Elliot Karl

ElliottPlacement: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency – Capital Financial Planning and Analysis

Hometown: Downers Grove, IL

Education: Grinnell College ‘12, Grinnell, Iowa: B.A. in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) and Economics

Selected Honors: Jeanne Burkle Award in Women’s Studies; Phi Beta Kappa; Graduation Honors in GWSS, Economics; Dean’s List

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: Lutheran Volunteer Corps (AmeriCorps): Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, Berkeley, CA, 2012-13, Eviction Defense Collaborative, San Francisco, CA, 2013-14; Technology Consultant, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL and Grinnell College Technology Consultant Corps; Manager and member, Stonewall (LGBTQ) Resource Center, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

Why San Francisco is important to me: At some point in my childhood, I first heard of the city’s mythological status as a place of tolerance and refuge for all people and decided (like, immediately) that I should probably live here before I had ever seen the Pacific Ocean. My college years were spent reading and re-reading the Tales of the City series, studying LGBTQ history and the important role that San Francisco has played in it–so it is no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to move to Berkeley to work after graduating in 2012. And as much as I was immediately enamored with my new home, I was disheartened to witness how booming regional industry, skyrocketing price levels and demand for housing is leading to the subsequent displacement of the city’s more vulnerable, long-standing, and low-income residents. I was and am also inspired by the creative energy and passion I’ve found working with individuals in non-profits and–now–government to address these very complicated social issues which are hardly unique to San Francisco, but changing the character of American cities everywhere. I am hopeful that I may work towards something meaningful for the lives of others in my career, excited about the insight I seek gain as a City Hall Fellow, and thankful for the opportunity to be here in the first place–my new home.

Something unique about me: When I first moved to the Bay, I dropped off my suitcases at the back door and immediately headed towards the Emeryville Amtrak Station to pick up my bicycle, which I had shipped on a train from Chicago. I spent many of my first weekends biking around these cities with a giant map of the Bay Area and still look forward to weekend rides. I’d like to think that I have a pretty solid sense of direction because of them but am always finding new places.