Ben Kowalcyzk (SF2014)

Ben

Placement: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission – Policy & Government Affairs

My Hometown: Portland, OR

My Education: Occidental College, B.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy

Selected Honors: Graduated with High Honors; Senior Thesis Honors (2013) for “Labor & Community Coalition Building in Local Politics: Lessons from the Portland Community Benefits Campaign”; Dean’s List

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: Research Intern, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Undergraduate Research Assistant, Occidental College; Organizing Intern, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE); Student Facilitator, Education in Action; Research Intern, UCLA Labor Center; Intern, Emerald Cities Collaborative Portland

Why San Francisco is important to me: At a young age I fell in love with the beauty of San Francisco’s built environment and the city’s vibrant culture through long weekends walking the city with my father and twin brother. My interest in the city evolved over the last four years as I worked for a variety of community-based policy campaigns and organizations fighting for environmental and economic justice. Throughout these experiences I continually looked to San Francisco for effective policy models. This progressive policy innovation elevated by San Francisco’s local government ultimately led to my interest in working for the city.

Something unique about me: On my 18th birthday while managing a public swimming pool, I resuscitated a 5-year-old boy who was not breathing and was without a pulse. I was later awarded Life Saving commendations by both the City of Portland and Multnomah County.

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