BUILDING THE MOVEMENT TO HOUSE LA

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About Abundant Housing LA

Abundant Housing LA is a pro-housing, nonprofit advocacy organization working to help solve Southern California’s housing crisis. Our organization supports more housing at all levels of affordability and reforms to land use and zoning codes, which are needed in order to make housing more affordable, improve access to jobs and transit, promote greater environmental sustainability, and advance racial and economic equity.

We advocate for more housing of all types, send letters and show up at meetings to speak out in favor of new housing projects. We also conduct research and educate the public as well as elected officials on the benefits of more housing. As a 501(c)4 organization, we also engage in political activity to support pro-housing candidates for office.

Together with the Abundant Housing LA Education Fund, our 501(c)3 partner organization, we are the YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) voice for LA County.

A small group of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) Angelenos protect housing scarcity and stand in the way of more affordable housing for Angelenos. We instead stand for a Los Angeles with abundant housing near good jobs and accessible to convenient, sustainable transit.

Abundant Housing LA began as an all-volunteer organization in 2016, and while we’ve grown over the years, most of our on-the-ground work is still done by volunteers. Reach out to get involved and join the party!

Read our Policy Agenda here.

Read our housing element policy letters here.

Abundant Housing LA does not accept donations from housing developers or their land use consultants. This is to prevent any conflict of interest on the part of our organization. In order to prevent donations from these sources, we investigate donations of significant value which we define as over $1000.00 total per year. Individuals who are employees of a development company are permitted to purchase a personal supporting membership to the organization in order to attend members-only events, but contributions must be limited to below $1000.00 per year per company. If you have any questions about our donation policy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at contact@abundanthousingla.org.

If you have a housing project that you would like to submit to us, please use this form.

If you would like to request an endorsement, please use this form.

Thank you to our Major Donors! You make this work possible. To donate to AHLA, click here!

Abundant Housing LA is committed to centering racial and economic justice in all of our work. Read our statement.

AHLA Staff

  • Leonora Camner, Executive Director

    Leonora leads the organization day to day, building greater support for the growing network of AHLA volunteers who help us support housing. In addition to being a YIMBY, Leonora is a believer in RHNA, the housing element process, and the need to create funding for housing subsidies.

    Leonora has been a member and volunteer of Abundant Housing LA since 2016. She is a long-time advocate for more housing and more affordable housing. She is currently serving on the Santa Monica Housing Commission.

    Outside of Abundant Housing LA, Leonora is a mom of two girls. She is also on the board of Random Access Democracy, a democratic lottery advocacy organization. Previously, she was an attorney working in the non-profit sector to defend tenants from eviction. Additionally, she worked for the No on Measure LV Campaign in Santa Monica against an extreme anti-development ballot measure. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. For undergraduate studies, she attended New York University.

  • Jaime Del Rio, Field Organizer

    Jaime is a LA native born and raised in the San Fernando Valley with a bachelor’s degree from CSUN as an Urban Planner. He joins Abundant Housing LA with over six years of Community Organizing experience organizing in marginalized communities at LA County. Previously before joining Abundant Housing LA, Jaime worked at TreePeople, where he led outreach efforts on a Need Assessment WaterTalks survey and organized on Water Equity issues. He also worked at Neighborhood Housing Services of LA County, advocating and organizing on affordable housing/homeownership and environmental justice issues. Outside Abundant Housing LA, Jaime enjoys biking at the LA River and discovering new hiking trails to hike during his free time.

  • Anthony Dedousis, Director of Policy and Research

    Anthony leads AHLA’s efforts to develop data-driven urban planning research and policy proposals. He believes that the YIMBY movement has the facts on its side, and that an analytically-grounded approach to advocacy will strengthen the case for more housing in more places.

    Anthony has spent his career using data to help businesses solve problems, and he has experience in the banking, food and beverage, and tech industries. Most recently, he worked on marketing and international strategy at ZipRecruiter, a fast-growing tech company in the hiring space.

    Anthony is originally from Long Island, New York, and is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago’s MBA program. Although he has lived all over the country, he’s proud to call LA home.

How can I make a difference?

