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It is with bitter sweet emotion, we wish our Director of Policy, Maya Rosas, a happy farewell! Read on as she shares about the great work she has done and her experience with us. We wish her the best of luck with all her future endeavors!

Three years goes by fast when you’re making change happen! Through Circulate San Diego, I have had the pleasure of being involved in the development of some of the most important local policies and shaping the conversation about the future of the San Diego region. I look forward to seeing how Circulate’s next policy lead will take our mission of creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods to the next level!

Vision Zero is such a crucial goal that San Diego adopted in 2015, and I’ve been able to work closely with advocates and City staff to increase the funding and prioritization of safe streets. In 2018, Mayor Faulconer committed to fixing the Fatal 15, which we had started advocating for the year prior. Then in 2019, the Mayor announced his plans to make improvements at 300 intersections citywide! While 2020 has not turned out how anyone anticipated, I hope the City will focus on increasing safe transportation options moving forward in the recovery from COVID-19.

In the last three years, the City installed bike lanes on University Avenue, began installing cycletracks from the Downtown Mobility Plan, and soon will begin installing bike lanes on 30th Street. We’ve also had the opportunity to rally behind and help support a wide range of policies and plans that create more housing options in San Diego, ranging from the RHNA update at SANDAG, updating the joint development policy at MTS, and a number of projects and policies at the City of San Diego. These and other projects required the advocacy of groups like Circulate and many more, and I’m grateful for having worked side-by-side with so many great partner organizations.

Circulate’s advocacy on Community Planning Group reform is personal to me. I spent two years on the Uptown Planners, which has driven me to work towards making these groups to truly represent the diversity of the communities they are supposed to represent. The campaign for Community Planning Group reform has been ongoing since the release of our report “Democracy in Planning” in 2018, and I am proud of the work that has been done so far. Our advocacy has raised awareness of the need for reform and proposed changes that would share the power of Community Planning Groups with renters, people of color, young people, and other historically disenfranchised groups.

In addition to our advocacy on plans and policies, I’ve had the chance to author or co-author nine reports on a diversity of topics including Vision Zero, affordable housing, and Age-Friendly Communities. These reports demonstrate the breadth of issue areas that Circulate works on at Circulate and that have shaped and will continue to shape policies in the San Diego region.

Outside of policy, I’ve had the great fortune of working with tremendous people who are allies at other organizations, staff at local agencies, and of course my colleagues at Circulate. I have grown and learned so much from working with my colleagues inside and outside of Circulate, and I can only hope that I gave back as much as I learned from everyone working so hard to create the equitable, accessible, vibrant San Diego we all hope to see one day.