AFFORDABILITY, LIVABILITY & SUSTAINABILITY
About Abundant Housing L.A.
California is in the midst of a housing crisis. Decades of resistance to new housing, especially in coastal communities, have resulted in unbearably high rents, worsened inequality, and displacement of low-income residents. Los Angeles County especially needs much more housing, for people of all incomes, near our growing transit system and major employment centers, if we ever hope to reverse these trends.
Abundant Housing LA is committed to education and advocacy on the affordability, livability, and sustainability benefits of more housing. We want lower rents and a more sustainable and prosperous region, where everyone has more choices of where to live and how to pursue their dreams. Density, when well planned, can enhance the social and economic life of the city. We do educational outreach for policies, plans, and individual projects that improve the lives of all. We welcome anyone who shares these goals to join us.
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. If you have any questions about our donation policy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Abundant Housing LA uses the ISO 2600 standard to integrate socially responsible behavior into the organization.
Abundant Housing LA is led by a steering committee of volunteers who are passionate about housing affordability and choice. Their biographies can be found below.
Leonora Camner, Managing Director
Leonora leads the organization day to day, building greater support for the growing network of AHLA volunteers who help us support housing.
Leonora has been a member of Abundant Housing LA from the creation of the Steering Committee more than 2 years ago. She is a long-time advocate for more housing and more affordable housing.
Outside of Abundant Housing LA, Leonora is a mom of two girls. 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.
In her free time, Leonora enjoys working on indie video games.
Chelsea Lee Byers, Director of Supportive and Affordable 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.
Luke H. Klipp, Education Director
Luke develops and facilitates educational content for AHLA members and allies. He also provides guidance on working with neighborhood councils and encouraging community stakeholders to get more involved locally.
By day (and some evenings), Luke is a Metro Board Deputy to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, where he ensures that the Mayor’s objectives for Metro-related items are met. He works closely with Metro staff around the Metro Blue Line, active transportation projects, and budget questions.
Luke has worked over a decade in local, state, and federal politics on a range of topics, from transportation and land use, to health care, to student loans. He’s the past President of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, a former candidate for Democratic County Central Committee, and former Chair of the New Leaders Council San Francisco chapter. Luke is grateful to be a graduate of two awesome public schools: the University of Michigan, where he got his B.A. in Music, and the University of California-Berkeley, where he got his Masters in Public Policy.
In the time he’s not working, Luke loves hanging out with his husband and their two pups at their Los Feliz home. He’s a big fan of the Los Angeles Football Club, where you can spot him and his boo taking Metro to games at Expo Park.
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
Stanley M Johnson, Social Media Director
“Los Angeles is one of the most amazing places to live in the World. We have a high concentration of highly motivated, talented, creative people. When you add that with the laid back lifestyle, amazing weather, diversity, fun activities, diverse events (Sports, Concerts, Theater, Nightlife, Churches, Family, Hikes, Beaches, and etc.) there are not too many places in the world that rivals us. I am truly in love with this city.
However, there are huge threats. Due to a mindset against density and a dependency on the automobile, L.A. leads the country in sprawl, unaffordability, and homelessness. L.A. problems are not unique to any city, and we have seen cities with much higher populations control these issues by building higher, building with a density mindset (particularly around public transit hubs), and zoning properly for the betterment of the overall city. I am excited to be a volunteer at Abundant Housing as we fight against the status quo and that we fight not only just for affordable housing, that we fight not only just for homeless housing (which both are crucial to our survivor) but we fight for ALL housing as Angelenos should not be spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Seeing an organization that fights for every person instantly attracted to me to them and I am excited to see so many people join in and get connect with us as we push the city to the right thing! Let’s make L.A. a city for everyone to live and enjoy!”
Tami Kagan-Abrams, Projects Director
Tami sends out Abundant Housing’s Project Support letters to city planners, city councilmembers, and neighborhood councils, and trains and advises volunteers.
After a fifteen year career in program management at Yahoo and The Walt Disney Company, Tami now focuses on strengthening Los Angeles through advocacy and volunteering. She serves on the Jewish Family Service Los Angeles Board of Directors as the Vice Chair of Programs, and sits on Council District 4’s Discretionary Funds Task Force. She believes passionately that an abundance of housing, especially more affordable housing, benefits all Los Angelenos.
Tami studied Communication Studies at UCLA for undergrad and received her Masters from the Annenberg School at USC. She enjoys reading, urban hikes, and traveling.
Mark Vallianatos, Policy Director
Mark advises Abundant Housing LA’ on policy issues and oversees the Policy Committee.
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.
Ryan Tanaka, Online Director
Ryan leads AHLA’s online engagement strategies, working with the Social Media and Projects teams to coordinate and organize the organization’s presence and activities online. He was working in the San Francisco/Bay Area until 2018, where he was exposed to the inner-workings of California’s housing crisis through his work at the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development under the direction of Mayor Ed Lee. He has been involved with the activities of YIMBY Action in San Francisco and Abundant Housing LA in Los Angeles ever since.
Ryan’s has a diverse background working in music, music composition/improvisation/history, academic research, data and product management, librarianship, civic technology, YouTube/Twitch streaming, video game development, and more. (Up in the Bay Area where the rents are sky high, you do whatever you can to survive.) He’s also an avid cryptocurrency enthusiast, which will show up in his work from time to time.
Ryan is also a regular volunteer at Code for America’s Hack for LA, and is the founder of the YIMBY Arts (yimbyarts.org) project, an attempt at helping Americans overcome their fear of density as a lifestyle choice. He also hosts weekly music jam sessions at his place in the Arts District just for fun — contact him if you’re interested in participating at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Brent Gaisford, Fundraising Director
Brent is the chair of the board and leads fundraising efforts.
When he isn’t volunteering with Abundant Housing, Brent works as the CFO and co-founder of Treehouse Co-Living, where he helps create innovative, community-focused apartment buildings. Prior to Treehouse, Brent was a strategy consultant with Bain & Company, as well as 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 rock climbing in the mountains, or at a coffee shop working on his science fiction novel.
Brent studied Economics at UCLA.
Anthony Dedousis, Director of Research and Analysis
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. He’s currently part of the marketing team 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.
You can often find Anthony at Dodger games, pub trivia, new restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, or recording new episodes of his podcast, The Sounds of LA.
Nick Burns, Westside Advocacy Coordinator
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.
Michael Martin, General Meetings DirectorMichael is the General Meetings Director for Abundant Housing LA, where he focuses on developing events that broaden the organization’s membership and provide opportunities for the public to consider how housing impacts every facet of life in Los Angeles.By day, Michael is the Head of Communities at SignalFire, a venture capital firm, where he built and cultivates a community of artificial intelligence engineers and data scientists. He is also the Co-Founder & Director of Policy at Free Machine, a non-profit that is focused on igniting the public’s imagination around issues related to the democratic oversight and ownership of emerging technologies.Michael believes in the social, economic, and environmental justice imperative of the provision of more housing for everyone. In his opinion, building more housing, however, cannot be disentangled from tenant rights, the sordid history of redlining, and the continued practice of exclusionary zoning across Los Angeles — the intersectional nature of housing should be examined firstly through an equity lens and this is the perspective he brings to his role with AHLA.Michael holds a BA in Political Science from Pace University and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of New Orleans, where he focused on reimagining civic engagement for the 21st century. He lives in Carthay Square with his wife and dog.