YIMBYtown Conference: April 11-13, 2022

Portland, Oregon




All activities scheduled at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Union Building (1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201) unless noted otherwise. All times and speakers subject to change.

Day 1 – MONDAY, APRIL 11

9:00am-10:30am: Welcoming Introductions 

Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom – Recording Link
Welcome to YIMBYtown! Welcome to Portland State University! And welcome to the Pacific Northwest.

Candace Avalos, Verde, Portland: Neighbors Welcome Board Member
Alan Durning, Sightline Institute
Dr. Aaron Golub, Portland State University
Hosted by Aaron Brown and Steph Routh, YIMBYtown Co-Mayors


10:45am-12:00pm: Breakout Sessions

What do Housing Providers Have to Say About Zoning Reform and City Policies? – Recording Link
Room 294

YIMBYs talk frequently about the benefits that zoning reform can bring towards increasing the supply of new market-rate housing, but affordable housing providers are also greatly impacted by municipal and statewide changes to housing policy, too. This panel interviews three housing providers about how Portland’s and Oregon’s zoning reforms will change the housing they build and speak about how to further collaborate with abundant housing advocates to maximize the number of homes they can provide to those in need.

Julia Metz, Catholic Charities of Oregon
Paul Del Vecchio, Ethos Development
Preston Korst, Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro
Moderated by Jeannette Lee, Sightline Institute

Inclusionary Housing: A dial, not a switch – Recording Link
Room 296

For almost two decades, Oregon’s cities were prohibited from using inclusionary housing as part of their toolkit to encourage new housing for people living on low-to-moderate incomes. What was the intent behind lifting this ban in 2016? Wat have we learned? How do we move forward? During this session, we have brought together those who initiated its inception and those who are tracking its progress so we can get past the hot takes for a solutions-focused conversation.

Vivian Satterfield, Verde
Cassie Graves, Portland Housing Bureau
Stef Kondor, Related Northwest
Moderated by Kate McFarlane, Sightline Institute

Cultivating Business Leadership for Abundant and Equitable Housing:
Presented by Business for a Better Portland – Recording Link
Room 327
How can housing advocates build relationships with business leaders to support a larger agenda of housing abundance? In an era in which municipal politics are often dominated by corporate-interests, civic leaders willing to speak out about the importance of proactive investment in equitable housing practices are a critical asset in the larger campaign to implement progressive policies for housing abundance and climate action. This panel features three Portland-based civic leaders who have used their positions as entrepreneurs to advocate for housing justice and transportation improvements for better urban form, and provides an opportunity for advocates to learn more about how to cultivate small business leadership in their own communities.

Ryan Hashagen, Icicle Tricycles
Hope Beraka, Think Real Estate
William Henderson, Ride Report
Moderated by Mike Westling, Brink Communications

More Trees for More Neighbors – Recording Link
Room 328
We love our urban tree canopy, and we love more neighbors. How do we ensure all neighborhoods—across income, race, and geography—can enjoy the benefits of greenscape and residential infill?

Dr Vivek Shandas, Portland State University
Ted Labbe, Urban Greenspaces Institute
Roque Deherrera, Legacy Group Capital


12:15pm-1:15pm: Lunch Keynote

Housing Abundance Requires Abundant Transportation – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

What do advocates for fair and abundant housing have in common with advocates for fair and abundant transportation, and how can they better collaborate to advocate for the neighborhoods we want? Four practitioners, advocates, and organizers break down why land use and transportation are so intertwined and what that means for the work ahead.

Alex Baca, Greater Greater Washington
Alex Contreras, Happy City Coalition
Jarrett Walker, Jarrett Walker Associates
Amy Stelly, Claiborne Avenue Alliance
Moderated by Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute


1:30pm-2:30pm: Breakout Sessions

What’s Happening in the Federal Government? A presentation by Up For Growth – Recording Link
Room 294

What do advocates for fair and abundant housing have in common with advocates for fair and abundant transportation, and how can they better collaborate to advocate for the neighborhoods we want? Four practitioners, advocates, and organizers break down why land use and transportation are so intertwined and what that means for the work ahead.

Mike Kingsella, Up For Growth
Taylor Smiley-Wolfe, Up For Growth Action Board Member

Tenants Rights In Our Backyard – And Tenants In Our Coalition, Too – Recording Link
Room 296
While there might be minor policy disagreements on the margins, the concepts of achieving housing justice by fighting for more homes to be built fighting for stronger tenant protections aren’t inherently contradictory. There’s clearly work to do, however, to organize at the speed of trust and find opportunities for common ground and build durable, broad coalitions for housing justice that pit YIMBYs and tenants not against each other but instead in collaboration against housing precarity and scarcity. This panel features speakers who have worked on numerous campaigns for renters’ rights to discuss successes and failures of building these coalitions, as well as charting a path forward for stronger alliances towards housing stability justice for everyone in our communities,

Tram Hoang, Housing Justice Center
Jamey Duhamel, City of Portland
Moderated by Shelby King, Shelterforce

You’re a YIMBY? Great, Why Aren’t You a Small Developer Yet? – Recording Link
Room 328

After all these great pro-housing policies get passed, who is going to do the actual implementation of these building types in your community? Large-scale developers are not yet lining up to build triplexes and basement apartments in your neighborhoods. Come hear stories from advocates who decided they’d roll up their sleeves and add the housing and neighborhood amenities they wanted to see themselves. This presentation will also give an introduction to the basics of small scale infill development.

