Meet Our Team

Luca Gattoni-Celli

Luca is a business researcher and recovered federal tax reporter. He lives in Alexandria West with his wife and children. They enjoy seeing friends, hiking, e-biking, and the stellar food in NoVA from around the world, particularly Pho 75 and Mediterranean Bakery. @TheGattoniCelli

Jane Green
Regional Lead & Co-Founder

Jane is director of philanthropy operations at Food & Water Watch and a volunteer board member with the Alliance for Housing Solutions. She proudly rents in Courthouse, Arlington, with her husband and children. @janefgreen

Adam Theo
Communications Director & Co-Founder

Theo is a communications consultant and former Air Force Reserves veteran who previously ran as an independent candidate for Arlington County Board. He enjoys hiking, cycling, and is a sucker for any restaurant with an outdoor patio and string lights. @TheoForARL

Dan Alban
Strategic Advisor & Co-Founder

Dan is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice and YIMBY Law board member. He lives in Ballston/Bluemont, Arlington with his wife. They enjoy traveling, hiking, dining out, live music and theater, and wine tasting in NoVA. @DanAlban

Joshua Booth
Lead, Fairfax

Jason Schwartz
Primary Lead, Arlington

Alex Goyette
Primary Lead, Alexandria

Joseph Schiarizzi
Primary Lead, Falls Church City

Brooks Stephens
Lead, Fairfax

Tim Huson
Lead, Arlington

Phoebe Coy
Lead, Alexandria

Peter  Sutherland
Lead, Alexandria & Events Director

Mostafa El Nahass
Lead, Fairfax

Bianca Benedi
Communications Lead

Trip Hook
Lead, Alexandria

Gillian Burgess
Arlington Strategist

Frequently Asked Questions

What is YIMBYs of Northern Virginia?

YIMBYs (yes in my backyard) of NoVA is a grassroots all-volunteer pro-housing advocacy organization. The root cause of the housing crisis is a housing shortage, so we advocate for an “all of the above” approach that includes both market rate and committed affordable (subsidized) housing projects, systemic reforms to enable the construction of more homes for more people, and better legal protections for renters. The YIMBY movement is a grassroots effort to make housing abundant and affordable, especially in places with jobs and opportunity.

Who are you as individuals?

The members of our leadership team (called Leads) are local volunteers from different walks of life. See the smiling faces above!

We are united by our passion for abundant, affordable housing, and a desire to strengthen our community. As unpaid volunteers, we each come to housing advocacy with unique personal experiences that led us to the same conclusion: we must build more homes for more people.

Where do you live? Are you out-of-towners?

We all live in NoVA! If you see a YIMBY testifying at a public hearing, rest assured they are your neighbor.

We have local leadership teams for Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria City, and Falls Church City, composed of Leads who advocate in the jurisdiction where they live. However, we also recognize that the housing crisis does not adhere to jurisdictional boundaries, which is why YIMBYs of Northern Virginia is a regional organization.

As a rule, YIMBYs advocate only to their own local government, or their state-level elected representatives. However, in the interest of transparency, there has been a small number of exceptions, mostly when a YIMBY testified in a local jurisdiction about being priced out of it and forced to move elsewhere. YIMBYs are always clear and upfront about where we live.

Are you paid or financially compensated?

No, we are unpaid volunteers and receive no financial compensation for our advocacy. Professional advocacy plays a legitimate role in many social movements, including today’s pro-housing movement, but YIMBYs of NoVA is an entirely volunteer organization.

What do you spend money on?

YIMBYs of NoVA has modest periodic expenses, mostly for events and recruitment. We have produced flyers and signs, bought tabling supplies, and purchased food for social gatherings.

Does YIMBYs of NoVA or its parent organization donate money to political campaigns?


What is YIMBY Action?

YIMBY Action (YA) is our parent entity and a legally registered 501(c)(4) organization based in the San Francisco Bay area. It has chapters nationwide, from Seattle to Atlanta to Denver. YIMBYs of NoVA is one of YIMBY Action’s most active and successful chapters. Because we are a 501(c)(4), YIMBYs of NoVA is able to engage in lobbying of elected officials, political endorsements, and canvassing for pro-housing candidates.

We have complete decision-making autonomy from YIMBY Action, but we do seek its advice on best practices, and are part of the YA community. YIMBY Action administers our finances and provides IT infrastructure including a website platform, Slack account, and CRM system. We also receive staff support from YA in areas of marketing, event planning, and organizing.

YIMBY Action has a sister-org, Yes In My Back Yard (Y.I.M.B.Y.), which is a 501(c)(3) entity that includes YIMBY Law, an organization that litigates housing issues, mostly in California. Y.I.M.B.Y. also serves as a parent organization for YIMBYs of NoVA.

Where does your funding come from?

Like any nonprofit, YIMBY Action accepts donations from individuals, foundations, and private companies. It uses funds for its operations and to help nurture the national YIMBY movement.

What is Emergent Ventures?

Emergent Ventures is a grant program awarded by Mercatus Center Director Tyler Cowen, designed to promote prosocial moonshot projects. YIMBYs of NoVA’s founder won an EV grant in 2022 to help our organization grow and mature. A unique feature of the EV grant is that it has no strings attached. As such, donors have zero control over how grant winners spend the money. The only requirement was to submit a progress report within one year.

So you are just a bunch of locals doing all of this work for free? Why?

Fundamentally, we love our communities and we want the people who make those communities to thrive. Being the new person in an unfamiliar place is a nearly universal human experience. We welcome new neighbors because we see ourselves in them. We view them as a blessing and an opportunity, not a burden or a blight. We have a positive-sum mindset. Cities that steadily lose population experience enormous suffering. Our region and our nation will eventually be unable to function if we cannot find a way to build housing near jobs and opportunity. And our community ties will fray to nothing if we cannot find a way to tolerate each other's existence.

We are also optimists. We know that a better world is possible and we are motivated to help build it, for ourselves, for our neighbors, and for future generations.

You can learn about our goals and values by visiting: