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Philip Verma

Philip Verma

Philip Verma

Associate Initiative Officer, Great Communities Collaborative
Why do you do what you do?

My first real job out of college was in tenant legal services, working with families facing eviction in the Queens Housing Court. That experience has really stuck with me — both the indignity of court itself and the harshness of evictions as a response to housing and economic inequality. That work made me want to look upstream at the causes of suffering in our current housing system. I am interested in building more just paths forward, as well as policies and organizing to make these alternatives possible.

What drew you to the foundation?

I liked the foundation’s approach to policy change by working in collaboration with both community groups and government agencies to address deep inequities. Despite being a large foundation that works across the Bay Area, I noticed its emphasis on local communities and relationships.

How would you describe your role?

The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) pushes for equitable housing, land use and transportation policies and investments at a regional level. I support GCC’s grantees individually and coordinate working groups with our partner organizations. I also manage GCC’s communications in order to highlight our priorities and achievements to funders, partners, and decision-makers.

Are you involved in any volunteer activities?

I’ve been a volunteer with the Oakland Tenants’ Rights Clinic at Causa Justa for several years, helping tenants learn more about their rights and providing them with resources to take action.

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