Tommy Newman is the Senior Director of Impact Initiatives at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. He oversees the Everyone In campaign, a grassroots movement to end homelessness by activating people to create more supportive and affordable housing throughout L.A. County. As a native Angeleno, he is passionate about lifting up long-term solutions to end homelessness in L.A.
Previously, Newman served as United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Director of Public Affairs, worked on the campaigns in support of Measure H and Proposition HHH, led communications and public affairs for LA Family Housing and was a deputy for L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge.
1. What inspires you the most about working at United Way of Greater Los Angeles?
Being able to play a leadership role in the countywide movement to end homelessness is both daunting and inspiring. I’m especially inspired by people with lived homelessness experience. At our Everyone In: Stories From The Frontline events, we have the opportunity to hear powerful firsthand stories from people who have experienced housing instability or who transitioned from living on the streets to living in affordable or supportive housing. These evenings always motivate me to work harder on behalf of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
2. What is your favorite thing that you have accomplished during your career with United Way so far?
I was able to work on both the Proposition HHH and Measure H campaigns—both were inspiring victories that have gone on to help tens of thousands of people, changing the course of their lives.
3. Since launching the Everyone In campaign, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am proudest of the organizing and community engagement work we are doing to make sure the voices of the vast majority of Angelenos who support proven long-term solutions to ending homelessness are heard loudly and clearly.
4. What are you looking forward to achieving in the coming years?
We’re going to continue to expand the work that we started in March 2018: engaging and activating people across the county in the work to end homelessness—it’s a great challenge that I continue to be excited about. We’ve seen through the Everyone In campaign that people from all across LA County want to help and believe that everyone deserves the dignity of a home. In fact, we know nearly 70 percent of regular voters across L.A. County want supportive housing and other needed services in their own neighborhoods.
And now for some rapid-fire lighter questions:
5. What is your favorite snack?
Popcorn (made on the stove).
6. What is your favorite thing to eat in L.A.?
Tacos, of course. My personal favorite is a spot in the Fairfax District called “Benitos Tacos”.
7. Where’s your favorite place in L.A.?
A tie between Dodger Stadium and the Griffith Observatory.
8. What is your favorite thing to do on a weekend morning or after work hours?
Hanging out with my wife and two little girls, Josephine and Isabel.
9. Is there a random fact about you that you want to tell us?
I was a late-night bike deliveryman in college—it was remarkably dangerous.
10. Any fun hobbies?
I’m a big fan of planes and love learning about them.