Staff

Eli Lipmen (he/they)

Executive Director
eli [at] movela.org

Eli joined the Move LA staff in August 2017 and was appointed Executive Director in 2022 having previously serving on the Leadership Board for over six years. Eli has dedicated his life’s work to social change from hunger to human rights to climate change to affordable housing. As a board member of the nonprofit ClimatePlan and co-chair of the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z) Transit Work Group, he is leading efforts in Los Angeles and across California to create more equitable public transportation. As one of five proponents of Measure ULA, Eli led the campaign for funding for affordable housing and tenant protections in the City of Los Angeles. He was honored by the TransitCenter for organizing national advocacy to achieve a more equitable Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest national investment in the public transportation system ever. And Eli’s efforts on student transit passes won a competitive grant that piloted an ‘any line, any time’ transit card for high school students in LAUSD, which led to the successful ‘GoPass’ program that provides fare-free transit for 1.3 million K-12 and community college students in LA County. Eli is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications, the London School of Economics & Political Science, and the Coro Lead SoCal Fellowship program. He is a former commissioner in the City of Los Angeles, piloting more equitable and accessible governance through the Neighborhood Council System, and teaches at American Jewish University in the first-of-its-kind socially-conscious MBA program. Eli’s family of five lives in the City of Los Angeles where they love to walk, bike, and ride public transit.

 

Denny Zane (he/him)

Policy Director
dennyzane [at] movela.org

Denny Zane created Move LA in 2007 to bring together business, labor and environmental leaders and community organizations with the goal of raising significant new funding for LA County’s transit system. This coalition, working with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, proved to be a powerful force in getting Measure R, a half-cent sales tax for transit development and operations, on the 2008 ballot and winning over 2/3 Yes vote to secure its passage.  Working with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Move LA expanded this coalition to champion Measure M, another half-cent sales tax measure, which won voter approval in November 2016.  Together these measures are generating nearly $2.5 B each year with the result that LA Metro has embarked on an ambitious build-out of LA County’s transit system. In 2017 Denny worked with Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas to build a coalition to successfully pass Measure H to provide nearly $600 M per year to fight homelessness in LA County.  In 2019, working with UniteHERE Local 11, SEIU Local 2015 and the LA-OC Building Trades Council, Denny co-convened a coalition of labor, social justice and tenants rights organizations and proposed what became Measure ULA to raise public funds to prevent homelessness and build affordable housing.   LA city voters approved Measure ULA by 58% Yes in November 2022.  Measures R, M, H and ULA are expected to eventually generate close to $4 B per year for public investments in transit and affordable housing in LA County.  While working on Measure ULA, Denny was also working with Nick Josefowitz of SPUR in San Francisco to convene a statewide coalition to sponsor a statewide ballot measure to raise over $100 B to fight for clean air and an end to climate change.  Opposition from Gov. Newsom led to the defeat of this measure, Proposition 30.  

Previously Denny had served on the Santa Monica City Council from 1981 to 1992, including one term as mayor.  During this time Denny was the formulator of most of Santa Monica’s renters’ rights and affordable housing programs, initiated and developed the revitalization program of the Third Street Promenade, wrote much of the land use policy for Santa Monica’s downtown, emphasizing pedestrian amenities, mixed-use development, and effective transit access — before these policies became widely known as “smart growth.” Denny was also executive director of the Coalition for Clean Air in the early 1990s winning approval in Sacramento of the Carl Moyer Program in 1994 to fund development of alternatives to diesel powered trucks, buses and other vehicles.  He began his career working with Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda to create the Campaign for Economic Democracy (CED) and founding Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR) in the late ’70s, a progressive community coalition that won voter approval of the city’s rent control law in 1979 and has held a city council majority in Santa Monica for more than 30 of the last 40 years.

 

Marisa Garcia (she/her)

Activism Director
marisa [at] movela.org

Marisa grew up near two busy freeways in a city in Southeast LA County that is heavily impacted by air pollution, and she is all too aware of the harm that our overdependence on cars has caused Southern California residents. She is asthmatic, and reducing the air pollution and traffic congestion that plagues Los Angeles by providing people with alternative transportation choices is an issue that is near and dear to her heart. Since joining the Move LA team her commitment to helping transform LA County’s transportation system has become significantly stronger, and she can’t wait to see what the future holds for communities like the one where she grew up.