1.  HELEN ROWE ALLEN (Mission Hills)
I am a longtime Mission Hills resident. I believe my experience as a developer and manager of commercial and residential real property in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties and my experience as a business attorney will serve the best interests of Uptown Planners. I am past president of California Women for Business Ownership (SBA) and a California delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business. I support Smart Growth Sense of Place Land Use for safe, walkable, bike-friendly Uptown Neighborhoods. Please Vote for me on March 12.


2.  JOHN BERTSCH (Mission Hills)
I’ve dedicated my career to creating greater urban places. For more than 20 years in Uptown, I’ve brought an interdisciplinary approach to my work, blending a mastery of urban design theory with a record of entrepreneurship and place making. Many of you know me from Meshuggah Shack, a small business I founded, owned and operated on Goldfinch Street in Mission Hills. I believe that great urban places are more than the sum of their parts. I look forward to bringing my experience as a business owner, home builder, and urban placemaker to my role as board member on Uptown Planners.


3.  CHRISTOPHER COLE (Middletown)
Resident of and business owner in Middletown since 1985. Work experience in the real estate industry ranging from corporate management to development and syndications. I have no preconceived agenda. I feel my responsibility would be to fully vet each proposal on its individual merits as a real estate project, as how it benefits the community, as how it accomplishes its purpose, as to its aesthetics, and as to any unintended consequences it might have. Most importantly I will encourage, listen respectfully to, and weigh the opinions and desires of all community members before casting a vote.


4.  ROY DAHL (Hillcrest)
As an active member of the Hillcrest community for more than 20 years, I have listened to many sides of numerous debates with an open mind. I have a professional background in building mathematical models for routing within street networks. This background gives me a unique perspective on community planning issues. I would appreciate the privilege of continuing to represent my neighborhood on Uptown Planners.


5.  MICHAEL DONOVAN (Hillcrest)
I’ve lived in Hillcrest in the early 2000s while working as CTO for the Navy and Marine Corps. My husband and I moved back here in 2018.  I’ve lived in many parts of the US (Dallas, DC, Omaha, Denver, Dayton, Detroit) as well as the UK and South Korea. My career has allowed me to see many approaches to housing, transportation, and urban environments. As a consultant interacting with diverse stakeholders, I know how important it is to listen, engage, and participate. I look forward to bringing these skills to the board, expanding their community outreach and notification platforms.


6.  KATHY KEEHAN (Bankers Hill)
My passion is for creating healthy urban communities with safe, accessible housing and transportation options for all residents. My background is in environmental issues and public health, including earning a Master’s degree in Environmental Health Sciences. In my 20 years living in San Diego, I’ve served as the executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and on the Rancho Bernardo Community Planning Board. I hope to bring my enthusiasm and knowledge about healthy, active communities to my work with Uptown Planners.


7.  SOHEIL NAKHSHAB (Mission Hills)
Soheil is an award-winning architect, engineer, and the CEO of Nakhshab Development & Design, Inc., a full-service design-build firm which focuses on eco-friendly, sustainable design and construction. He also serves as the current board chair of Uptown Planners, a role which allows him to help revitalize and enhance our communities while maintaining their cultural character. With more than 15 years of experience developing properties in San Diego and credentials including certification as a professional civil engineer, general contractor, LEED AP, and SEAOSD member, Soheil is passionate about helping our region transform and flourish while honoring its tradition and history.


8.  LU REHLING (Hillcrest)
I am Lu Rehling, a Hillcrest homeowner who values Uptown’s diversity and believes that growth and change in our neighborhoods need not come at the expense of aesthetics and livability. To effectively address our housing and homelessness crisis, we should promote smart urban density with improved public transportation and support for cyclists and pedestrians. We also should recognize that environmental sustainability depends not just on green building practices but also on open space, maintenance, and appropriate preservation. My experience as a professor, manager, and community advocate prepare me to hear and represent viewpoints from all of our neighborhoods and residents.


9.  LEAH SHUCHTER (Mission Hills)
Born and raised in Mission Hills and educated locally, I have a tremendous perspective on what it takes to make this community a better place. I’m a full-time solo parent and the Past President of Mission Hills Town Council, having served on the board for the last 4 years. This deep community involvement has given me knowledge of the challenges we face as a neighborhood. I have experience working in clinical research management, and prenatal health as a yoga teacher and birth doula; I also have a Masters degree in Public Health.


10.  ANGELA SILLMON (University Heights)
I love living in University Heights. I’m a fan of its walkability and easy access to great local shops and restaurants. As the founder of Peacock Property Solutions, I help people turn distressed houses into eye-catching homes that help revitalize their community. My background in project management and consumer loans gives my insight into the ways individuals and neighborhoods thrive. I’m a tenacious problem solver and a successful motivator who inspires others to overcome obstacles while marching toward a common goal. I welcome a chance to bring these skills and a warm smile to the community dialog at Uptown Planners.


11.  OSCAR TAVERA (Hillcrest)
I work as an engineer for Solar Turbines. Other times, you’ll find me exploring the life of San Diego, running in an Iron Man competition, or walking my mini-pig Lily on Curlew Street. I’ve rented in Hillcrest for over three years and have been a regular attendee of Uptown Planners during that time. I consciously sought to live in this urban part of San Diego so I could bike to work, walk to the park, and get around without driving. Of course I brings an engineer’s mind to problem-solving but at the same time I’m very much a ‘people person.’


12.  MAT WAHLSTROM (Hillcrest)
A Hillcrest business co-owner and resident, I am a veteran of Uptown Planners and founder of the neighborhood advocacy group RescueHillcrest.com. I have lived in Hillcrest the entire time I have lived in California, and so have seen what has gone right—and wrong—with local planning over the past two decades. Uptown is a diverse community and so needs diverse representation on land use decisions. As a gay man and renter, I know how precarious the cost of living has become, and will continue to fight for livable neighborhoods and affordable housing.

Link to Proposed Ballot for 2020 Uptown Planners Election >