Join us and help educate and advocate for more housing. We have opportunities to make your voice heard on the housing issue, ranging from just clicking a button to send a letter on housing, to testifying about your story in front of policy-makers. Simply sign up for our newsletter to learn more. Or take the next step and become an official supporting member.

BECOME A MEMBER
  • Haley Feng, Communications Manager

    Haley Feng is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Planning at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Prior to arriving at Price, she attended community college and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at UCLA.

    Haley grew up in China and immigrated to the United States at 16. Her dual cultural and socioeconomic background informed and motivated her passion for uplifting communities. Haley worked as a project coordinator and later research associate at various nonprofit and institutional organizations, where she took on active roles in communications, outreach, and program management. Efforts under her belt include urban greening, environmental education, a green infrastructure feasibility study, building an urban farm, workforce development, and business assistance.

    Haley believes that a just, prosperous, and equitable city must be livable to all and affords opportunities for all. Within the realm of urban planning, she is especially interested in housing and economic development, as well as land use and sustainability.

Boards of Directors

Abundant Housing LA and the Abundant Housing LA Education Fund are led by a committee of volunteers who are passionate about housing affordability and choice. Their biographies can be found below.


    BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Brent Gaisford, Board Chair

    Brent is the chair of the board and leads fundraising efforts. He also serves on the board of Abundant Housing LA.

    Prior to his volunteer work with Abundant Housing LA, Brent was the CFO and co-founder of Treehouse Co-Living, a strategy consultant with Bain & Company, and a project manager for Bayes Impact, where he managed teams of data scientists working on non-profit projects to combat homeless, improve education, and reform criminal justice.

    Brent has a long-standing passion for local politics and in 2010 he was elected to the Westwood neighborhood council and served its treasurer from 2010-2012.

    In his free time, you can find Brent backpacking, skiing, or climbing in the mountains, or at a coffee shop working on his science fiction novel.

    Brent studied Economics at UCLA.

  • Alan Greenlee, Board of Directors

    Alan Greenlee is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH). He has served in this capacity since October, 2012. Over Alan’s 25 year professional career, he has demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income families join the economic mainstream by supporting beneficial public policy at the local, regional, state and federal levels. Alan has designed, implemented and managed programs operating from coast to coast, impacting hundreds of thousands of low-income and underserved families. As an entrepreneur, Alan developed market making products and services for the solar industry. Drawing from the full range of his experience, allows Alan to innovate in the fight against poverty tempered by the practicalities of the real world. The combination yields efficient, effective and scalable solutions.

  • Chelsea Lee Byers, Board of Directors / Director of Affordable and Supportive Housing

    Chelsea Byers is the Chair of the Campaign to End the Statute of Limitations on Rape and Sexual Assault and a member of the 2017-2018 inaugural cohort of the Speakers Justice Bureau through the Community Justice Reform Coalition. She coordinates and facilitates creative direct action training and resource development to support organizers around the globe with Beautiful Trouble and has mobilized thousands of change-makers through grassroots advocacy training and campaign development. She has organized dozens of public demonstrations for social justice, held vigil for political prisoners and whistleblowers, and earned media at the 2016 Republican National Convention for gun violence prevention advocacy. After she disrupted and ended his hateful speech during a campaign stop in Las Vegas on January 20th, 2016, Donald Trump said of Chelsea, “That’s a young woman that doesn’t know… She’s Lost… To hell with her.” In 2014, Chelsea was named ‘Proud Community Ally’ by the Northern Arizona Pride Association for her work organizing Flagstaff’s largest rally in history against discrimination legislation SB 1062. Chelsea is a contributor to the feminist blog The Engaged Gaze and a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus. In July 2017, Chelsea launched the Mural Map LA – a free resource to build community through greater accessibility to street art in Los Angeles.

How can I make a difference?

Join us and help educate and advocate for more housing. We have opportunities to make your voice heard on the housing issue, ranging from just clicking a button to send a letter on housing, to testifying about your story in front of policy-makers. Simply sign up for our newsletter to learn more. Or take the next step and become an official supporting member.

BECOME A MEMBER
  • Gabe Rose, Board of Directors

    Gabe is passionate about pursuing justice by investing in long-term transformational change efforts. He is currently a Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Fundamental, helping family foundations to strategically deploy their resources to achieve impact. He previously spent almost a decade as a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Parent Revolution, a non-profit organization supporting families in LA’s most marginalized communities to organize to improve their children’s public schools. Gabe got involved with housing activism and Abundant Housing LA as he, his friends, and the families he worked with had to pay increasingly outrageous rental costs to live in LA, with no end in sight.

    Before joining Parent Revolution, he was selected for and completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Los Angeles, a national experiential leadership-training program. Gabe is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served as undergraduate student body president during his senior year. He currently serves on the board of Coro Southern California and is an active volunteer in numerous progressive political campaigns every cycle.

  • Pam O'Connor, Board of Directors

    Pam O’Connor is the former mayor of Santa Monica, California. She previously served this post from 1998 to 1999, and from 2004 to 2005. She is also the former president of SCAG’s regional Council. Currently, she works as a Planning Consultant.

  • Michael Manville, Board of Directors

    Michael Manville is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Both his research and teaching focus on the relationships between transportation and land use, and on local public finance. Much of his research concerns the tendency of local governments to hide the costs of driving in the property market, through land use restrictions intended to fight traffic congestion. These land use laws only sometimes reduce congestion, and can profoundly influence the supply and price of housing.

    Dr. Manville’s research has been published in journals of planning, economics, urban studies, and sociology. He has received research funding from University Transportation Centers, from the John Randolph Haynes Foundation, and the TransitCenter, among others. He has consulted for developers, environmental groups, local governments, and the United Nations.

    Dr. Manville has an MA and PhD in Urban Planning, both from UCLA Luskin. Prior to joining Luskin as a faculty member, he was Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University.

  • Mark Vallianatos, Board of Directors

    Mark is a policy analyst, advocate and academic interested in a range of urban and environmental issues. He started his career advocating on international trade and investment rules for Friends of the Earth. After working and teaching at Occidental College for more than a decade he is launching a new urban change think tank and advocacy group to help remove barriers to the positive evolution of the LA region.

    When not being a policy wonk, Mark likes exploring the LA region and spending time with his wife, daughter and son. He also enjoys uncovering the history of such building blocks of LA as single family houses and food trucks.

    Mark studied political and social thought and received his law degree at the University of Virginia.

  • Peter Lynn, Board of Directors

    Peter Lynn is a public servant who has worked in low income housing and homelessness for the past 20 years. He led the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for five years through 2019,
    a period of tremendous change for the lead agency of nation’s largest Continuum of Care, growing funding levels from $75 to $402 million, and transforming the organization from a
    passthrough contract administrator to the central strategic partner in LA’s collaborative addressing homelessness. He grew LA’s federal homelessness grant funding portfolio 65% to
    $130 million. Peter focused LAHSA on evidence-based practices, on implementation of LA’s coordinated entry system, and lifting up the interconnected roles of housing affordability and
    systemic racism as key drivers for LA’s homelessness crisis. Prior to LAHSA, he ran Section 8 for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), doubling the size of HACLA’s
    homeless programs to more than 14,000 units, and reducing barriers to access for some of the city’s most challenging, service-intensive populations.

    He served on several regional and national bodies addressing homelessness including the  National Alliance to End Homelessness Leadership Council, Mayor Garcetti’s Homelessness Cabinet, and the Home For Good Leadership Team.

  • Michael Menjivar, Board of Directors

    Michael Menjivar is the Deputy Director of Community Engagement for LAUSD Board District 6, supporting the office of Board Member Kelly Gonez. In this role, Michael works directly with
    the LAUSD schools and communities in the east San Fernando Valley, where he was born and raised and where he attended public LAUSD schools. Michael is happy to be working in this
    capacity after serving in various policy and political roles throughout the greater LA area. Prior to this role, Michael was the Public Policy Organizer for the Southern California
    Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH), where he advocated and led the organization’s campaign efforts for more affordable housing in the Los Angeles area. In earlier years, Michael
    was a Field Director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and led their efforts in the San Fernando Valley to pass Propositions HHH and JJJ in November 2016,
    affordable and homeless housing measures, and to defeat Measure S and pass Measure H in March 2017.