Neil Heller, Neighborhood Workshop
Nicholas Papaefthimiou, infillPDX LLC
Payton Chung, Westover Green

Land Use Policy is Climate Policy is Housing Policy – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
Research says that to build low-carbon neighborhoods, we need to plan for regions filled with dense, walkable communities comprised of abundant and affordable housing connected by frequent and reliable transit. But how do we get there, and what role can abundant housing advocates play in coordinating with transit and climate advocates to spur these changes? This panel features the latest research on the significant of smart land use policy and advice from advocates on how to make the housing/transportation link more durable.

Jarred Johnson, TransitMatters
Joe Cortright, City Observatory
Ben Holland, Rocky Mountain Institute


2:45pm-4:00pm: Breakout sessions

The Future of Historic Preservation – Recording Link
Room 294
Is the role of historic preservation to memorialize loss, or does it have an active role in building something different? What is the distinctive role of historic preservation in moving forward? Whatever your definition of these terms, you will be invited to hold them lightly during this conversation.

Kristen Minor
Cleo Davis
Winta Yohannes, Albina Vision Trust
Moderated by Steph Routh, Sightline Institute, YIMBYtown Co-mayor

Developers Sound Off: Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Build All This Dang Housing – Recording Link
Room 296

With legislation for missing middle housing rapidly sweeping the country, who is stepping up to build the duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes that are now relegalized for America’s urban cores? This panel features developers currently building these new missing middle housing who will provide their perspective on how these new laws are and aren’t streamlining the construction of new places to live.

Ezra Hammer, TaylorMorrison
Eric Thompson, Oregon Homeworks
Payton Chung, Westover Green

Moderated by Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute

Keeping Our Neighbors Housed – Recording Link
Room 328
The crisis of homelessness dominates so many aspects of municipal politics here in Portland and other cities with a massive affordable housing shortage, and many crucial initiatives are currently susceptible to a growing, coordinated revanchist political revolt . How can advocates for abundant housing show up in these spaces to support advocates in their work of getting everyone housed, and also fight off the grumps more concerned that they have to see poverty and suffering than the fact such injustice exists in the first place? This panel provides speakers who will discuss the ongoing struggle to implement proven, humane policy solutions and what role YIMBYs can play in shifting the narrative about housing policy.

Cole Merkel, HereTogether Oregon
Mercedes Elizalde, Central City Concern
Mindy Woods, Resident Action Project

Equitable Schools Demand Equitable Neighborhoods – Recording Link
Room 329

Abundant housing advocates propose sweeping changes to zoning codes to hack away at segregation; education advocates have been attempting to integrate public schools for decades with at best a mixed record of success. Schools are the social center and bedrock of a neighborhood, and decisions about school boundaries are often at least as contentious as those of zoning, especially along lines of race and class. This panel features education and housing advocates to discuss the role public schools play in the future of upzoned urban neighborhoods and what YIMBYs should know as they work for housing affordability and social integration.

Courtney Westling, Portland Public Schools
Dan Reed, Just Up The Pike
Scott Bailey, Former Portland Public School Board Member
Moderated by Rachel Cohen, Vox Media

Winning Abundant Housing: Japan & New Zealand – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
Not every country suffers from acute housing shortages, spiraling prices, displacement, and the rest of the NIMBY nightmare. In this session, we’ll hear – via Zoom from Tokyo and Auckland – from leading observers about two fascinating places. Japan has the most affordable and stable home prices and rents in the industrial world. What’s the story? And New Zealand has recently adopted one of the most sweeping upzones in the world. How did it accomplish that? Lessons from afar for YIMBYtown!

Kirdan Lees, Sense Partners, Auckland
Robin Harding,
Financial Times, Tokyo
Jiro Yoshida,
Pennsylvania State University and University of Tokyo
Moderated by Alan Durning, Sightline Institute


Public Testimony: Housing Advocates Sound Off at the Story Slam*

Doors at 6:00pm, Presentation at 7:30
Stage 722 – 722 SE 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97214
[food and drink available for purchase from vendors at venue]

Hosted by Leah Benson
Steph Routh,
YIMBYtown Co-Mayor
Councilmember Mitra Jalali, City of St Paul
Mindy Woods, Resident Action Project
Valeria McWilliams
Zach Wiley




Parking Reform Network Happy Hour – 4:30 to 6:30 PM
Rogue Brewing
928 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214



9:00am-10:30am: Breakout Sessions

Fighting the Freeway Industrial Complex and What It Means for Housing – Recording Link
Room 294

Reducing urban car dependency is a necessary and integral initiative to making housing more affordable, neighborhoods more healthy, and lowering our emissions. Yet American transportation policy overwhelmingly continues to spend billions on freeways. How are transportation, climate, and housing advocates working to stymie the freeway industrial complex and what does it mean for the movement for abundant housing?

