The Union Square Alliance is playing a central role in the recovery and resurgence of Union Square and all of downtown San Francisco. In November 2022, the Alliance released its new Strategic Plan (click here for link to the plan), which imagines a bustling, complete downtown neighborhood with shoppers, visitors, workers, and residents and includes key components highlighting Clean and Safe, Economic Development, Marketing and Advertising and Public Realm. Marisa Rodriguez, CEO, and Ken Rich, COO, from the Union Square Alliance will share an overview of the Plan and talk about the vision for Union Square and how it fits into the future of downtown as a whole.
Marisa Rodriguez, CEO, Union Square Alliance
Marisa is a collaborative and mission-driven leader with over 15 years of experience in public policy, regulatory and legal affairs, community relations, and the public realm. Her breadth of knowledge in the public domain allows her to empathetically communicate with diverse constituents, uplift voices, and forge lasting partnerships with key stakeholders. Her expertise lies in her ability to develop deep and lasting relationships between government, private sector, and community partners.
Marisa has a background as an Assistant District Attorney and as a San Francisco City Department Head (for the Office of Cannabis) that speaks to her extensive experience with public policy and ability to bolster communities. She has an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a JD from USF School of Law.
Ken Rich, COO, Union Square Alliance
Ken Rich is a city planning and real estate development leader with 25 years of experience working on planning and development projects and policy in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Ken served as Director of Development for San Francisco Mayors Ed Lee and London Breed from 2010 to 2020, where he led the real estate team within the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Projects approved under Ken’s direction focused on low- and middle-income housing, waterfront revitalization, workforce development and the arts.
Prior to working as Director of Development, Ken worked for more than 10 years on land use planning at the San Francisco Planning Department, where among other projects, he led the City’s initiative to adopt the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, which rezoned a large portion of southeastern San Francisco in order to encourage more housing while protecting industrial businesses.