In The News

My profiles, recognition, interviews, and quotes in the media.


Cal Poly Pomona. Expert Q & A – Embedded Planning: A Practitioner’s Origin Story. CPP Magazine. Fall 2022 edition, published January 2023. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted; short PDF version)


Mike Sonksen. Remembering Mike Davis: How His Curiosity for Los Angeles Changed The Way We See Our City. KCET. November 2, 2022. (Quoted about the life-changing impact of Mike Davis and City of Quartz on my trajectory in urban planning and my creation of Embedded Planning praxis)

Clara Harter. South Bay Council of Governments Studies ADUs as an Affordable Housing Solution. Long Beach Press-Telegram. September 8, 2022. (Interviewed and quoted about accessory dwelling units; article cross-posted at Daily Breeze)

South Bay Cities Council of Governments. Building Out. South Bay Watch Summer 2022. August 26, 2022. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about accessory dwelling unit regulation and policy)

South Bay Cities Council of Governments. South Bay Cities Council of Governments to Study Accessory Dwelling Units (AKA “Granny Flats) as Affordable Housing Solution for the South Bay. SBCCOG Press Release. August 24, 2022. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about accessory dwelling unit regulation and policy)

Julia Barajas. Wait, How Did Student Debt Even Become A Thing? LAist. August 4, 2022. (Interviewed and quoted about student loan debt)


Conor Doherty. It’s Been a Home for Decades, but Legal Only a Few Months. New York Times. December 18, 2021. (Interviewed and quoted about informal housing in South Central LA)

Alumnus Founds Company to Promote Embedded Planning. UCLA Luskin Forum, page 23. Summer 2021. (Profiled)

Kenneth Miller. Livable Interview: Jonathan Pacheco Bell. AARP Livable Communities. February 15, 2021. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted)

Ambika Chawla. Green Space in Cities Can Bring Considerable Health Benefits for Communities, But Access is Unequal. Ensia. March 19, 2021 (Interviewed and quoted about park equity)

Mike Sonksen. National Paralympic Champ Wants to Teach a Million Underserved People to Swim. KCET. February 10, 2021. (Interviewed and quoted about champion swimmer Jamal Hill)


Daniel C. Vock. Expanding Equity and Affordability, One Lot at a Time. Planning. October 2020. (Interviewed and quoted about park equity)

Samantha Bravo & Melanie Gutierrez. Residents and Activists Remove Stones Set Up to Deter Homeless Encampments. Daily Sundial. September 19, 2020. (Interviewed and quoted about Hostile Architecture)

Julia Wick. Email Pleasantries During a Pandemic. Los Angeles Times. May 2, 2020. (Quoted about changing social communications after COVID-19)


Mike Sonksen. Rasquachismo and Public Spaces: A Primer on Latino Urbanism with James Rojas. L.A. Taco. December 3, 2019. (Interviewed and quoted about the work of James Rojas)

Juell Stewart. Planning for Future Leaders. Planning. December 2019. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about Embedded Planning and my work at East LA Renaissance Academy High School)

William Adams. Embedded Planning Movement Gains Traction. Planetizen. May 24, 2019. (Profiled about Embedded Planning)

Tanvi Varma. Black Panther History, Immigrant Stories Highlighted in Book about South Central’s Florence-Firestone Community. Intersections South LA. March 7, 2019. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about the book, A Paseo Through Time in Florence-Firestone)

Emily Alpert Reyes. Junk, Blight and Problem Businesses: South L.A. Residents Fume Over Code Enforcement. Los Angeles Times. January 12, 2019. (Interviewed on background for article on code enforcement in South Central LA)


Paige Schwartz. Rules in Reality: Understanding the Human Story in California’s Housing Crisis. SF Urban Film Fest. December 27, 2018. (Profiled and quoted about informal housing in South Central LA)

Tanvi Varma. How a Tire Shop in South L.A. Became a Community Hub for Locals. Intersections South LA. November 27, 2018. (I pitched this story based on my knowledge of the Florence-Firestone community. Intersections produced an article and video. I was interviewed and quoted about the community center at Carlito’s Tires)

Library Chronicles. Note (March 21, 2018): “Library History as Community History: Florence and Graham.” LHRT News and Notes: A Publication of the Library History Roundtable. March 21, 2018. (Profiled about my library history chapter in the book, A Paseo Through Time in Florence-Firestone)

Mike Sonksen. How This POC, Women-Led Group Is Taking a DIY Approach to Feeding South L.A.’s Homeless. L.A. Taco. March 13, 2018. (Interviewed and quoted about Feed South Central’s direct action; I mentioned Embedded Planning and provided story photography)

Jacob Pasqua. Urban Planning Through a Social Justice Lens. The Sundial. March 5, 2018. (Profiled and quoted on informal housing in South Central LA)

William Adams. What Community-Based Zoning Enforcement Looks Like in South Central Los Angeles. Planetizen. February 6, 2018. (Profiled about my urban planning work, neighborhood histories, and love of South Central LA communities)


Mike Sonksen. The History of South Central Los Angeles and Its Struggle with Gentrification. KCET. September 13, 2017. (Interviewed and quoted about South Central LA)

Urban Planner and iSchool Alumnus Explores Deep Relationship Between Public Libraries and Cities. Community Profile. San Jose State University iSchool. 2017. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about city planning and public libraries)


Editorial Board. Go, Granny, Go: Second-Unit Housing in Pasadena. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. December 21, 2016. (Quoted about Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance improvement)


Mike Sonksen. The Comeback Kid: Willowbrook’s History and Transformation. KCET L.A. Letters. October 6, 2015. (Interviewed about public libraries and South Central LA history)

Melanie C.J. Los Angeles: A Tale of Two Ecologies. Planetizen. July 24, 2015. (Profiled about my writing on Los Angeles, Mike Davis, and Reyner Banham)

Mike Sonksen. Everyday Heroes of Florence-Firestone. KCET L.A. Letters. July 2, 2015. (Profiled, interviewed, and quoted about Florence-Firestone in South Central LA)

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde. Counterpoint: Alumni Perspective on Informal Cities. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. June 11, 2015. (Interviewed and quoted about informal urbanism)

Mike Sonksen. South L.A. on the Rise. KCET L.A. Letters. May 29, 2015 (Interviewed and quoted about West Athens-Westmont in South Central LA)

Stories of Everyday Heroes (oral history). L.A. County Library. 2015. (Profiled and interviewed about Florence-Firestone in South Central LA)


Melanie C.J. Who’s Right in the Informal Housing Debate? Planetizen. November 18, 2014. (Profiled and quoted about informal housing)

Melanie C.J. A Growing Body of Knowledge Examines Unauthorized Housing in Los Angeles. Planetizen. June 21, 2014. (Profiled and quoted about informal housing)


Career Services. A Q&A with Urban Planning Alum Jonathan Pacheco Bell. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. 2013 (Profiled and interviewed)


Jennifer McClain. Alleged Boarding House Owner Sued. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. March 6, 2007. (Interviewed about housing code enforcement)