Equity Advisory Committee launches in November

New committee will advise PSRC on policies and programs

PSRC's Equity Advisory Committee will have its first meeting on November 4. The new 19-member committee is a working group composed of residents as well as governmental and community-based organizations in the Puget Sound region representing Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities and other marginalized groups.

The Equity Advisory Committee will collaborate with PSRC staff and elected officials across the region to remove barriers and leverage the full brilliance of BIPOC communities, improving the innovation, resilience, and success of the region.

The committee will guide development of the Regional Equity Strategy, which will include data and best practices that PSRC and its member jurisdictions can use to incorporate racial equity more effectively in plans and policies for the central Puget Sound region.

Equity Advisory Committee Member Roster

King County

Ben Sung Henry
Ben Sung Henry

Ben Sung Henry currently lives in Renton and has spent 20 years serving as a journalist, lobbyist, policy associate, community leader, and progressive movement-builder. He currently serves as Communications Director at Social Venture Partners International. He brings an equity lens to all his work, addressing the barriers facing marginalized Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities throughout Washington.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Biracial (Korean and white)

 

 

 

 

Chris Stearns
Chris Stearns

 

Chris Stearns serves as a councilmember for the City of Auburn. He’s been committed to fighting for racial equity and justice his entire career as a lawyer representing Indian Tribes across the nation and has also served in positions within the federal government devoted to upholding treaty rights and improving services to Indian Tribes.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Native American (Navajo)

 

 

 

 

Debbie Lacy
Debbie Lacy

 

Debbie Lacy currently lives in Kirkland and is the founder of Eastside For All, which convenes partners to transform policies, practices, investments, and relationships so that the needs and solutions of communities of color are centered. She works with community and government agencies to address gaps in access to opportunities, resources, and representation.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Mexican and white

 

 

 

Elly Trinh
Hien "Elly" Trinh

 

Elly Trinh is an academic immigrant from Sai Gon, Vietnam, who currently lives in Burien. She works at a human services nonprofit and is a student at South Seattle College working on a certificate in Building Science. She has a strong connection to community and innovative ideas on outreach / engagement.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Vietnamese

 

 

 

 

Lalita Uppala
Lalita Uppala

 

Lalita Uppala currently lives in Bellevue. She serves as the Executive Director of the India Association of Western Washington (IAWW), which is the longest-serving Indian community-based organization in the Pacific Northwest. As part of her work, she has created programs, workshops and community conversations to address systemic racism.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Asian Indian

 

 

 

 

Lisa Espinosa
Lisa Espinosa

 

Lisa Espinosa currently lives in West Seattle and serves as an Energy Management Analyst for Seattle City Light. Lisa has an extensive background in providing energy efficient programs to communities. She is passionate about developing equitable benchmarks and brings tools and a strong connection with communities to support these efforts.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Latina and Native American (Apache)

 

 

 

 

Megan Espinoza
Megan Espinoza

 

Megan Espinoza currently lives in Seattle’s Hillman City and is an architect at a firm designing affordable housing. She has an extensive background in planning and zoning and is passionate about ensuring decisions are informed by community.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Latina and white

 

 

 

 

Kitsap County

 

Brenda Fantroy-Johnson
Brenda Fantroy-
Johnson

 

Brenda Fantroy-Johnson serves as a councilmember for Bainbridge Island and Lead Security Risk Manager for AT&T. She is a founding member of the Bainbridge Island Race Equity Advisory Committee and has a passion for reducing inequities related to transportation and housing.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: African American

 

 

 

 

 

Jewel Shepherd-Sampson
Jewel Shepherd-
Sampson

 

Jewel Shepherd-Sampson currently lives in Port Orchard. She is a small business owner who has served on community advisory panels effectively connecting community to government agencies. She has a passion for working with youth and encouraging them to use their voices to impact change.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: African American

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon Turner
Shannon Turner

 

Shannon Turner currently lives in Poulsbo. He serves as the 2nd vice president of the NAACP in Bremerton, WA (Branch 1134) and is the chair of the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Committee for the 23rd LD Democratic Party. In these roles he leads conversations, trainings, forums, etc. on racial inequities and how to combat them.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Black/African American

 

 

 

 

Pierce County

 

Brendan Nelson
Brendan Nelson

 

Brendan Nelson has lived in the Hilltop community his entire life. He serves as the Executive Director of EPIC, which is a nonprofit that focuses on addressing the needs of communities of color through business support, access to housing resources, educational opportunities, etc.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Black/African American

 

 

 

 

Dionne Bonner
Dionne Bonner

 

Dionne Bonner currently lives in Central Tacoma and is passionate about reducing displacement. She is a small business owner and an artist who uses design as a catalyst to open dialog and reflection. 

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Black

 

 

 

 

Laurenne Sayles
Laurenne Sayles

 

Laurenne Sayles currently lives in Central Tacoma. She serves as a grant writer for the Urban League where she delivers human interest storytelling in the fields of education, youth, diversity/inclusion, workforce development, and social justice.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Black

 

 

 

 

Lucretia Robertson
Lucretia Robertson

 

Lucretia Robertson currently lives in Gig Harbor. She owns a small business and currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kitsap Regional Library where she works to operationalize equity, create space for race-conscious conversations and cultivate an inclusive culture where staff and patrons feel a sense of belonging.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Black

 

 

 

 

Snohomish County

 

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

 

Jason Smith currently serves as the Training and Community Outreach Administrator for the City of Marysville. He has successfully led several advisory committees to improve outcomes for marginalized communities.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Biracial (Black and white)

 

 

 

 

Lupe Valtierra-Prieto
Lupe Valtierra-
Prieto

 

Lupe Valtierra-Prieto is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She currently lives in Mill Creek. She’s passionate about the importance of community informing decisions and as a DACA recipient working in the healthcare system, she brings a unique perspective about the barriers faced by undocumented professionals.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: American Indian-Mexican Diaspora

 

 

 

 

Micah Santiago
Micah Santiago

 

Micah Santiago currently lives in Lynnwood and has extensive experience advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and training high school students with visual impairments. He identifies as queer and is legally blind.

Pronouns: he/him | Race/Ethnicity: Mexican and white

 

 

 

 

Michelle Stewart
Michelle Stewart

 

Michelle Stewart currently lives in Everett. She’s working on a Masters in Public Administration at The Evergreen State College and brings a nuanced understanding of urban growth areas.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: Black

 

 

 

 

Mindy Woods
Mindy Woods

 

Mindy Woods served in the military, has experienced homelessness and currently lives in Edmonds. She now serves as the Human Services Program Manager for the City of Edmonds and sits on several committees bringing a lens of equity to all of her work.

Pronouns: she/her | Race/Ethnicity: white and Native American