Board Candidate Bio for Alyssa Cypher (2021)

/ Board Candidate Bio for Alyssa Cypher (2021)

Name: Alyssa Cypher

What years have you lived in Lawrenceville? Since May 2012 (9 years)

Why did you move to Lawrenceville? Art All Night 2010 first brought me to Lawrenceville

Current job title (if employed): Organizer at Inside our Minds, Radical Mental Health Consultant

Why do you want to be on the LU Board? I want to be part of creating a neighborhood that centers equity and justice for all. During the last two years that I’ve served on the LU Board, I have had the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of initiatives, such as inclusionary zoning, bylaw changes to pen board access for individuals who were displaced from the neighborhood, food access, and the community COVID-19 response.

Volunteer, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: Lawrenceville United, Board Member (since 2019), Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair (since 2019), Board President (since 2020); Founder of Inside Our Minds (since 2016); Write Pittsburgh, Facilitator for Rainbow Writers (since 2018).

What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why?I’ve always loved the eclectic nature of Lawrenceville, with such a wide variety of green spaces, restaurants, and small businesses, and so many community spaces and events – all things that we need to preserve and support, especially with the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

What is one thing you would like to work on within the neighborhood? Why? Equity – whether addressing the livability of our neighborhood and city for Black and Brown residents, the
displacement of individuals, seniors, and families who want to stay in Lawrenceville, food access through the farmers market and food distributions, programs and advocacy for youth in our neighborhood schools, the accessibility of our neighborhood for the disability community and seniors, or any other initiatives we can support to make this neighborhood welcoming for everyone.

How are you involved in the Lawrenceville community? I volunteer regularly at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market – last summer you may have interacted with me at the 40th street entrance during the first hour of the market. I have also served on the Lawrenceville United board for the past two years, and as Board President for the past year.

What would you bring to the LU Board (e.g. experience, skills, perspective, network, etc.)? I bring my expertise from my work in radical mental health (anti-oppressive mental health) and disability justice spaces, especially to committees like Equity and Inclusion. I also love to be involved in volunteering and organizing work, so I’m always happy to lend a hand to neighborhood programs.

What’s one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? I write poetry and have published a few poems in local journals.