    Before jumping into organizing, coalition-building, and campaigns, Michael spent four years in non-profit fundraising. Always interested in making the transition to policy work, Michael complemented his professional experience by remaining active in his community, and joined the North Hollywood North East Neighborhood Council in 2015, serving time as the Treasurer and
    Chair of the Land Use Committee. Michael is motivated to affect positive improvements at the local level to bring greater equity to the San Fernando Valley communities.

  • José Trinidad Castañeda, Board of Directors

    Jose Trinidad Castaneda III the Orange County Climate Justice Organizer at Climate Action Campaign. He educates, organizes, and mobilizes thousands of residents to engage with the local
    elected officials on climate action, clean energy, transit and affordable housing. Prior to his work at Climate Action Campaign, Jose worked on LA County’s Sustainability Master Plan and Safe, Clean Drinking Water Measure W. While serving as a City of Fullerton Commissioner, Jose led successful campaigns to renovate parks in disadvantaged communities, and update friendlier Accessory Dwelling Unit laws. As an individual who grew up with asthma and bronchitis, Jose was the voice behind additional air quality sensors in Orange County, and was appointed to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Youth Council. Jose is a fellow of the New Leaders Council Los Angeles and founder of YIMBY Voice, a pro-housing community organization. Jose was elected as a delegate to the California Democratic Party and Central Committee member to the Democratic Party of Orange County. When he isn’t engaged in local politics, you can find Jose empowering youth through permaculture and hydroponics.

  • Joss Tillard-Gates, Board of Directors

    Joss Tillard-Gates is the Senior Program Director of Policy for Enterprise Community Partners, Southern California. In that capacity, he is responsible for policy development, support and implementation for the company’s footprint throughout Southern California. Tillard-Gates joined Enterprise after serving as a registered lobbyist for Los Angeles County, based in Sacramento, California, and prior to that role, Tillard-Gates served as the legislative director for the 3rd District Board Member, for the California State Board of Equalization, representing the member on matters both state and local, while also contributing to his legal team. Professionally and through his volunteer work, Tillard-Gates finds value in living a service driven life.


    C4 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Brent Gaisford

    Brent also serves as the chair of the board of the Abundant Housing LA Education Fund.

    Prior to his volunteer work with Abundant Housing LA, Brent was the CFO and co-founder of Treehouse Co-Living, a strategy consultant with Bain & Company, and a project manager for Bayes Impact, where he managed teams of data scientists working on non-profit projects to combat homeless, improve education, and reform criminal justice.

    Brent has a long-standing passion for local politics and in 2010 he was elected to the Westwood neighborhood council and served its treasurer from 2010-2012.

    In his free time, you can find Brent backpacking, skiing, or climbing in the mountains, or at a coffee shop working on his science fiction novel.

    Brent studied Economics at UCLA.

  • Ilissa Gold

    lissa Gold is a union-side labor law attorney with Reich Adell & Cvitan, with a particular focus on assisting public school teachers assert their rights at work. She was previously a labor relations representative with the California School Employees Association, representing classified public school employees in the Torrance, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School Districts.
    She is the founder and immediate past president of the Miracle Mile Democratic Club, one of the most active and pro-housing Democratic clubs in Los Angeles County. She also serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party and as an alternate member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee. She has used these roles to bring more young, pro-housing activists into the party leadership.
    Ilissa became invested in the housing issue during the fight over Measure S, when she could not believe that Los Angeles would consider stopping housing construction in the middle of a crisis, and worked to defeat the measure. She has been involved in Abundant Housing LA ever since. For her housing advocacy, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed her to the Los Angeles Central Area Planning Commission, where she currently serves as Vice Chair.
  • Nicholas Burns

    Nick leads Abundant Housing LA’s advocacy efforts on the westside, helping to build community by making it possible for more people to be a part of the community.
    By day, Nick is a financial analyst at Payden & Rygel, an investment management firm in LA, where he helps manage bond portfolios for institutional investors. Before Payden, Nick worked at Cambridge Associates in Boston, MA, where he helped advise foundations and university endowments on their investments. Nick studied International Relations and Chinese at Tufts University.
    When he isn’t at work or supporting Abundant Housing LA, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, serving on the finance council at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, and supporting the Los Angeles Football Club from the North End with the rest of the 3252.

