Building strong community partnerships goes far beyond just outreach. It begins with equitable engagement and a focus on ensuring that all voices are heard. In this panel, hear from experts that successfully engage with the public on active transportation projects through their work with rural communities, schools, Tribes, and underserved communities.
Alma Leyva, Community Programs Manager, CalWalks
Alma Leyva Orozco is the Community Programs Manager at California Walks. She brings over 10 years of experience working with systematically excluded communities, particularly migrants, through organizing, research, leadership development, and public policy. Her work is rooted in the acknowledgment that all of our struggles are connected, the need for holistic health and the importance of movements being community-centered and driven. She coordinated and co-authored Undocumented and Uninsured: Immigrant Youth and the Struggle to Access Health Care in California, the first research project by and for immigrant youth on health care access in California. Alma also co-authored a chapter in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change. Alma has run leadership development programs both locally and statewide on immigrant health and civic engagement.
In her current role, Alma works with Spanish-speaking communities across California to address pedestrian and bicycle safety in a way that is culturally and linguistically sensitive. This work centers on the unique needs of these communities and engages them in a planning process on their terms.
Alma received her Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Los Angeles in Sociology with an emphasis in Inequality and Diversity.
Jenny Weiss, Projects Coordinator, Natural Resource Services Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA)
Jenny is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation. Since 2009, Jenny has been managing non-motorized transportation projects to support active living throughout Humboldt County. She leads policy change efforts, Safe Routes to School, trail and multimodal planning projects that are helping create a safer walking and bicycling environment on the North Coast. Her extensive background in public outreach and experience working with government and non-profit entities have helped her gain a well-rounded perspective and approach when it comes to coordinating with diverse partners and stakeholders. Jenny has assisted tribes, local cities and Humboldt County with preparing successful Active Transportation Program grant applications during Cycles 1-5. She completed the Cascadia Leadership Training, the National Charrette Institute Certification Training, Designing for Pedestrian and Bicycle OTS Training, Bicycle Traffic Skills 101, PICO’s Community Organizing Training, and was a Eureka City Schools Apple Pin recipient in 2017. In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time in her orchard, preserving foods, riding her bike and participating in the annual Kinetic Grand Championship Race.
Tamy Quigley, Senior Transportation Planner, Caltrans D2
Tamy was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Shortly after graduating high school she moved to Chico and obtained her associates degree in Fire Science from Butte Community College, then on to CSU, Chico to obtain a bachelor’s degree in health science administration and finished her graduate studies in Emergency Medical Services Administration. It was during her educational career that she worked as a firefighter for seven years and truly tapped into her calling to serve people but it was not until she began working for Caltrans that she quickly discovered her niche to serve and build strong partnerships within the small communities of District 2.
Tamy is now a Senior Transportation Planner with Caltrans District 2, where she has been working for 21 years in the Division of Planning and Local Assistance in the Offices of System Planning and Local Assistance.
Tamy developed and supervises the Office of Complete Streets and Livable Communities in District 2 where she oversees the work of the Active Transportation Program, the Complete Streets program and project development on Caltrans Capital Projects, Public Outreach and Engagement, Equity, Sustainability, Bike and Pedestrian Coordination, and the Native American Liaison.
Tamy’s strengths in the workplace are her deep passion for equity in rural districts and the meaningful work she has been able to grow and foster for bike and pedestrian mobility and inclusion in both planning and capital projects. Having worked her whole career in District 2, Tamy has a true sense of where complete streets needs are and who needs to be served the most.
District 2 is made up of the seven northeastern counties and is home to 18 incorporated cities, some with populations of less than 1000 people, and includes 34 Tribal Governments. District 2 is known for having the largest number of Mainstreets in the state, where the highway is the towns “Main Street” and has the largest amount of space on the state highway system open to those walking and biking. Tamy has made it her personal mission to build and maintain connections and partnerships with each community and makes sure she understands the multimodal needs in the district.
Tamy takes pride in the work she has done within the communities of District 2 and says most partnerships take years to develop and longer to maintain and states that any good relationship should take time to understand each other and that communication is the key to the successes she has had over the years.