Welcome to Livable Berkeley
Livable Berkeley Board of Directors
Erin Banks is a professional city planner who grew up in Berkeley. As an undergraduate she studied environmental studies at the University of Vermont. Ms. Banks’ planning work focuses on long-term planning and sustainability with an emphasis on community involvement.
Joe DiStefano has been a Berkeley resident for more than ten years. His professional expertise is in the coordination of land use with transportation systems, with a focus on transit and pedestrian-oriented development that promotes automobile alternatives, housing choice, and community diversity. A leader in his central Berkeley neighborhood, Joe is also an avid cyclist and amateur carpenter.
David Early is a professional city planner in private practice in Berkeley. He has lived in Berkeley for 18 years, and is the past president of Urban Ecology, a membership organization advocating sustainable development in the Bay Area and around the world.
Mike Friedrich is a 3rd-generation Berkleyan and a Berkeley resident himself for 23 years. He enjoys owning a home from where he can bicycle to work and walk to two dozen movies, while belonging to an active neighborhood association that’s looking out for each other and preparing for our next big Quake. He’s been active in union political efforts at the state and federal level. Through his work on the “No on P” campaign in 2002, Mike became involved in “smart growth” issues.
Ali Kashani has over 20 years experience in not-for-profit and private sector real estate development. He was the founding Executive Director of Affordable Housing Associates (AHA). During his tenure at AHA, Mr. Kashani oversaw the rehabilitation, construction and management of over 1,000 housing units in the Bay Area. After a one-year break from work starting in 2004 to spend time with his newly born son, Mr. Kashani founded Memar Properties, Inc, a private property development firm. He has lived in Berkeley since 1979 with his wife and four children.
Peter Levitt has lived in Berkeley for 20 years, residing in South, West, and North Berkeley neighborhoods. After graduating from Cal, he cooked at Oliveto and Chez Panisse, then taught mathematics at King and Portola Middle schools before returning to the restaurant business. In 1995 he and his partner took over the helm of Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen and oversaw the rebuilding of the business. Peter’s long-time involvement in the community led to his interest in Berkeley’s development process and future, especially in the effect it has on small businesses and the resulting character of the city.
Kim Marienthal is a realtor who currently serves on the Berkeley Public Library Board and on the government policy committee of the Board of Realtors. He has an environmental planning degree from UC Berkeley and is a long-time Berkeley resident.
Jim Orjala is a professional architect who has been in private practice in the Bay Area for 20 years. Jim has lived in Berkeley since 1992 and served as a Transportation Commissioner for the City of Berkeley for four years. His concerns include sustainable architecture and urban planning to reduce auto use and enhance the urban environment.
Alexander Quinn is an urban economist and a long-time resident of Berkeley and Oakland. He grew up in the East Bay and went to graduate school at UC Berkeley.
John Steere is an environmental planner who has resided in Berkeley for over 20 years. Active in urban habitat, greening, and park issues, he has helped develop a couple parks in the community, is the founder of East Bay Citizens for Creek Restoration, and serves on the boards of the Urban Creeks Council and Berkeley Partners for Parks.
Eve Stewart has worked in the field of urban planning and real estate development for over eight years. Her professional experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors has focused on affordable housing development, economic revitalization, and public finance. Having lived and worked in Berkeley since 2000, Eve has found that walking to work is just one of the many benefits of living here.
Alan Tobey is a retired technologist who has lived in Berkeley since 1970. Dedicating during his working life to bridging the worlds of technology and marketing, he joined Livable Berkeley with the goal of tackling some long-term, big-picture local projects that require similar bridges to succeed. A passionate photographer, he also volunteers with the Red Cross, the Golden Gate Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy.
Dorothy Walker is a 45-year Berkeley resident. She is the retired assistant vice chancellor of property development for the University of California, Berkeley and past president of the Berkeley Planning Commission. Dorothy is also a past member of the Berkeley Zoning Appeals Board, past president of the American Planning Association, and past president of the American Society of Planning Officials.