Meet the Workgroup

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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.

Apply to Join the Transportation Equity Workgroup

The Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW) currently has open seats for the 2024-2025 term and is seeking qualified community members to participate. 

Would you like to apply your experiences and professional knowledge to serving as community stewards of SDOT's Transportation Equity Framework (TEF)? We invite people affiliated with community organizations, non-profits, coalitions or networks serving Seattle-King County BIPOC and vulnerable communities to apply.

The deadline for the application is Friday, October 13, 2023 at 6:00pm PST.

Affiliated organizations supporting TEW candidates, please submit a Letter of Support.

Additional Materials

Translation Services

Individuals, coalitions and community-based organizations in need of language access services to help complete and submit applications or Letters of Support may email 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

If you are a youth or young adult interested in engaging with the TEW, please contact us through email for more information.”

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 2024-2025 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 letter of support in mid-October. We will then select candidates to advance and meet with for interviews, tentatively late October/early November.

Interviews will be held virtually and candidates will have one hour prior to the interview to receive the questions ahead of time. After the interview process, we plan to make final selection and inform candidate 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.

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.

Rizwan Rizwi, Workgroup Co-Chair

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.

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.

Dalton Owens

Dalton Owens is a Built Environment Professional currently employed by Venture General Contracting LLC as a Project Engineer. He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in both Urban, Design and Planning & Political Science from the University of Washington. Dalton is passionate about the intersection between the Built Environment and Social Structures. He strongly believes that it is the responsibility of all Built Environment Professionals to design and build with consideration for all communities, especially those that have been historically marginalized. 

Throughout his academic and professional career, Dalton has held a passion for community driven work. His current roles include serving as a Get Engaged Commissioner for the City of Seattle Planning Commission and serving as an Alumni Mentor for the Brotherhood Initiative, the organization for which he represents on the Transportation Equity Workgroup. The Brotherhood Initiative is a cohort-based program at the University of Washington that seeks to support men of color in their pursuit of higher education. Dalton became affiliated with the organization in 2017 and has since taken on leadership roles to further support younger members. 

Marisa Parshotam

Marisa has been involved with Lake City Collective since its inception, first through a multilingual civic engagement outreach project in 2019, and then as a member of the organization's steering committee in 2020 focused on environmental and anti-displacement efforts. For over 6 years she has worked directly with low-income immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC community members from a wide range of backgrounds and language groups in her job as a coordinator of English, technology, workforce, and leadership programming for adult English learners (first with Literacy Source, then with OneAmerica). Her passion for community engagement, language justice, and organizing was shaped significantly through her involvement with Lake City Collective and its intentionality around centering the voices and issues affecting BIPOC communities north of Seattle's ship canal. Marisa lives in Northeast Seattle and is passionate about building equity, opportunities, and power alongside immigrants and BIPOC folks in her community. She is driven by her love for community and a desire for people too often left out of conversations to be centered in decision-making and the institutions that directly impact their lives. 

Lakeisha Jones

Keisha is representing Monica’s Village Place One. They serve many demographics and offer subsidized apartment complexes on a sliding scale, and does case managing. Keisha is an inclusive educator at a nonprofit preschool in downtown Seattle. Her center is an inclusive center serving children with special needs, disabilities, and diagnoses, as well as typical developing children. Keisha finished her bachelor’s in child and family studies and would like to get her master’s in applied behavioral analysis. She is looking forward to working with other likeminded people who appreciate the increase of equity! Being a part of this group will provide her with experience in developing more equitable resources for her community. Keisha enjoys community events and learning about people from all walks of life. When she’s not working, Keisha is involving herself in various extracurricular activities. She is also a mother of a teenager who is academically outstanding, which brings her so much joy.

Jessica Salvador, Casa Latina

Bio coming soon.

Sharon Sobers-Outlaw, Wider Horizons

Bio coming soon.

Former TEW Members

  • Amir Noir Soulkin
  • Cesar Garcia
  • Yu-Ann Youn
  • Ellany Kayce
  • 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)
  • BB Jones
  • Ellena Jones 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.