About

Our Mission

California YIMBY’s mission is to ensure that California is an affordable place to live, work, and raise a family. We advance our mission by:

  • addressing and correcting systemic inequities in California housing laws, and in related laws and regulations;
  • empowering Californians across the state to engage their elected representatives at the state and local levels on housing and related policies;
  • ensuring that California housing laws and local regulations are evidence-based, equitable and inclusive; and
  • drafting and advocating for proven legislative solutions that accelerate the pace of home building.

We believe that an equitable California begins with abundant, secure, affordable housing. We focus on housing and land use policy at the state level to ensure grassroots organizers and city leaders have the tools they need to accelerate home building at the local level.


Our Vision & Values

Our vision is of a California where neighbors welcome new neighbors of all backgrounds, and current residents are not displaced from their communities.

We believe in neighborliness, and that communities are enriched and strengthened by openness and diversity. We believe that California holds the promise of opportunity for all: the chance to start a new life, the freedom to be our authentic selves, the promise of prosperity, the lure of our natural wonders.

We believe in empowerment, and support those who want to accommodate new neighbors while ensuring that new developments take place without displacement. We believe that existing residents have a right to remain in their neighborhoods. We make an effort to seek out and include people with varied backgrounds, experiences and identities to inform our agenda and priorities. We do not tolerate intolerance.

We pursue excellence in every aspect of our work — from the policies we design and support, to the way we interact with our colleagues, allies, partners, and elected officials. We believe trustworthiness is a pillar of human of progress. We are passionate advocates for more housing, and insist on holding ourselves to account. We believe in evidence-based decision making. When we learn something new, we change our views to accommodate our learnings.


Our Staff

Lori Boone, Finance & Operations Director
Lori has her BS degree in Accounting from California State University Sacramento, and she is a Certified Government Financial Manager. She is a retired government employee with 29 years of experience as a Senior Accountant Auditor, Budget and Financial Analyst, and an Administrative and Fiscal Operations Manager within County and State government. She served as a lead Fiscal Analyst Consultant on the Covered California (Obama Care) Project Team from August 2014 to June 2016. In her many government roles, Lori managed multi-million & billion-dollar budgets, Internal Audits, and centralized A/P, A/R operations. In her spare time, Lori is also an artist who paints in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. She also enjoys volunteering on mission trips and for homeless outreach programs. She is California born and raised and is passionate about the YIMBY mission to help make California more accessible and affordable for all to live in.

Stacy Cohen, Executive Vice President & Chief Advocacy Officer
After 20 years working as a film exec and producer, Stacy accidentally transitioned to a career in politics when she volunteered on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and couldn’t stop. She joined the President’s field team for the 2010 midterms as the California Field Director and continued on through the 2012 campaign. Stacy​ ​worked ​to support the​ President’s second term policy ​agenda​ as CA State Director at Organizing for Action. She’s passionate about storytelling and training new organizers.

 

Aaron Eckhouse, Regional Organizing Director
Aaron grew up in Iowa after his parents were forced out of the Bay Area by high housing costs and underfunded public schools. He moved to California two years ago, where he was taken by the beautiful landscape, amazing produce, and obscenely high rent. He is excited to apply his organizing experience from the 2012 Obama campaign and his YIMBY experience with East Bay for Everyone to the task of ending California’s housing shortage.

 

Brian Hanlon, President & CEO
Brian co-founded the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA) in 2015, which sues cities that violate state housing law. CaRLA’s novel impact litigation strategy yielded victory against Berkeley, lead to the drafting of SB 167, generated enormous press coverage for the YIMBY movement, and put scofflaw cities on the defensive across the state. Prior to co-founding CaRLA, Brian spent 10 years working for the US EPA and the US Forest Service. When he’s not fighting to expand housing affordability and access, Brian can be found cycling in the East Bay hills.

