Webinar: Citizen Advocacy — Tools to Advance Seismic Safety Policy
Wednesday, October 28 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Cost: Free for EERI members and non-members (PDH hours included upon request)
Presented by the EERI Younger Members Committee, this webinar will introduce how you may take steps to become a seismic safety policy advocate. While getting started in advocacy may seem daunting, advocating for seismic safety policy and advocacy is an important facet of EERI members’ expertise and professional practice. The discussion will cover the recently released Citizen Advocate Toolkit, explaining government structures and guides for interacting with representatives and policymakers.
We will review case studies of past and current seismic safety-related laws, ordinances, and bills, and provide information on how to best communicate science and engineering concepts to non-technical audiences. The webinar will also cover what it’s like to work with and for a public agency on various types of policies, and leave you with actions you can take today in progressing seismic safety in your locale and state.
Jack English is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a dual degree M.S. in Civil Engineering and Master of Public Affairs. He obtained a dual B.S./B.A. degree in Civil Engineering and Political Science from Case Western Reserve University in 2018. He has worked for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the California Assembly. He currently serves on the EERI Public Policy & Advocacy Committee, its California Subcommittee, and as the PPA liaison to the YMC. A native of San Francisco, Jack seeks to improve resilience implementation across levels of government by bridging the gap between policy development and engineering.
Zahraa Saiyed is a disaster risk reduction and public policy consultant with background and training as an architect, building scientist, structural engineer, and educator based in California. Zahraa’s domestic and international work ranges from anticipatory design projects, designing sustainable and resilient built environments, developing practice and personal preparedness guidance, and policy evaluation and development for seismic risk reduction at the federal, state, and local level. She leads EERI’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, is a member of the Western States Seismic Policy Council’s (WSSPC) Building Engineering, Construction and Building Codes Committee, and is a member of the Infrastructure Policy committee with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Zahraa’s legislative advocacy has ranged from seismic safety and preparedness, to equity in the workplace, as well as medical consumer rights for public health and wellness. She is a co-founder and principal of Scyma Consulting LLC located in the Bay Area, and is an adjunct professor of Architecture and Community Design at the University of San Francisco.