Paola Méndez is the Planning Deputy for Councilmember David Ryu representing Council District Four.
Paola is an interdisciplinary planner, policy analyst, designer, and community engagement specialist. Prior to working for the Council Office, Paola worked in the nonprofit planning sector, where she spent four years facilitating participatory design processes to engage low-income communities on projects ranging from transportation planning to gender-inclusive urban design. Paola has also worked on community and economic development in Detroit, mapping neighborhood conditions and supporting small “good food” businesses. She believes that local knowledge and lived experience are key to solving complex, intersecting urban challenges.
Paola holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, with graduate certificates in Design & Development and Urban Humanities.