JLDA Board


The Jack London District Association Board of Directors has 11 seats of which 8 are currently filled. In accordance with the bylaws, new board members are elected on an annual basis by the current board. The four officers of the board (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary) are then elected by the new board and also serve a one year term. Vacant positions can be filled at any time by resolution of the board.


JLDA currently has three advisory committees that carry out much of the work of the organization. Each advises the board about policy and budget matters. Everyone is invited to serve on a committee and volunteers are always needed. 
  • Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) for more information, email us at committee@jlda.org 
  • Communications Committee (JLDA CALL, jlda.org, distribution, advertising, promotion, etc.) for more information, email us at editor@jlda.org
  • Social and Community Committee (Trash Bash, Mixers, etc.) for more information, email us at social@jlda.org
If you'd like to create a new committee, please send an email to committee@jlda.org or attend the next board meeting.

Serving on the Board

Board members are expected to attend the monthly board meetings which are usually held on the 3rd Monday of the month. Attendance of these meetings is very important so those who are not able to attend meetings on a regular basis should instead volunteer for an advisory committee role. We also request that board members be available for contact via email in between board meetings. Board members may also be members of or lead our advisory committees. Board membership and board meeting attendance is not a requirement to be a member of any of our advisory committees.

Our community is still a relatively small one and has yet to establish a large body of regular volunteers. Therefore a great deal of the JLDA work in the community is done through the volunteer efforts of its current board of directors and advisory committee members. This includes: attending and speaking at City meetings on our behalf, writing and circulating letters, researching issues, posting notices in the neighborhood, community outreach activities, and organizing and helping out at social events. Though in no way a requirement, Directors also typically make a financial contribution above and beyond our standard community supporters.

Candidates wishing to serve on our Board of Directors are invited to submit a statement of their interest in serving on the board outlining any relevant experience you have, in particular with non-profits, and their current participation in the Jack London District community. Please indicate if you would be willing to serve as an officer of the board either now or at a future date, and which, if any, of the advisory committees you have an interest in. Statements should be submitted to info@jlda.org.

For reference the statements submitted by the current board members are provided in the Board member list below.

The Current Board of Directors

The current Board of Directors was elected at the March 2012 JLDA board meeting and will serve until the March 2013 board meeting when all positions will be up for election. There are currently four vacant positions on the board, also anyone can make a contribution by joining or leading one of our advisory committees that report to to the board.

President - Ben Delaney
Ben Delaney has lived in the Bay Area for over 35 years and in the JLD since 2003. Since 2008, he has served as CEO of ReliaTech, the San Pablo-based nonprofit computer repair and service company. Prior to that, Ben was Director of Marketing and Communications at Springboard Schools. A resident and business owner, he has operated his own marketing and market research business from his home on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. He believes strongly in the attractiveness, vitality, and under-realized value of our neighborhood, and is eager to help JLDA continue its work as a representative organization for the residents and businesses of the Jack London district. He has been a vocal booster and strong representative for the district at city and other meetings. Ben believes that our neighborhood is a great place to live and work and is excited about helping to make it even better.

Ben is a founder of JLDA, has been a board member since March 2005 and previously served as President from 2006 to 2009.

Vice President - Steve Lowe
Steve Lowe came to Oakland in 1973 as part of the Old Oakland development team, eventually settling here in 1990 after purchasing a building in Oakland's historic (c. 1916) Produce Market. With partner Alexandra Smith, he formed Urbanspace Development with the intent of preserving the Market by converting it to retail, just as had happened in Seattle with Pike Place Market. In the process, he's become deeply involved with West Oakland / Jack London matters, with particular attention to the pollution generated at the Port of Oakland.

Steve has been a board member since March 2007.

Secretary - Dan Dunkle
Dan has been a resident and business owner in Oakland since 2009. He works as a Technical Instructor at Guidewire Sofware in San Mateo, and as a courseware developer and training program designer. Guidewire sells core enterprise products to Property and Casualty insurance carriers; Dan trains the people that implement products for customers. Dan has been been involved in IT and Project Management in various forms for most of his career, and tries to bring a high level of technical expertise and competence to all his endeavors. He’s been involved with the Burning Man art festivals for 15 years, and has led and supported numerous theme camps and art projects there. Dan came to the District in 2009 in order to found a live/work community called Radiance Oak, and to provide service to his immediate communities and the local neighborhood. Radiance Oak is an intentional and spiritually-oriented community of men and women living in service, and collaborating with a common purpose to foster our own well being and that of those around us. Radiance Oak has restored a historical warehouse in the Waterfront Warehouse District as a spiritual home, community center, and resource for service. It includes an Art Gallery and Clothing store (for more information visit www.radianceoak.org). The JLDA Board provides Dan with a welcome opportunity to learn more about this area and its issues, and to make connections with others interested in helping to make it better.

Dan joined the board in 2011.

Tommaso Boggia
Tommaso Boggia become a Jack London resident in 2010, when he moved to the district to pursue a master in Public Administration from the Presidio Graduate School.  He previously lived in Washington D.C., where he worked at the Center for American Progress as a Climate Advocacy Associate and participated in the creation of The Bike House Co-op, a non-profit organization whose mission is to be a place where all people can learn about, work on, and enjoy bikes.  Tommaso received his MPA degree in June 2012 and is currently exploring opportunities for employment on local government.  His final thesis was an Implementation Plan proposal for the creation of a Business Improvement District in Jack London that gave him the opportunity to interview and survey numerous district residents.  When in school, Tommaso worked for bay Area Bikes' Jack London Square location and spent his weekends sailing the estuary.  He is excited to contribute his experience in community organizing, public policy, social media, and non-profit administration to the Jack London District Association's Land Use and Transportation Committee and Social and community Committee.

