We at Greater Greater Washington appreciate all of the women who have helped build our community, and today we want to take a moment to expressly hold up their contributions. Here is some perspective from Joanne Tang, an invaluable longtime volunteer to GGWash and senior member of our editorial board. — The GGWash editorial board
Some say Twitter is a garbage fire and nothing good ever happens on it. While I can be as cynical about social media as the next person, it’s actually not true when it comes to the GGWash community and my experiences with the brilliant women in it!
In fact, I got involved with GGWash through social media. In 2016, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw a request for Breakfast Links writers. I already wanted to volunteer but wasn’t sure how, and this tweet seemed serendipitous. I met Kelli Raboy and Sarah Guidi soon after; their ideas for GGWash’s morning coverage encouraged me to be a better, faster, and more varied reader and writer.
Since then, I joined the editorial board and moved onto writing articles for GGWash. I attribute the growth of our community partly to the growth in the kind of stories GGWash wants to write about — stories that are analytical, wonky, and deeply nerdy in the best ways. Many of these stories are also focused on the experiences of women urbanists, which helps affirm that urbanism is for everyone. I appreciate that GGWash has supported this kind of analysis and commentary. A few standout articles, in my book:
This year, GGWash created committees for our elections, advocacy, and events. Mary Hynes, Tracy Hadden Loh, Kathy Orellana, Sanjida Rangwala, Ariel Santillan, Karen Shanton, and Marina Streznewski join me in steering coverage of local elections. This committee has published weekly Election Links and are working behind the scenes to survey and talk to candidates on urbanist issues.
Our advocacy committee, which includes Tracy Hadden Loh and Abby Lynch, is examining bold ways to change the DC Comprehensive Plan to better support housing needs, get dedicated funding for Metro, and more.
But that’s not all! Many of our readers, contributors, and editorial board members are involved in advocacy just by doing what they do; that may be riding their bikes and taking the bus instead of driving, signing petitions, talking to their friends about things to do without cars, and sharing GGWash articles to their friends.
Much of the morning Breakfast Links are also brought to you by women. Our Lead Editor Julie Strupp now edits the Breakfast Links, but before her Kelli Raboy, Joanne Tang, and Abigail Zenner refined our format; recruited, trained, and coordinated our writers; and edited the daily links to bring you the best of the news every morning. Nicole Cacozza and Linnea Champ are part of our crack team of curators who read the news and write the link sets.
The women of Greater Greater Washington have written plenty of our content as well, of course. High fives to these amazing contributors (check out our full list including guest contributors here):
Alex Baca has worked in journalism, bike advocacy, architecture, construction, and transportation in DC, San Francisco, and Cleveland. She's written about all of the above. She currently runs UHBikes, Cuyahoga County's bikesharing system.
Susan Balding is a bike commuter and former bus driver with a passion for living in and creating more walkable, bikeable cities. She lives in Cleveland Park with her cat.
Renee Bourassa lives with her intrepid husband, spunky toddler, and her trusty mutt in downtown Frederick, Maryland. She spends her days working in water resource management as a communications extraordinaire.
Sharon Bulova is honored to serve her third term as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Northern Virginia. She was first elected Chairman in a special election in 2009 and previously served as the Braddock District Supervisor from 1988-2009. A Northern Virginia resident since 1966, Sharon lives in Fairfax with her husband Lou DeFalaise. Together, they have four adult children and seven grandchildren.
Alisha Butler is a graduate student in education policy, focusing on the effects of gentrification on public schools. She lives in Washington, DC and enjoys running long distances.
- Nicole Cacozza is an ANC commissioner in the Park View/Pleasant Plains neighborhood in Ward 1. She's a fan of DC sports, all weather biking, and street festivals.
Kristy Cartier grew up in Vienna near Wolf Trap and now resides in Herndon. She is on the board of Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park and has a master in agricultural economics. Kristy may market vehicle telematics, but she wants to see more walkable areas in Fairfax County.
Cheryl Cort is Policy Director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth. She works with community activists, non-profit groups and government agencies to promote transit-oriented development, housing choices, economic development and pedestrian safety, especially in less affluent communities.
Aimee Custis (editorial board) is a wonk, communicator, and Deputy Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Her writing represents her own views, though they’re often aligned with her employer’s. Weekends, you’ll find Aimee at home in Dupont Circle or practicing her other love, wedding photography.
Veronica O. Davis, PE, has experience in planning transportation, urban areas, civil infrastructure, and communities. She co-owns Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting company in DC. She is also the co-founder of Black Women Bike DC, which strives to increase the number of Black women and girls biking for fun, health, wellness, and transportation.
Jacqueline Drayer is the Community Outreach and Grants Manager for the DC Preservation League. She loves wandering Eastern Market and lives in Glover Park.
Carolyn Gallaher (editorial board) is a geographer and associate professor at American University. Her research interests include gentrification in DC, the emergence of “ethnoburbs” in Maryland and Virginia, payday lending, and tenant empowerment. Previously, she studied the militia movement in the US and Loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and son.
Sarah Guidi is Greater Greater Washington's Managing Director. A social worker by training, Sarah brings knowledge of nonprofit management, policy and advocacy, and community engagement to Greater Greater Washington. When she's not working, she enjoys visiting new parts of the city by bike, doing gymnastics, and reading novels. Sarah lives near Meridian Hill (Malcolm X) Park.
Anita Kinney enjoys a career as a government records manager. Her professional work has been previously featured on GGWash (she led the creation of the DDOT Library's digitization program, which lives on as a Tumblr blog and the “DDOT Back In Time” digital photo archive). She has been an avid bike commuter since 2006, and a MARC Camden line rider since 2016.
