Meet the Workgroup

አማርኛ • 繁体字 • 简体中文 • ភាសាខ្មែរ • 한국어 • Oromiffa • af-Soomaali • Español • Tagalog • ትግርኛ • Tiếng việt • English

About the Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW)

Our Transportation Equity Program provides department-wide policy and strategic advisement on equitable, safe, environmentally sustainable, accessible, and affordable transportation systems that support communities historically and currently underinvested in by government.

The Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW) was established to seek input from a broad and diverse set of community members representing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and vulnerable communities.

Applications

Thank you for your interest in the Transportation Equity Workgroup. We are not currently accepting applications.

Translation Services

Individuals, coalitions and community-based organizations in need of language access services to help complete and submit an application may email transportationequity@seattle.gov or call 206-684-5142.

Frequently Asked Questions

Workgroup members will have personal and/or professional expertise, and be affiliated with community-based organizations, coalitions, and networks from/or serving the following communities identified from Resolution 31773:

  • Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities
  • Low-income communities
  • Immigrant and refugee populations
  • People living with disabilities
  • LGBTQIA+ people
  • People experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity
  • Women and female-identifying populations
  • Youth
  • Aging adults
  • Individuals who were formerly incarcerated
  • Displaced and/or high-risk displacement neighborhoods

Youth and young adults ages 17 to 24 are eligible to apply for a seat on the TEW. Youth who would like to apply will need to be affiliated with an agency, coalition or network. If selected, these agencies must provide mentorship and support throughout their participation in the TEW. Youth under the age of 18 will need to provide permission from a parent or guardian.

Members of the general public that do not identify with, are not affiliated with, and who do not have a letter of support from a community-based organization, group, coalition, and/or network serving poulations identified above are not eligible for a seat on the workgroup.

Yes, all efforts will be made by SDOT to provide access services for people living with disabilities to participate in the workgroup convenings, and we will coordinate with selected workgroup members on their specific needs. 

Yes, non-voting TEW members will be paid $50 per hour during the 3-month onboarding. Once members are voted in officially as TEW members, compensation for the 2023-2024 term is an hourly rate of $75. Each TEW member can bill up to $7,500 for the year. All TEW members will sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with SDOT.

Selected workgroup members are expected to serve a 2-year commitment and participate an average of 9 to 10 hours per month in TEW roles, an estimated total of 100 hours per year.

Members should anticipate participating in an average of 2 to 4 virtual/in-person meetings per month, depending on how light or busy the TEW work is. The majority of our meetings are currently virtual, but we do have occasional in-person gatherings.

Workgroup members are expected to collaborate with other TEW members, SDOT and City of Seattle staff to accomplish TEW deliverables. Expect to participate in some combined meetings with TEW and SDOT staff, and to review materials in between meetings, provide comments via email and have one-on-one meetings with fellow TEW members. To ensure we have fair and equal participation across the TEW, members cannot miss more than 3 TEW meetings annually.

A selection committee of TEW members and SDOT staff will review submitted applications and letters of support in mid-October. We will then select candidates to advance and meet with for interviews—tentatively late October or early November.

Interviews will be held virtually and candidates will have 15 minutes prior to the interview to review the questions ahead of time. After the interview process, we plan to make final selections and inform candidates by early December.

From 2019 to 2021, we co-designed the Transportation Equity Framework (TEF) with members of the TEW. The TEF includes values and strategies as well as an implementation plan with over 200 tactics, also co-developed with TEW members.

We are now in the 6-year implementation stage of the TEF and are continuing to collaborate with the TEW to deliver this. For more information on the development and implementation plan for the Transportation Equity Framework, click here.

Find more answers to questions about TEW eligibility, selection, and participation in our Transportation Equity Workgroup Application FAQ flyer (PDF).

Current Workgroup Members

Yordanos Teferi, Workgroup Co-Chair

Yordanos Teferi is an eDiscovery Attorney with over 17 years of experience in combined law firm and Fortune 100 companies. When Yordanos began serving on the board of the Eritrean Community Center, she was introduced to the great work of the Multicultural Community Coalition for which she currently serves as the Executive Director. Yordanos also serves on the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) Advisory Board and on the Communities of Opportunity (COO) Governance Board.

Yu Ann Youn, Workgroup Co-Chair

Yu-Ann Youn is a current student at the University of Washington's Robinson Center for Young Scholars working towards her Bachelor's degree in Construction Management. She is passionate about building racial equity and diversity in the Built Environment industry and is an active advocate for greater engagement with the community around urban planning and development. She joined the Transportation Equity Workgroup to bring light to the voices of low-income BIPOC communities and youth in the discussions surrounding transportation planning.

Rizwan Rizwi, Co-Chair Emeritus

Rizwan is President and CEO of SAR Wealth Management. He was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne in England and graduated from Newcastle University with a BA with honors in Business Management and later a MA in Business Administration. He has extensive experience in the Investment industry and spent a number of years managing an Equity Portfolio at SMITH BARNEY Citigroup (now part of Morgan Stanley)

In 2012, Rizwan became the Executive Director of Muslim Housing Services (MHS) where in 2018 they helped house over 1,100 people across King County, primarily homeless refugees and immigrants. He joined the Seattle Department of Transportation's Equity Workgroup to ensure that people had a say in Transportation decisions despite coming from economically disadvantaged or historically under-represented groups that are often overlooked in policy design.