Tommaso joined the board in June 2012.

Savlan Hauser
Savlan is co-chair of the LUTC and an Oakland resident as of 2011 (this time around). She is trained as an architect (CED, UC Berkeley) and has worked in design and development at a range of scales, from fabrication and installation of industrial art -- to urban design as a member of the team completing the West Oakland Specific Plan and EIR. Savlan's appreciation of great public spaces was instilled at an early age as she played the fiddle as a busker on the streets of great cities from Vancouver to Los Angeles. She worked in design and energy-efficient building in Mexico City for several years. Savlan has been involved in campaign and community outreach for policy supporting transit-oriented development, smart growth, bike routes, complete streets, and great public spaces. Her affiliations include the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Livable Berkeley, and SPUR. She believes strongly in urbanism, keeping cities accessible, close-knit and exciting, and enhancing the value inherent in our unique Jack London District. Savlan has learned that the people of this district are the most inventive, collaborative, and inspired folks anywhere around.

Savlan joined the board in March 2013.

Brendon Levitt
Brendon Levitt is an architect, planner, and educator living in the JLD. His expertise in the field of sustainable development has led him to work with the award-winning Alameda-based practice of Loisos + Ubbelohde, Architecture & Energy in addition to adjunct teaching positions at California College of the Arts and UC Berkeley. Since moving to the Bay Area a decade ago Brendon has been interested in the peculiarities of the JLD and the district’s barely-realized potential. Brendon is a pragmatic optimist, insistent on smart change that conserves important resources, both natural and manmade. He is excited for the opportunity of using his expertise to help nurture the neighborhood.

Brendon joined the board in May 2010.

Bill Purcell

Bill joined the board in March 2013

Ruth Strauss, Esq.
Ruth Strauss has lived in the East Bay for 21 years, and, together with her husband, acquired a second home in the JLD in 2010. A transactional lawyer for more than 23 years, Ms. Strauss served as a partner in the former Thelen LLP’s nationally recognized real estate finance group, a partner in a major Chicago-based law firm, and senior counsel in Brown and Wood LLP (now part of Sidley Austin). She has represented banks, companies, and a rating agency, as applicable, in residential and commercial mortgage transactions, public securitizations, general corporate work, securities offerings, audit committee and corporate governance work, and construction financing (including CMBS, Mello-Roos, assessment, toll road, and 501(c)(3) revenue bonds and the largest public finance transaction of 1995). Ms. Strauss has served as a moderator and speaker and published well-regarded articles. Following Thelen’s dissolution, Ms. Strauss formed her own law firm, where she continues to advise business clients and also represents herself as a landlord in the JLD. Ms. Strauss is active in The Ellington Community Association (HOA), and is committed to assisting the JLDA with its community marketing and improvement efforts, including financing mechanisms that may include formation of a community benefits district. Ms. Strauss is a graduate of Rice University and Duke University School of Law.

Ruth joined the board in October 2011

Wilbur H. (Tib) Tusler, Jr.

Tib Tusler is an architect and a long time Bay Area resident.  He moved to Marin County in 1960 and subsequently relocated to San Francisco in 2004 to enjoy a more urban experience.  Tib is a new arrival in the JLD and is a member of The Ellington HOA.  In his professional career as an architect, Tib served as President of Stone Marraccini and Patterson, an architectural firm with offices in San Francisco, St. Louis and Los Angeles with some 200 employees (now part of SmithGroupJJR).  He is past president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health and the immediate past president of the Board of Regents of the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA).  He is a Fellow of the AIA and of the ACHA. Everywhere he as lived Tib has found ways of giving back to his community.  He served on the Planning Commission in San Anselmo, as head of the Architectural Committee in his condo in San Francisco and now in volunteering to serve on the Board of the JLDA. He feels that the Jack London District has significant historical meaning and great potential.  It is isolated from the rest of Oakland by the freeway system, which is a significant challenge to overcome.  At the same time, the many fine attributes of the district offer a significant potential for a greatly enhanced urban experience.

Tib joined the board in March 2013

Previous Board members

JLDA would like to thank the following people who have served the Jack London District community by volunteering as a member of the JLDA Board of Directors in previous years:
  • Steven Toussas -resident and board member 2012-2014
  • Paul Thyssen - resident and board member 2012-2014
  • Gary Knecht - business owner, resident, founder and board member 2005-2012
  • Barry Pilger - business owner, board member 2011-2012
  • Diahann Parker – resident and board member 2007-2012
  • John Gannon – resident and board member 2011-2012
  • June Grant, AIA, LEED, AP – resident and board member 2011
  • Helen Wu - resident and board member 2010
  • Bernice Straub - resident and board member 2008-2010
  • Alex Eagle - resident and board member 2009-2010 
  • Norm Bahr - resident and board member 2009-2010 
  • Michael Goldberg - local employee and board member 2009-2010 
  • Joshua Gangshorn - resident and board member 2009 
  • Robert Wells - business owner, board member 2009 
  • Simon Waddington - resident, founder and board member 2005-2009 
  • Barry Pilger - business owner, board member 2006-2009
  • Winnie Anderson - resident, board member 2006-2008
  • Jim Louie - resident, board member 2006-2008
  • Andrej Oslica - resident, local employee, board member 2008
  • Steve Jimenez - resident, board member 2006-2007
  • Karl Augenstein - resident, board member 2005-2007
  • Joanna Adler - business owner, resident, founder and board member 2005-2007
  • Steve Sacks - business owner, founder and board member 2005-2006
  • Bach Nguyen - business owner, founder and board member 2005-2006
  • Wendy Tinsley - resident, founder and board member 2005-2006
  • Adeeba Detervile - resident, board member 2006

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