Anna Zivarts, Disability Mobility Initiative
Alex Contreras, A Happy City Coalition
Adah Crandall, Sunrise Movement PDX / Youth Vs ODOT
Martha Roskowski, Further Strategies
Moderated by Ryan Packer, The Urbanist

Building Healthy Organizations and Sustainable Movements – Recording Link
Room 296

How do you create an advocacy organization that is inclusive, welcoming, and focused? How do you avoid burnout from staff and board members? How do you turn a small slack channel’s worth of housing advocates into a powerhouse organization shifting public policy at the city- and state-level? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but they are certainly the questions asked of anyone interested in building an organization. This panel features three leaders who have held leadership positions in numerous social movements, political campaigns and nonprofit organizations, where they will speak on the lessons learned to make sure our efforts support long term success.

Henry Honorof, Welcoming Neighbors Network
Jesse Kanson-Benavav, Abundant Housing Massachusetts
Sarah Weber-Ogden, Community Organizer

What Does It Take To Pass Statewide Zoning Reform? – Recording Link
Room 328

While the YIMBY movement got its start shooting spitballs at neighborhood associations and municipal governments, the last few years have seen housing advocates wil gamechanging legislation passed through their state capitols. Oregon’s HB 2001 in 2019 and California’s passage of SB 9 last fall represent a whole new path forward for proactive zoning reform to relegalize missing middle housing. This panel features three housing advocates from West Coast states sharing their perspectives on the key ingredients necessary for statewide victories, and how these campaigns differ from the municipal advocacy in terms of strategy, community engagement and messaging. Also, let’s celebrate these monumental victories!

Brian Hanlon, California YIMBY
Mary Kyle McCurdy, 1000 Friends of Oregon
Alex Brennan, Futurewise

Gender, Sexuality and Abundant Housing – Recording Link
Room 329

Cities have historically always been sanctuary for the queer community. Yet as American sexuality and gender roles have expanded and evolved, our housing paradigms have not, and the LGBTQ population suffers from higher rates of housing precarity on every metric. How can zoning codes and housing policy more broadly make a community more inclusive, welcoming and affordable? This panel will acknowledge the ways that the norms of “single family homes” mirror the norms of heteronormativity, and more broadly touch on the need for further overlap and collaboration between LGBTQ+ advocates and those for abundant and affordable housing.

Nancy Haque, Basic Rights Oregon
Dan Reed, Just Up The Pike
Esme Miller, Lewis and Clark College
Moderated by Sarah Mirk

Winning Abundant Housing: UK, Germany, and France – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
Not every country suffers from acute housing shortages, spiraling prices, displacement, and the rest of the NIMBY nightmare. In this session, we’ll hear – via Zoom from Europe – from leading observers about three fascinating places. Germany has among the affordable and stable home prices and rents in the industrial world. What’s the story? Paris was in a full-on housing crisis and then it started building enormous amounts of housing. How did that happen? And the UK recently adopted an intriguing new approach to housing reform: what is it and how will it work? Lessons from afar for YIMBYtown!

Yonah Freemark, Urban Institute
Konstantin Kholodin,
DIW Berlin
Thiess Büttner,
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
John Myers,
YIMBY Alliance, London
Moderated by Jenny Schuetz, Brookings Institution

10:45am-12:00pm: Breakout Sessions


Showing up for All Our Neighbors: YIMBY and Houselessness – Recording Link
Room 294

While YIMBYs often are advocating for changes that take years to implement, other housing advocates are working on changes for individuals on the streets tonight. How can advocates for abundant housing leverage their organization’s power and resources to ensure that everyone has a warm and dry place to sleep at night? How does undersupply of housing impact a region’s homeless population? This panel explores the successes and challenges of how these conversations have played out in Portland, the lessons learned from efforts to pass Portland’s Shelter to Housing Continuum, and the moral and political reasons to build stronger ties between these overlapping initiatives.

Dr. Marisa Zapata, PhD, PSU Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative
Trisha Patterson, Portland: Neighbors Welcome
Kaia Sand, Street Roots
Moderated by Hanna Brooks Olsen

Telling Stories and Building Narrative in a Distracted World – Recording Link
Room 296

The media landscape around urban housing policy is awfully noisy these days, and it’s not getting any easier to connect with distracted, overwhelmed audiences. It’s enormously difficult to translate communicate complicated white papers about zoning in simple, concrete terms that advance a progressive urban agenda and persuade the public to support urban infill. This panel features four individuals who have successfully crafted narratives around housing and climate policy at local, state and national levels of advocacy through a wide variety of media strategies, from illustrations to op-eds, earning media from national publications to training teenage activists to organize through effective tiktok videos.