Tara Lerman is a writer and editor who lives in Eastern Market. She is a self-proclaimed coffee addict, and even has a blog devoted to finding the best coffee spots in DC. When Tara is not writing, you can usually find her at a comedy show, concert, or one of DC's many free museums.
Diana Lind is the managing director of the University of Pennsylvania Fels Policy Research Initiative. She was executive director and editor in chief of Next City.
Tracy Hadden Loh (advocacy committee) loves cities, infrastructure, and long walks on the beach looking for shark teeth. She holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from UNC-Chapel Hill. By day, she is a data scientist at the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University. By night, she is an activist, a law enforcement spouse, and the mother of a toddler. She served two years representing Ward 1 on the Mount Rainier City Council in Prince George's County, MD.
Mary Hynes (board of directors, elections committee) moved to Arlington from Minnesota in 1977 and has been a citizen activist and 20-year elected official. As a member of the Arlington County Board from 2008-2015, she chaired the COG Region Forward Coalition and served on the WMATA Board of Directors, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, and more. She now sits on the Commonwealth Transportation Board. In her spare time, she plays the standup string bass in a local blues group, Two Blue.
Claire Jaffe was born in DC and now lives in the U Street area. She is a University of Michigan graduate and currently works at Coalition for Smarter Growth. On her off time, Claire can be found biking the street of DC or exploring the many green spaces throughout the region.
Kristen Jeffers (editorial board) is a writer and advocate who started The Black Urbanist to share her thoughts on transportation and urban design. She's a native North Carolinian, formerly of DC’s Park View neighborhood and currently of Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood.
Brigid McDermott is a resident of mid-city Washington, DC who volunteers with WIN (Washington Interfaith Network). She wants to live in a diverse and inclusive city, but likes to escape to the countryside to play with horses occasionally.
Jenifer Joy Madden is a multi-media journalist and founder of DurableHuman.com. Vice chair of the Fairfax Co. Transportation Advisory Commission, she was instrumental in the Tysons Metrorail Station Access Management Project and planned a multi-purpose trail system that connects to Tysons.
Kathy Orellana is a Montgomery County native who is passionate about thoughtful infrastructure. When she’s not working to address the social determinants of health, she’s leading cross country practice runs through Rock Creek Park.
Erin Phillips is a George Mason University student pursuing a BA in Social Innovation and Enterprise. She hopes to enter a career in non-profit with a focus on sustainability. She is currently an intern for the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Outside of her work and academic life, she enjoys exploring new places, writing and reading poetry, spending time outdoors, and streaming podcasts on sustainability.
Kate Rabinowitz is the creator of datalensdc.com, a website dedicated to visualizing the District through data. She resides in a Capitol Hill alley home and enjoys data mining, board games, and wandering city streets.
Kelli Raboy (edit board alum) works as a federal contractor supporting research on vehicle automation and communications. She loves all things cities, public transit, and rail. She lives in Navy Yard.
Sanjida Rangwala grew up in Canada and lived in multiple places in the US before landing in Silver Spring with her husband and two cats. She thinks way too much about infrastructure, inclusivity, and why we live the way we do. In her entirely unrelated day job, Sanjida figures out where the genes go in the genomes.
Emily Ranson is an advocate for a sustainable environment and transportation system. Most, if not all, of her free time is spent riding her bicycle in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
- Jessica Raven is a local activist and mom, raising one toddler and one cat in Bloomingdale. She is the Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, a grassroots nonprofit working to make public spaces safer for everyone.
Brina Seidel is a Montgomery County native living in Ward 6. She is one of the very, very few who has ridden the H Street Streetcar.
Karen Shanton is a writer and analyst who has covered elections and election policy up and down the ballot. She lives and works in Benning.
Sarah Jane Shoenfeld is a co-director of Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, a public history project documenting the historic segregation of DC’s housing, along with its schools, playgrounds, and other public spaces. Sarah is from Washington, lives in Brightwood Park, and has an M.A. in History from Northeastern University.
Julie Strupp is Lead Editor at Greater Greater Washington. She's a journalist committed to building inclusive, equitable communities and finding solutions. Previously she's worked for DCist, Washingtonian, and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. You can usually find her sparring with her judo club, pedaling around the city, or chatting with her neighbors on her Park View porch.
Joanne Tang (editorial board) is a Northern Virginia native and a graduate student in public administration and policy, focusing on resiliency and emergency response. She lives in Alexandria and enjoys learning about pretty much everything, including the history of pencils.
Helen Wieffering has lived and worked in Washington, DC since 2016. Her favorite street to walk or bike is Florida Avenue
Natalie Wexler is a DC education journalist and blogger. She chairs the board of The Writing Revolution and serves on the Urban Teachers DC Regional Leadership Council, and she has been a volunteer reading and writing tutor in high-poverty DC Public Schools.
Elizabeth Whitton is a transit and health planner, whose passion for infrastructure began during her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. After several years as a Capitol Hill resident, she now lives in Florida.
Abigail Zenner is a former lobbyist turned communications specialist. She specializes in taking technical urban planning jargon and turning it into readable blog posts. When she’s not nerding out about urban planning, transportation, and American History, you may find her teaching a fitness class. Her blog posts represent her personal views only.
Eve Zhurbinskiy is a third-year student at the George Washington University, and has been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Foggy Bottom since September of 2015. A New Jersey native, she is passionate about reproductive justice and engaging students in local advocacy.
Why not take some time to read some articles these women have written? And, of course, share in the comments your own salutes to the women in our community.