Drennen (M.P.A., '04), news of any pedestrian death
in San Francisco is difficult to hear. The fatalities, 14 just last
year, could have been avoided, she says. "That's what fuels the
work I do."
As executive director of Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy group, Drennen
secures funding for crosswalk improvements, educates the public on road
safety and encourages traffic enforcement. She's found an ally in San
Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong (B.A., '82;
M.A., '88), who has overseen "ped stings," collaborations
with Walk SF that cite drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
The work requires an intricate knowledge of government policy, much
of which Drennen learned as an intern at San Francisco City Hall, where
she worked closely with Supervisor Tom Ammiano (M.A.,
'65). He recommended her for the Master of Public Administration
Program at SF State.
Drennen stood out as "extremely bright, articulate, thoughtful,"
Assistant Professor Corey Cook says.
Her master's project, which proved that bicycle lanes had a positive
effect on small businesses in the city, won the 2004 California State
University Student Research Competition. Professor Genie Stowers, director
of the public administration program, describes it as "a high-quality,
very useful research project that was a great example of the kind of
balance between theory and practice that our program tries to do."
Drennen plans to run for a position on the BART Board of Directors in