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Tanner currently serves as the Assistant Director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Palo Alto, where she oversees Palo Alto's planning and building permitting functions, including inspections. Tanner is currently a Commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Appeals, and was appointed to the Board in 2018 by then President of the Board of Supervisors Malia Cohen. She will resign from the Board of Appeals to join the Planning Commission.
"Rachael is experienced in city planning, has a demonstrated commitment to equity, and will bring her own experience living and working in the southeast part of San Francisco to the Commission," said Mayor Breed. "I am confident Rachael will be a valuable member of the Commission and will contribute to our efforts to make San Francisco a more, livable, affordable, and resilient city for generations to come."
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Prior to working in Palo Alto, Tanner worked at the San Francisco Planning Department as a Senior Planner on the Excelsior and Outer Mission Neighborhood Strategy, which was developed to guide the City's focus and investment in the commercial corridors of Mission Street and Geneva Avenue. She implemented outreach strategies during this process, including listening to community stakeholders by organizing focus groups and engaging monolingual residents and community organizations, such as Communities United for Health and Justice and the Excelsior Action Group.
"I am honored to serve on the Planning Commission," said Rachael Tanner. "I will be a voice joining in the chorus of our city crying out for racial and social equity, for equitably-planned housing, and for a brighter future despite the pandemic."
She continues to stay connected to the community through her volunteer work as a mentor to a middle school student and regularly performs marriage ceremonies. Tanner has lived in the Bayview Hunters Point and currently resides in SoMa. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and her Master's in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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The San Francisco Planning Commission consists of seven commissioners appointed by the Mayor and the President of the Board of Supervisors, and Commissioners serve four-year terms. The Commission oversees the Planning Department, which plays a central role in guiding the growth and development of the City. The Department works with other City agencies and the community to help balance the needs of residents, businesses, and civic leaders to protect the environment and historical resources, create inspiring and livable urban spaces, cultivate neighborhood resilience, and enforce good land use practices. The Commission is also responsible for the stewardship and maintenance of San Francisco's General Plan.
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