José Antonio Zayas Cabán Promoted after Serving as Advocacy Director Since 2021
Our Streets Minneapolis (OSM), the nonprofit advocacy organization advocating for people-first transportation, announced José Antonio Zayas Cabán has been named executive director. OSM works to make streets places where people can easily and comfortably walk, bike, roll, and use public transit in the Twin Cities.
Zayas Cabán previously served as advocacy director for the nonprofit, successfully building campaigns for transportation changes that address the unjust transportation planning decisions of the past and the current harms of car-centric transportation planning. An excellent example of this work is Twin Cities Boulevard, a campaign proposal for a highway-to-boulevard conversion in the 7.5-mile stretch of the I-94 corridor between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
“José does an exceptional job of engaging communities around reparative justice as it relates to transportation,” says Laura Groenjes Mitchell, OSM board chair. “Transportation affects every aspect of our daily lives. Whether reducing climate emissions or addressing the injustices of highway construction, we are grateful to have José leading with the lens of racial equity.”
As executive director, Zayas Cabán will be responsible for creating partnerships with community organizations and donors. His duties will include staff and operational management, development, programming, and strategic planning for the organization.
“I am thrilled to lead Our Streets Minneapolis and continue our work towards a future where cities design streets to prioritize reparations, public health, climate, racial, and economic justice for all our neighbors,” says Zayas Cabán. “I look forward to building on the momentum of what we’ve accomplished in the past two years and continue incorporating more diverse voices into the transportation, land use and housing ecosystem.”
Zayas Cabán also serves as a board member at Streets.mn and The Alliance. He is a current Mapping Prejudice Project Community Fellow and resident at the University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Engagement Hub. Outside of the transportation space, Zayas Cabán is a GRAMMY® Nominated Artist. He is also on faculty at St. Joseph’s School of Music and was awarded the 2021 McKnight Artist Fellowship for his work on producing albums with music focused on present-day social issues and the relationship between his home country Puerto Rico and the United States Empire.
He begins his new position on May 1, 2023.