 

Konstantin Hatcher, Organizing Director
After a decade in sales and account management, Konstantin realized his passion for empowering people to own their voice through volunteer leadership on the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign. Beginning in Summer 2010 as an Obama campaign Regional Field Director, his Southern California volunteer operation was the most active in the country and he ultimately became the Operation Vote and Early Vote Director for Wisconsin in early 2012. After the Obama campaign, he returned to Los Angeles where he continued to lead the grassroots organizing efforts of several political campaigns and nonprofits. An avid boarder, you might find Konstantin careening down the slopes on his snowboard or cruising along the beach on his skateboard.

Vincent Jones, Southern California Political Director & Senior Advisor
Vincent is an innovative connector with a passion for finding creative solutions to advance progressive change. His career spans the worlds of philanthropy, non-profits, politics, government, communications, and travel. Vincent is a serial entrepreneur involved in a few social enterprises, served as Deputy Director of Campaigns and Senior Program Officer at the Liberty Hill Foundation, was executive director of the Center for Health Justice, led a youth civic engagement project for California Common Cause, and was Associate Director of the National Teen Leadership Program. He also was the LA County Field Representative for Sen. Barbara Boxer and worked in senior positions on her 2004 and 2010 campaigns as well as those of other statewide, federal, and local campaigns.  Vincent believes strongly in serving on non-profit boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Education (SCOPE), American Red Cross of Los Angeles, Swarthmore College, and A Wider Bridge.

Joe Kavanagh, Director, Organizing Product Management
Joe has worked in political organizing data for eight years, having started with the DNC in the 2010 midterms as a Special Projects Manager and serving as the California Data Director during the Obama 2012 campaign.  Since then he has worked with various non-profit and for-profit companies to help them design better organizing systems to engage the communities they work with. When he’s not busy in the office he acts as a judge for the Magic: The Gathering card game and currently serves as a senior adviser to the Southwest USA Region.

 

Matthew Lewis, Director of Communications
After a ten-year career as a broadcast and print journalist, Matthew moved into advocacy communications with a focus on environmental justice, energy policy, and climate change. From 2008 through 2012, he was Director of Communications for the ClimateWorks Foundation, an international philanthropic effort launched by the Hewlett and Packard Foundations to support global pollution-reduction and clean energy policy efforts. During his tenure at ClimateWorks, he co-founded Climate Nexus, a New York-based media and communications firm focused on climate science. In 2012, he was recruited to join Next Generation, where he helped manage campaigns related to early childhood health, poverty alleviation, climate policy, and clean air. He also co-lead the Risky Business Project, an effort to quantify and communicate the economic risks of climate change in the U.S. Matthew is a YIMBY homeowner who believes there’s plenty of room on his block for more neighbors.

Louis Mirante, Legislative Director
As an analyst in the California Department of Finance, Louis worked to develop and pass Governor Brown’s 2017 and 2018 budgets. This included work on legislation to improve the delivery of services and quality of labor protection. Previously, Louis was an Executive Fellow with the California Air Resources Board in the Office of the Chair and in the Legislative Affairs Division of the Department of Transportation. In 2016, Louis co-founded House Sacramento, a local YIMBY organization.

Darrell Owens, Policy Assistant
Darrell Owens is a 4th generation Bay Area native and a strong advocate of bigger, safer communities. Having seen the effects the displacement up close and the legacy of segregation in California, he works to promote fair housing policies and to build and preserve diverse communities in our urban core. Growing up among community advocates in the East Bay flats, Darrell fights however he can on city commissions, with local nonprofits, neighborhoods, and now as a policy analyst with California YIMBY to undo the housing shortage so essential to California’s inequity. He usually can be found walking around Berkeley and Oakland, or riding BART.


Our Strategy

California YIMBY’s tripartite strategy to end the housing shortage:


Our Fundraising

Foundations and individual technology leaders have provided the vast majority of our funding. We hope to broaden our funding base by appealing to the millions of Californians who want a more affordable and inclusive state. Donations are very much appreciated, but are not tax deductible, since much of our works consists of issue advocacy.