Allyson Woodard, Sunrise Movement – National Hub
Jamal Raad, Evergreen Action
Alfred Twu, East Bay for Everyone
Bill Lindeke, MinnPost
Moderated by Anna Fahey, Sightline Institute

Celebrating and Dissecting Municipal Victories for Abundant Housing – Recording Link
Room 328
All politics are local – and nowhere is that more apparent than in campaigns to reform city zoning code to relegalize missing middle housing. How are local abundant housing advocates building coalitions with other housing advocates, negotiating the halls of their local city hall, and finding the votes necessary for zoning reform? Who are the power brokers that truly made a difference in passing local zoning reforms, and what lessons were learned that advocates in other cities should hear as they gear up for a campaign? This panel features three individuals with front row seats to their efforts to address their cities housing shortage by reform, and will host a discussion about the best practices to building sustainable, durable coalitions for further successes for abundant housing.

Sam Diaz, 1000 Friends of Oregon
Meg Fencil, Sustain Charlotte
Dov Kadin, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Will Thomas, Open New York

From Highways to Homes: The opportunity to reconnect communities divided by freeways – Hosted by Congress for New Urbanism – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
At its peak, federal highway construction demolished 37,000 homes a year to make way for roads. Over 1 million Americans, a significant proportion of them people of color, displaced from their neighborhoods. Millions more left living next to a highway, subject to its noxious effects. Highway building is a housing crisis. Can dismantling highways help alleviate this crisis and repair the communities they split? An increasing number of American cities see replacing highways with connected neighborhoods as an opportunity for both economic and community development. Learn with our freeway fighting panelists as we discuss the different paths for cities to build whole neighborhoods out of former highway corridors and create reparative programs that sustain and support existing communities.

Shawn Dunwoody, Hinge Neighbors, Inc.
Regan Patterson, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Amy Stelly, Claiborne Avenue Alliance
Marc Wouters, Marc Wouters Studio Studios
Moderated by Ben Crowther, Congress for New Urbanism


12:15pm-1:30pm: Lunchtime Keynote

Political Leadership for Abundant Housing – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

Elected officials spend most of their time listening to us gripe about housing – in this panel, the tables are turned, and we’ll hear from three public officials who will share their experiences and lessons learned from advocating for housing justice. This panel interviews three champions of housing justice who have championed various initiatives relating to housing abundance, tenant protections, and addressing homelessness. We’ll learn how these three policymakers picked up an interest in zoning as well as how organizers and advocates can better support efforts for successful policy victories, as well as hear their lessons learned for future initiatives.

Councilmember Mitra Jalali, City of St Paul
Former House Speaker Tina Kotek, State of Oregon
Representative Jessica Bateman, State of Washington
Moderated by Conor Dougherty, New York Times


1:45pm-3:00pm: Breakout sessions

Parking Reform: From theory to practice – Recording Link
Room 294

It wouldn’t be YIMBYtown if we didn’t at least one panel to talk about the high cost of free parking. The principles of Donald Shoup have never been more popular; advocates, elected officials, and policymakers are each looking at reform to car parking policies as an essential task to increase housing abundance, reduce carbon emissions, and just overall make cities more pleasant. This panel features case studies and best practices of how municipal transportation and housing advocates have worked together to implement substantial overhauls on parking policy.

Mayor John Bauters, City of Emeryville
Leah Bojo, Consultant
Martha Roskowski, Further Strategies
Tony Jordan, Parking Reform Network
Moderated by Catie Gould, Sightline Institute

Turning Environmentalists into Housing Advocates – Recording Link
Room 296

We all understand that housing policy is climate policy – well, all of us at YIMBYtown, anyway. How do we work with existing environmental organizations to build interest and support for policies that simultaneously support housing abundance and low-carbon communities? This panel shares success stories of collaborating with and empowering environmental- and climate- minded organizations to become allies and even accomplices in the effort to build more sustainable and equitable neighborhoods.

Anna Kemper, Here Together, Portland: Neighbors Welcome Board Member
Jesse Piedfort, Sierra Club Washington State Chapter
Jackie Kirouac-Fram, Rebuilding Center

West Coast Case Studies: Advocacy for and Implementation of Legislation for Regional Housing Needs – Recording Link
Room 327
Oregon, Washington and California each have laws on the books to mandate that municipalities explicitly plan for and make space for new housing. Yet implementation is tricky, and advocates are continuing to work with policymakers to close loopholes and ensure that every community is taking on their appropriate share of new growth to alleviate the housing crisis across the West Coast. This panel features advocates, policymakers, and researchers to compare and contrast each state’s approach to regional housing allocation and discuss opportunities for future policy improvements.

