Community of Practice

Meet our voices from the field

We’ve invited a variety of voices to join our Porch Light Debates and share their reflections. Our Community of Practice is comprised of experts from across the health and housing fields. We’d like to thank them for all of the experience and insights they’ve brought to our project.

Michelle Wilde Anderson

Michelle Wilde Anderson is a scholar of state and local governance law. Her work combines legal analysis with research about human experience to understand concentrated poverty, both urban and rural, and municipal fiscal crisis. Her writing about the Rustbelt, the rural West, and Puerto Rico has appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, Yale Law Journal, and other national publications.

Ms. Anderson is currently writing a book about collapsing governments in America’s post-industrial areas. She is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, and the Robert E. Paradise Faculty Fellow for Excellence in Teaching and Research.

Lisa K. Bates

Lisa K. Bates, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and Director of the Center for Urban Studies at Portland State University. Her scholarly focus is housing policy and planning, focused on neighborhood change and racial equity.

She has engaged in research, planning, and policy formulation and evaluation with a variety of government and nonprofit partners, including ACORN Housing Corporation, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Portland Housing Bureau, and PolicyLink.

Megan Haberle

Megan Haberle is the Director of Housing Policy at the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), and leads PRRAC’s work in housing and environmental justice policy. Her focus is on policy designs, public education, and technical assistance relating to government programs and civil rights. She also serves as editor of PRRAC’s quarterly journal, Poverty & Race.

Before coming to PRRAC, Ms. Haberle worked at The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice policy and communications lab, and in private litigation practice in New York.

Betsy Julian

Elizabeth K. (Betsy) Julian is Founder and Senior Counsel of the Inclusive Communities Project, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization working for the creation and maintenance of racially and economically inclusive communities.

From 1994 to 1999, Ms. Julian served the Clinton administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, and Secretary’s Representative for the Southwest Region.

Tony Pickett

Tony Pickett is Vice President of Master Site Development at the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC). He is a LEED accredited professional with more than 25 years of real estate experience in the planning, financing, and implementation of large-scale urban redevelopment initiatives. He currently leads efforts in the Denver region, including multiple equitable transit-oriented development initiatives and the ULC’s largest vacant land multi-phase development.

A strong advocate for holistic and equitable neighborhood development efforts, Mr. Pickett has helped create and use tax increment financing to leverage private investments and government funding sources to revitalize distressed communities.

Carolina Reid

Carolina Reid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the Faculty Research Advisor for the Unviersity’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation.

Ms. Reid specializes in housing and community development, with a specific focus on access to credit, homeownership, and wealth inequality. She has most recently published research on the impact of the foreclosure crisis on low-income and minority communities, the role of the Community Reinvestment Act during the subprime crisis, and the importance of anti-predatory lending laws for consumer protection.

Megan Sandel

Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, is the Associate Director of the GROW clinic at Boston Medical Center and a Principal Investigator with Children’s Health Watch. She is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University’s School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

Dr. Sandel helped publish the DOC4Kids report, a national report on how housing affected child health, and has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and papers on this subject. She is the former pediatric medical director of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program, and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health.

Anna Maria Santiago

Anna Maria Santiago, PhD, is a Professor at the Michigan State University School of Social Work. She is a specialist in urban, anti-poverty, and social welfare policy as well as research methodology.

For more than two decades, Dr. Santiago has conducted research that examines the importance of place in the economic opportunities and life chances available to low-income Latino, African American, and Vietnamese families. Her current research focuses primarily on how federal, state, and local housing policies and programs serve as vehicles for community and social development.

Brian D. Smedley

Brian D. Smedley is Cofounder and Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis, and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity. In this role, Dr. Smedley oversees several initiatives designed to improve opportunities for good health for people of color and undo the health consequences of racism.

From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Smedley was Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC, a research and policy organization focused on addressing the needs of communities of color.

Bobby Stahl

Robert Stahl is currently an Associate Director of the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, California, and has proudly spent several years working to influence housing, economic, and climate-related policies to improve health in the neighborhoods and communities of historically marginalized groups in the Bay Area.

Mr. Stahl has extensive experience with research & writing, advocacy, and relationship-building in support of social, economic, and racial equity.

Deborah Thrope

Deborah Thrope is a Supervising Attorney at the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Deborah’s work focuses on policy advocacy to preserve federally subsidized housing and tenants’ rights in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs.

She also collaborates with state and national policy leaders to develop strategies to house chronically homeless adults, people with disabilities, and previously incarcerated individuals. Ms. Thrope served as Editor of the 2014 and 2016 Supplements to NHLP’s seminal publication, HUD Housing Programs: Tenants Rights.

Benjamin D. Winig

Ben Winig, JD, MPA, is Vice President of Law & Policy at ChangeLab Solutions. He manages a team of lawyers and oversees legal and policy interventions aimed at improving public health and advancing health equity.

Mr. Winig regularly advises elected officials, public agency staff, and community-based organizations on creating healthy, sustainable communities. He is a skilled trainer and facilitator, and has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences around the country. Before joining ChangeLab Solutions, he practiced municipal law at a private law firm and served as general counsel and assistant city attorney for several public agencies in the Bay Area.

Miriam Zuk

Miriam Zuk, PhD, is Director and Senior Researcher at the Center for Community Innovation. She has 15 years of experience in the fields of environmental justice and equitable development.

Dr. Zuk currently leads the Center’s work on residential displacement in the Bay Area, in collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and seven community-based organizations. She also teaches research design and writing to graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

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