin Rios

Edwin A. Rios was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Southwestern United States. He has a BA in History and Political Science and a MA in International Studies. He has worked in the economic development field for over 10 years. Currently, he is the Washington State Manager at Mercy Corps, a global non-profit humanitarian organization.

 

 

 

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Janine Blaeloch

Janine Blaeloch has been working to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in Lake City since 2013, when she founded Lake City Greenways. She has also been working with her neighbors for the last 7 years to create a neighborhood park on an undeveloped SDOT right of way dissected by a tributary to Thornton Creek.

 

 

 

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Michael Herschensohn

Michael is an inveterate bicyclist, not-for-profiteer, historic preservation planner and traveler. He believes that safe street can and should be engineered. He is convinced that even old people can be convinced to replace fossil fueled vehicles with bicycles if there are safe places to ride on all city streets. Following a career running a number of Seattle not-for-profit organizations (The Children’s Museum, MOHAI, Northwest Folklife), Michael has devoted his golden years to serving on numerous boards including Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Northwest Folklife, ACT Theatre, Reel Grrls and Inspire Washington among others. Annual trips to France and travels to Mexico, Ecuador, the Czech Republic, Finland and Spain have absorbed a lot of recent quality time. With 17 Seattle to Portland bike rides and eight years on the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways board under his belt, he is delighted to make room for younger people with fresh ideas.