Steven Sawyer, Co-Chair Emeritus

Bishop Steven R. Sawyer is a human rights advocate, community leader, entrepreneur, and national religious trailblazer with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management as well as a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Global Development and Justice from Multnomah University in Portland, OR. Currently, Steven works as the Executive Director of POCAAN, formerly known as People of Color Against AIDS Network, a multicultural social service agency serving marginalized communities in Seattle since 1987. The agency seeks to advocate, educate, and mobilize programming that addresses substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases, racism, sexism, homophobia, and other marginalizing disparities. His motto is shared with the organization: "Promoting Health, Mobilizing Community, and Transforming Lives.

An Huynh

An Huynh is the Public Space and Community Coordinator at the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). She facilitates community engagement and outreach for public space projects in the Chinatown International District by interfacing with local businesses, residents, and property owners as well as municipal departments, funders, and design firms to find consensus around the design of various public art, park design, and alley revitalization projects. An joined the TEW to lift up the experiences of folks living in the Chinatown International District where 72% of households speak a language other than English and 19.1% are elder, both often left out of transportation equity conversations.

Cesar Garcia

Cesar Garcia has called the Seattle area home for the last 17 years, where he works as a Spanish interpreter and the bridge of communication within a wide array of fields including medical, social and legal. He has also been a Community Liaison working independently for the Department of Neighborhoods for almost 5 years where he has helped clear pathways of communication between the city government and the community. Witnessing thousands of life experiences that impact immigrants and refugees is what led him to join his spouse Peggy Hernandez in founding Lake City Collective, which advocates for and addresses infrastructure and livability issues that mainly affect BIPOC families in Seattle's north end. Having lived in South, Central and North Seattle, Cesar has experienced first-hand the inequalities in the City's transportation and infrastructure investments. He joined the TEW to help break this form of oppression and improve safety in neighborhoods where families like his own live.

Ellany Kayce

Ellany Kayce is an enrolled tribal member of the Tlingit Nation, Raven Clan. She is the Executive Director of the Nakani Native Program, 501c3 in Seattle and throughout her career has worked as a racial and social justice educator and program developer, cultural consultant, event planner, coordinator, facilitator, trainer, curriculum developer and fundraiser. Ellany also has life-long experience working with Alaska Native, Native American, and First Nations communities, and is a trainer, traditional drummer, singer, dancer, and activist. She believes access to transportation is critical to daily living, and that lack of equity and social justice in transportation disproportionately affects those experiencing homelessness, racism, sexism, and classism, as well as keeps historically marginalized people from accessing employment, healthcare, and affordable housing. She is representing the Duwamish Tribe for the TEW, where she hopes to learn and advocate for the Duwamish and all Tribal/Indigenous Peoples.

Amir Noir Soulkin

Amir Noir Soulkin is the Communications and Development Director at East African Community Services (EACS), a 21-year-old Black-led-and-serving nonprofit founded by and for East African refugee and immigrant families living in King County. He is the primary communications contact for the organization and oversees the organization's fundraising and development department. EACS Seattle is in the New Holly area, an overwhelmingly BIPOC community that serves more than 350 youth annually through culturally rooted Pre-K through 12th grade afterschool, summer, and intervention and diversion youth mentorship programs that uplift the voices of East African refugee and immigrant families.

Amir graduated from Puget Sound Sage's Community Leadership Institute where he gained an acute awareness of the connections between class mobility and access to safe, affordable and equitable transportation, which connects every facet of life. Black immigrants are often left out of policy conversations because of language and/or access barriers, which is extremely dangerous for folx living in a society shaped through active democratic participation. Amir felt he could engage vital and impactful equity work on behalf of East African refugee and immigrant communities by serving on the Transportation Equity Workgroup: "Representation matters. BIPOC Solidarity Matters. Black Lives Matter. Black voices matters. Black interests' matter. Black economics matter. Black quality of life matters."

Karia Wong

Karia Wong has been serving immigrants since 1998, first as a volunteer and now as the Family Resource Center Coordinator at CISC, Chinese Information and Service Center. During her 20+ years of supporting immigrants, Karia has witnessed how transportation inequities become barriers for immigrants to thrive in their new lives in Seattle. She believes everyone should have the same access to safe, affordable, accessible and environmentally sustainable transportation options regardless of their country of origin, language, background and physical/mental capacities.

Former TEW Members

  • Khatami Chau
  • Kiana Parker
  • Kristina Pearson
  • Chris Rhoades
  • Christina Thomas
  • Phyllis Porter
  • Micah Lusignan
  • Julia Jannon-Shields
  • Sokunthea Ok (Department of Neighborhoods (DON), Community Liaison)
  • Analia Bertoni (Department of Neighborhoods (DON), Community Liaison)