Oregon State Representative Julie Fahey
Jamie Ptacek, Futurewise
Lorelei Juntunen, ECONorthwest
Moderated by Aaron Eckhouse, California YIMBY

Abundant Housing Requires Abundant Democracy – Recording Link
Room 328

Who decides what housing gets built, and for whom? How do our electoral systems intersect with housing policy at the local and state levels? For this panel, we welcome a board member for Portland: Neighbors Welcome who also serves on Portland’s Charter Commission, and a researcher with Sightline who covers Democracy and Housing from Anchorage, Alaska

Jeannette Lee, Sightline Institute
Candace Avalos, Verde, Portland: Neighbors Welcome Board Member
Moderated by Alex Zielinski, Portland Mercury

Game of Zones
Room 329
Zoning codes determine who can live in our communities, how far we travel to work, and what our streets and neighborhoods look like. Game of Zones is an interactive, accessible, fun way to learn how these policies relate to our everyday lives and values. Terms like setback, floor area ratio, and variance are well known to city planning staff and housing developers, but use this jargon outside City Hall and most people zone out. Game of Zones helps players understand how zoning laws determine whether we have homes for everyone.

Janne Flisrand, Neighbors for More Neighbors


3:15pm-4:15pm: Breakout Sessions

The Present and Future of ADUs and Other Homes In Our Backyards – Recording Link
Room 294

Wait, what are we *actually* trying to build in our backyards? From cottage clusters to tiny houses on wheels, as well as all sorts of new streamlined ways to build ADUs, recent legislation passing in states across the country have given developers the go-ahead to find new ways to provide affordable housing solutions to help address our housing crisis. This panel features four professionals with experience navigating the policies to build new accessory dwelling units and other innovative new forms of urban infill housing.

Kol Peterson, Accessory Dwelling Strategies LLC
Annie Fryman, Abodu
Eli Spevak, Orange Splot LLC
Stewart Hulick, Urban Nest Realty
Moderated by Kate Macfarlane, Sightline Institute

What Happened in the Washington State Legislature This Year? 
Room 296
Starting in 2019, the Washington legislature has taken up a variety of housing abundance bills, leading to a handful of incremental wins, some heartbreaking losses, but steady progress toward substantial statewide zoning reforms. This panel brings together three of the legislature’s strongest pro-housing champions to discuss what’s happened so far, what they learned, what’s next, and how housing abundance advocates can help.

Washington State Senator Mona Das
Washington State Representative Davina Duerr
Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon
Moderated by Dan Bertolet, Sightline Institute

How First Nations and YIMBYs are changing the game in Vancouver, BC – Recording Link
Room 327

Danny Oleksiuk, Abundant Housing Vancouver
Khelsilem, chief councilor of Squamish Nation

Community Land Trusts In Our Backyards – Recording Link
Room 328

What role does the establishment of community land trust play in the movement for more abundant housing? How can community land trust play an essential role in providing homes for folks not served by traditional market-rate housing, and what role do they play in stabilizing a community undergoing gentrification and displacement? This panel speaks to two Pacific Northwest leaders about how advocacy for housing abundance and community land trusts go hand-in-hand.

Kathleen Hosfeld, Homestead Community Land Trust
Diane Linn, Proud Ground

Social Housing In Our Backyards – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Ballroom

Just as public libraries offer a great compliment to small bookstores to ensure that everyone has access to books, YIMBYs are increasingly embracing how social housing can play an invaluable role ålleviating a tight housing market and providing an alternative to traditional private-sector landlords for renters struggling with housing scarcity. This panel features two advocates leading West Coast campaigns for social housing, and explores the ways in which abundant housing advocates can join the efforts to make social housing not just a pipe dream but in fact reality in cities across the country.

Darrell Owens, California YIMBY
Tiffani McCoy, Real Change News
Moderated by Ned Resnikoff, California YIMBY

Game of Zones (Continued!)
Room 329
Zoning codes determine who can live in our communities, how far we travel to work, and what our streets and neighborhoods look like. Game of Zones is an interactive, accessible, fun way to learn how these policies relate to our everyday lives and values. Terms like setback, floor area ratio, and variance are well known to city planning staff and housing developers, but use this jargon outside City Hall and most people zone out. Game of Zones helps players understand how zoning laws determine whether we have homes for everyone.

Janne Flisrand, Neighbors for More Neighbors


4:30pm-5:45pm: Afternoon Keynote

Thumb on the Scale: Our housing systems and how to fix them – Recording Link
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
How can our housing systems both be broken and be working exactly as designed? How do we move with intention to disrupt the patterns that are polarizing access to opportunity?

Jerusalem Demsas, The Atlantic
Jenny Schuetz, Brookings Institute
Allan Lazo, Fair Housing Council of Oregon
Moderated by Vivian Satterfield, Verde




No More Freeways, Portland: Neighbors Welcome, and Congress For New Urbanism: Freeway Fightin’ Happy Hour
Asylum Food Carts
1080 SE Madison St
Food and Alcohol Available for Purchase

YIMBY Action Happy Hour
7:30pm – 9:30pm
600 E Burnside St
Food and Alcohol Available For Purchase – First 50 get a Drink Token!


Unconference Schedule

9:00am-9:15am: Unconference Welcoming

Welcome to the unconference! Get ready for a morning of slightly-less-structured-but-still-very-interesting panels, proposed by YIMBYtown attendees over the course of the first two days of the conference.

Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

9:30am-10:30am: Unconference 1 sessions


Suburbs – where the future is auditioning
Room 294

(Group Discussion)

More people in the US live in suburbs than in urban and rural areas combined and suburbs are outpacing urban growth. Today some suburbs are more socio-economically, culturally, and racially diverse than their counterpart cities but the national imagination and policy agendas have not caught up with the realities of this most common US context.

Since they aren’t going away… how can we love them more? How can we advance equity and anti-racist agendas? What kinds of infrastructures of belonging are needed? What’s working that needs more noticing? What is good about suburban poly-centro city that we have to work with? BYOT (bring your own topic and questions) and move through facilitated dialogues in small configurations and shares, culminating in a final collective futuring exercise.

Facilitated by:
Erica Dorn
, Carnegie Mellon University and Suburb Futures
Ken Kinoshita, Vela Projects

Jobs-Housing Balance & Stopping Job Sprawl
Room 296

(Group Discussion)

Low density office, retail, school, and other commercial or institutional development take up lots of urban land and are also hard for transit to serve. Let’s discuss what different places are doing instead to combine housing and jobs. I’ll start off with some examples from California.

Facilitated by:
Alfred Twu

Smarter zoning to bypass local veto
Room 327

(Group Discussion)

California and other states have won with laws to allow ADUs and duplexes. Houston successfully won the battle to reduce minimum lot sizes by allowing the most resistant groups of residents to opt out. Those laws had less opposition because more homeowners saw the benefits. In Seoul, South Korea, a law to allow densification by vote enabled most of the condo construction in the mid-1990s. And in England the national Government plans to implement “street votes” to allow individual streets to vote to upzone themselves and share the benefits.

Are there common themes we can learn? John Myers of YIMBY Alliance recently wrote in the American Planning Association’s Zoning Practice. We will brainstorm about innovative zoning ideas to win over more voters and get change faster.

Facilitated by:
John Myers, YIMBY Alliance

Climate Refugees and Community Resilience: Mitigating Local Effects of Climate Change
Room 328

(Group Discussion)

Climate change is already affecting human populations in significant ways and is associated with large movements of people across international borders. These trends are also occurring within countries, including the United States. Sometimes these relocations can be planned, as is the case with Alaskan villages subjected to coastal erosion. Rapid and forced relocations can occur after natural disasters. These disruptions of communities have numerous negative impacts, including to health, livelihoods, and social relationships. This session is an opportunity for participants to talk about what their cities are doing to prepare for environmental migration, and what can be done to promote social cohesion and resiliency.

Facilitated by:
Sharon Chamard, University of Alaska Anchorage

List Building 101: A workshop on practical ways to grow your people power
Room 329

(Interactive Training)

Managing and growing your list is a key component to organizing. As people are starting to organize, the transition from Google Groups and Twitter DMs can be frustrating and hard to manage. Many free and low-cost tools can make the transition easier and dramatically help you scale up your organizing efforts. This workshop will be especially useful for folks using a variety of communication tools and struggling to figure out how to both grow and communicate with potential activists. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of Facebook Groups, Change.org, Google Forms, Google Groups, Action Network, Slack and more.

Led by:
Laura Foote, ED YIMBY Action
Leora Tanjuatco Ross, Organizing Director, YIMBY Action

Downtown Office Conversions: The Silent Scream
Room 323 (across from 328)

(Group Discussion)
In so many American downtowns, and some Edge Cities, tall office towers with large floor plates sit silent, casualties of the Work from Home movement. The towers are in locations with great walk scores and transit access, and scream out to be part of the abundant housing solution. But unlike more delicately built 100 year old office buildings, these towers are really tough to convert to residential because the water and the elevators, and much of the space, are too far from the windows and sunlight. Do you know how to solve this and enable these conversions? Please help us solve this, and harvest this opportunity. And if we can’t totally solve it today, perhaps we could scope out a path to conversion for this prime urban space.

Facilitated by:
Larry Gould, Congress for the New Urbanism

The Big Tent: How to Build a Broad, Representative Movement (Stories from the Field)
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

(Group Discussion)

Most YIMBYs understand that our housing crisis is rooted in our country’s racist history. Even though rectifying this wrong is a fundamental YIMBY value, most would agree that our movement is not as diverse or representative as we would like. This facilitated discussion will give participants the opportunity to share and learn from each others experiences in our collective attempts to expand the tent of YIMBYism. How do we authentically show up in spaces as pro-housing advocates? How do we elevate the voices and needs of those at the front lines of the housing crisis whose experiences are so often not represented or have historically been excluded from the decision making process. This is sure to be a robust discussion that both novice and seasoned organizers will benefit from.

Facilitated by:
Konstantin Hatcher, Senior Director of Community Impact, California YIMBY

10:45am-11:45am: Unconference 2 sessions


Fundraising and Board Selection: Driving Successful Organizations
Room 294

(Panel Discussion)

Participants will learn about different strategies for successful fundraising and board selection. California YIMBY is well-positioned to discuss successful fundraising, since we have a record of raising lots of money from diverse sources quickly. We can also speak to engaging the board, and how setting up a c3 board and c4 board may differ.