How can I make a difference?

Join us and help educate and advocate for more housing. We have opportunities to make your voice heard on the housing issue, ranging from just clicking a button to send a letter on housing, to testifying about your story in front of policy-makers. Simply sign up for our newsletter to learn more. Or take the next step and become an official supporting member.

BECOME A MEMBER
  • Sahar F. Khundmiri

    Sahar F. Khundmiri is the Volunteer & Advocacy Manager for Safe Place for Youth (SPY) where she promotes pro-housing advocacy, support for the unhoused community on the Westside, anti-racism, and training for volunteers working with youth experiencing homelessness. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Sahar has conducted several facilitations and trainings on a wide variety of topics like homelessness, housing policy, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy. After moving to Los Angeles to continue her work, she was struck by the disastrous results of existing zoning laws and housing overall, like widespread homelessness and BIPOC being disproportionately unhoused. This led to a deep dive into the housing advocacy world for which she actively organizes and advocates for both professionally and personally today. Aside from her advocacy work in housing, in her personal time Sahar is an active sitar player and enjoys facilitating in Muslim and/or BIPOC spaces. 

    She holds a Masters in Religious Studies and Nonprofit Management, as well as certification for Women and Gender Studies from Georgia State University.

  • David Edimo

    David has previously conducted research with Abundant Housing LA on homelessness and housing scarcity. He is a former member of the Maryland State Board of Education, where he worked to modernize Maryland’s school accountability plan, increase access to mental health resources, and support curriculum innovation. In addition, he has worked with OneOC, Southern California’s nonprofit success accelerator, to build a post-pandemic strategic plan, develop its first legislative advocacy strategy, and launch a program to increase minority representation on nonprofit boards in California.

    David has also been a campus chair for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, a legislative intern for Senator Chris Van Hollen, and a volunteer for Representative Jamie Raskin’s congressional campaign. He is currently writing his thesis on innovative programs that improve the affordability and reliability of electricity. In May, David will graduate from Yale University, where he studies economics and became the first Black student in thirty years to win the North American Debate Championship.

  • Mark Edwards

    Mark R. Edwards is the Vice President of Government Relations for a leading nonprofit, which is a 90 -year leader in helping people overcome barriers to employment. Prior to his present job, Mark was the sole proprietor of MRE Communications, which specialized in assisting clients in developing and implementing clear and cost-effective strategies that achieved their goals. His last contract was the No on Measure S campaign where he was a key member of the community engagement team. Raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, he has lived in Los Angeles County since 1995.
    Volunteer Background:

    On the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, the Executive Committee as Vice Chair of the Workforce Development Committee & Hollywood Chamber PAC Vice President

    Treasurer, Mixed Roots Stories

    Miracle Mile Democratic Club, President and a founding member and an alternate on the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee

    An appointed delegate to the California Democratic Party Central Committee

    Served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (final rank of Corporal)

  • Naomi Goldman

    Naomi Goldman is Principal at NLG Communications, a full-service public affairs, public relations and crisis management firm. She has directed award-winning communications programs for Fortune 500 companies, local, state and federal public agencies and municipalities, academic institutions, nonprofits and foundations, and focuses on campaigns that engage communities, safeguard reputations, advance policy and business agendas and affect social change.

    Goldman has spearheaded programs addressing some of the nation’s most pressing social issues, including the last seven years on Southern California’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis.  She handled communications for the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, which oversees the deployment of Measure H funds, and worked with the LA County Board of Supervisors on complex policy, funding and public outreach issues.  Prior to that, Goldman directed communications initiatives for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority around funding, programmatic and policy-oriented issues and served as media spokesperson.

    She is the Vice President of Legislative Advocacy for Heart of LA Democratic Club, an ambassador to United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Everyone In campaign and serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party, and is using these roles to support and enact local, state and federal legislative and funding remedies to help people move from homelessness to housing.