Emily Weinstein

Emily Weinstein
Location: Oakland, California Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Community/Civic Engagement, Public Policy Populations Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Deputy Director, Housing and Community Development
City of Oakland

Emily Weinstein’s passion for affordable housing and social impact is rooted in a belief that the built environment has the power to transform lives, and that Cities should be dynamic, soulful places where people and their communities can thrive. For the past 20 years, Emily has spearheaded comprehensive housing and community development initiatives in some of the most economically challenged and under-resourced neighborhoods in California. Most recently, she worked as an independent strategy consultant advising developers and public agencies on how to maximize the economic, social, and health equity outcomes of their projects by applying a wide set of community-centered strategies throughout the real estate development process. Now she serves as a Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Oakland.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Bay Area Dialogue of Low-income Communities with Stakeholders to Envision an Equitable Bay Area
Though there are policies to mitigate the effects of real estate development in the Bay Area, it’s not working—gentrification is rampant, and health disparities between neighborhoods continue to increase. This fuels anti-development sentiments, contentious relationships, and systemic harm in low-income communities. We will leverage this moment of collective awareness to engage in radically reflective conversations about the future of the built environment in the Bay Area. Through a series of facilitated discussions, we will center the experiences and needs of low-income communities most impacted by gentrification and ask stakeholders (community members, community-based organizations, developers, urban designers, and planners) to stretch their imaginations to redefine what a healthy and spatially equitable Bay Area looks and feels like. We will use art and science to express this equitable future by integrating a graphic recorder, artists, and a public health evaluator into the process.

With 20 years of experience, Emily has built a career at the intersection of people and places, leveraging the built environment to create vibrant places that foster a sense of hope, encourage community, and support people’s holistic well-being. By layering a sophisticated understanding of housing, politics, community engagement, cross-sectoral partnerships, and real estate, Emily focuses on homeless prevention, anti-displacement, and placed-based policies that provide a foundation of affordable housing and economic development that strengthen the connections between people and the spaces they share.


Click here to watch Emily’s Legacy Project video.