Led by:
Brian Hanlon, California YIMBY
Robyn Leslie, California YIMBY

Is “YIMBY” the best identifier for our Movement?
Room 296

(Group Discussion)

“YIMBY” began as a reaction to NIMBY. Do we all identify as YIMBYs? If so, is this an identifier that best serves our Movement’s aims? Should we consider other ways of identifying ourselves and our Movement?

We also have organizations in our Movement that emphasize “Everyone” & “Neighbors” in their names. Meanwhile, when a Bay Area pro-housing group formed & considered a name in 2017, it considered “YIMBY” in it. Hear some data compiled on the “YIMBY” brand during this process.

The room will be organized in a circle to foster this interactive discussion.

Facilitated by:
Alex Shoor, Catalyze SV
Alex Contreras, Happy Cities Coalition

Agree to Disagree
Room 327

(Group Discussion)

It’s rare for two individuals to find perfect alignment, much less two groups or organizations. How do we work, collaborate, and make progress together when we disagree? How do we express our power but also make room for others to express theirs? In this session, Jes McBride – an urban planner and restorative justice volunteer – will briefly share a model of power and openness based on the work of author Adam Kahane, then co-facilitate a group discussion on the examples, opportunities, and challenges of agreeing to disagree in the context of housing advocacy. There will be more questions than answers in this session, so come prepared for a whole-hearted exploration!

Facilitated by:
Jes McBride
Alex Melendrez

Cultivating Legislative Allies: the intersection of policy and politics
Room 328

(Group Discussion)

The housing shortage and affordability crisis is as much a political problem as a policy problem. The YIMBY movement offers a winning agenda of evidence-based solutions from up-zoning to streamlining and tenant protections to homeownership initiatives. But good policy only becomes law if legislators have the knowledge and political will to act. Building powerful legislative relationships is about balancing policy and politics. Join us for a facilitated discussion of strategies to 1) balance policy priorities with political realities, 2) engage and cultivate legislative champions, and 3) identify and elect pro-housing allies. Share your success stories and your hard-learned lessons. Get inspired by your fellow YIMBYs and learn new strategies to bring back home.

Facilitated by:
Melissa Breach, Senior VP / COO CAYIMBY
Jordan Panana Carbajal, Legislative Advocate CAYIMBY

Lightning Slides: 20 Reasons to Hate Parking Mandates & more parking reform talk
Room 329

(8 min “lightning slides” presentation followed by group discussion)

In 20 quick slides, Sightline’s Catie Gould and Michael Andersen will offer a fun, fact-filled, kaleidoscopic case against parking mandates. After that, Parking Reform Network president Tony Jordan will lead a group discussion about the ongoing war on cars.

Led by:
Michael Andersen
Catie Gould
Tony Jordan


Can’t pass reform? Maybe try a lawsuit.
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

(Panel/training hybrid)

Sometimes your state legislature or local city council isn’t in a reform mood. But there are still options for getting the change you want. This panel/training will feature two attorneys at the national nonprofit organization, the Institute for Justice, who are experts in challenging zoning laws, including through legal action and other creative alternatives. These attorneys have experience taking on everything from off-street parking requirements, restrictions on RVs, and excessive fines to bans on home based businesses, tiny homes, and nontraditional living arrangements. Learn your rights and how to navigate the justice system.

Led by:
Erica Smith Ewing, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Justice
Ari Bargil, Attorney at the Institute for Justice

12:00pm-1:15pm: Closing Lunch Discussion – What Have We Learned?


1:30pm-5:00pm: Field Trips Across Portland

Cully Grove, Northeast Portland’s Missing Middle Cottage Cluster
Cully Grove is a 16-unit multi-generational cohousing community situated on nearly two acres in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland. Here’s your chance to take a guided tour of this innovative new model for missing middle housing provided by none other than the developer of the project himself, and to meet community members in the housing cluster who are more than eager to tell you how much they like their cottage cluster model of housing.
Tour leaves PSU at 1pm – Meet in the Ballroom

Eli Spevak, Orange Splot LLC

The Jade District, 82nd Avenue, and the *other* Portland
You’ve seen Portlandia, but have you seen the “other” Portland? Join Oregon Walks and America Walks on a guided tour of 82nd Avenue through the heart of East Portland’s Jade District. The tour will show all the ways that East Portland community leaders are gearing up for community growth and change and envisioning massive housing and transportation investments while also preparing to fight gentrification and displacement and ensure Portland’s AAPI community remains in place through the years ahead
Tour leaves PSU at 1pm – Meet in the Ballroom

Ashton Simpson, Oregon Walks
Izzy Armenta, Oregon Walks
Mike McGinn, America Walks

4:30pm-6:00pm Youth Vs ODOT: Week 25 of Sunrise PDX’s Youth Climate Strike
Salmon Street Springs Strike begins at 4:30; group will walk over from Portland State at 4:00pm. Meet in the Ballroom
Every other Wednesday for a full year, teenage climate justice activists have been holding a rally outside the Oregon Department of Transportation demanding a moratorium on freeway expansion and a rapid investment in transit. In the last year, the strike has been attended by numerous elected officials and received national attention in publications including CityLab, Vice, and The New York Times. Join these youth climate justice leaders and YIMBYtown speakers fighting the  freeway industrial complex across the country and learn more about how abundant housing advocates can engage youth climate justice advocates in their efforts for green, sustainable cities.

