Efrain Hudnell (top left), David Postman (top right), Sarah Mills (bottom left), and Ben Maritz joined The Urbanist board of directors in 2024. (Courtesy headshots)

Efrain Hudnell, Sarah Mills, David Postman, and Ben Maritz join our board in 2024.

The last year has been a time of incredible growth and transformation for The Urbanist. We continued to take big steps as an organization to transform ourselves from the scrappy, all-volunteer blog we started out as ten years ago to a more professional and sustainable organization that has staying power — and the ability to win victories for urbanism.

As we have grown we have benefited from the experience and guidance of our volunteer board of directors. Board members give their time to aid in managing the organization, raising money, setting the vision and doing all sorts of work behind the scenes to help make The Urbanist happen. 

As a board member who has been around a while, I remember the devotion of our founding executive director Owen Pickford and the time he put in keeping the organization going in its infancy — the nervous discussion about hiring our first staff member and how we were encouraged to take the leap by Alex Hudson, who had grown the First Hill Improvement Association in a similar way.

I remember the push to include equity in all our discussions and do more reflection as an organization by current member Erin Fried. And most recently I’ve seen how incoming board president Ruth Lipscomb and current executive director Rian Watt have helped us see the potential of The Urbanist and how it can grow beyond what many of us imagined when we helped start it a decade ago. 

We have seen a lot of that work start to pay off thanks to the generous support of readers: we were able to hire Rian Watt as our part time Executive Director, which allowed Doug Trumm to step into the Publisher role full time. We hired long-time writer Ryan Packer as the full-time Contributing Editor. And we have been able to continue paying our growing number of contributors (write for us!). This year we are expecting a similar level of change and to help us on the path we are excited to welcome several very talented new board members:

Efrain Hudnell, the former Executive Director of Seattle Subway (and candidate for Seattle City Council in 2023), who’ll join our advocacy and publication committees with his transportation expertise; David Postman, former Chief of Staff for Governor Jay Inslee and 14-year political reporter for the Seattle Times, who’ll chair our Publication Committee; Sarah Mills, managing director at Revision Real Estate and board member of the Pike Place Market Foundation, who’ll join our Finance Committee; and Ben Maritz, owner of Great Expectations and the author of an influential study on the cost of ending homelessness in our region. You can read more about our new board members (and our current board!) on our board page.

While we are excited to welcome such talented and experienced people to our board, we are also sad to say goodbye to several past members who have all contributed to The Urbanist in their time with us: Kelli Refer, Charles Adkins, and Breana Brown. We truly appreciate the time and energy they all gave to the board, and look forward to keeping in touch.

The board is tasked with charting the growth of The Urbanist. We’d love your help. Please donate if you’re able to ensure we can continue to expand our advocacy journalism.

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Patrick grew up across the Puget Sound from Seattle and used to skip school to come hang out in the city. He is an designer at a small architecture firm with a strong focus on urban infill housing. He is passionate about design, housing affordability, biking, and what makes cities so magical. He works to advocate for abundant and diverse housing options and for a city that is a joy for people on bikes and foot. He and his family live in the Othello neighborhood.