Ukiah Halloran-Steiner, Sunrise Rural Oregon
Adah Crandall, Sunrise Movement Portland
Naomi Hemstreet, Sunrise Movement Portland
Mike McGinn, America Walks
Amy Stelly, Claiborne Avenue Alliance
Alex Contreras, A Happy City Coalition

1:30pm-2:30pm: Unconference 3 sessions

How to decide what to do, and how to do it
Room 294

(Panel Discussion)

Alex and Dan have both spent close to 15 years deciding what to get involved in, and have learned a lot of lessons on how to do it. We are based in the D.C. region, have worked in various roles across the US, and are familiar with what’s similar and different at local, state, and national levels. We both work on housing, transportation, and land use, and have advanced policies that champion our values of inclusiveness, access, and desegregation. We’ve racked up a lot of wins, but are always learning how to sharpen our successes. We’ll talk not specifically about campaigns, but how we’ve decided to involve ourselves in particular pursuits for more housing and fewer single-occupancy vehicle trips, and how we’ve then made decisions about the strategic direction those pursuits should take.

Led by:
Alex Baca
Dan Reed

Personal and Professional Growth as Organizers and Advocates
Room 296

(Group Discussion)

Pro-housing advocacy and organizing is a deeply personal type of work. This session will be an opportunity for seasoned organizers to share how they built the skills and experiences that have made them effective, and for junior organizers to share the challenges they are facing. We’re all learning and growing here – let’s be open about it!

Facilitated by:
Allan Sadun, volunteer co-chair, A Better Cambridge

After ending exclusionary zoning, what’s our next big goal?
Room 327

(Panel Discussion)

Ending exclusionary zoning is a big goal for the YIMBY movement right now. In our biggest cities, we’ll need to go further to build the housing we need. What’s our next goal to get there?

Led by:
Burhan Azeem, Cambridge City Councilor & AHMA Board


Congestion Pricing
Room 328

(Group Discussion)

We will talk about the ONLY solution to congested roadways. And compare Singapore’s solution to London’s and Stockholm.

Facilitated by:
Michael Nahas
Michael Andersen

The 1 hour startup: Launch your housing startup
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

(Group Discussion)

This session is one inspired by the Startup Weekend but because we only have an hour we’re gonna have to move fast.

At the end of this conference this is the session to bring all the pieces together and pitch your idea on how to delivery more housing to your city.

The session will start with some ice breakers, followed by breakout brain storming sessions and then pitches.

Everyone will exchange contact info to continue exploring the pitch post launch with the goal of ultimately delivering more housing

Facilitated by:
Chris Walter – backyard builder

How to use Action Network to manage your newsletter, events, petitions, and more!
Room 329

(Interactive Training)

Are you running your YIMBY group with a hodgepodge of Google groups, spreadsheets, and Eventbrites? It could be better! Learn how to use Action Network to make your organizing easier, more efficient, and more effective.
Training will be led by Joanna Gubman, Executive Director of Urban Environmentalists – an initiative of YIMBY Action. She’s been using Action Network for years and is excited to give you a tour and answer your questions!

Led by:
Joanna Gubman, Executive Director of Urban Environmentalists

2:45pm-3:45pm: Processing A Heck Of A YIMBYtown


Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom

6:00pm-9:00pm: YIMBYtown Finale: How Do We Get Home? Abundant Housing for a Sustainable, Equitable Future*

Revolution Hall
1300 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97214
[food and drink available for purchase from vendors at venue]

As Portland and cities like it across the country continue to grow, our community is faced with the difficult task of responding to our overlapping lack of affordable housing, emerging climate crisis, and rampant systemic inequality. It’s evident that swift and unapologetically bold change will be necessary to reform our economy, our society, and the shape of our neighborhoods to meet a vision that addresses these challenges.
Hosted by Portland: Neighbors Welcome and Sightline Institute, “How Do We Get Home? Abundant Housing for a Sustainable, Equitable Future” will feature a panel of community leaders focused on the intersections of housing affordability, community design, homelessness and racial justice to discuss how Portland can grow and change in line with our values.

This event will be taped as part of an episode hosted by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud, and it will be broadcast on OPB at a future date. This event is included in a YIMBYtown 2022 conference ticket, but is also open to the public through this ticket link.

Jerusalem Demsas, Policy Reporter, The Atlantic
Rukaiyah Adams, Board Chair, Albina Vision Trust
Sam Diaz, Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Oregon
Dr Marisa Zapata, Director, Portland State University’s Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative
Moderator: Dave Miller, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud

*Monday and Wednesday events are open to the general public. Tickets to these individual events can be purchased at www.yimby.town/tickets

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