2020 40 Under 40 Honoree: Dave Breingan
“It’s so important we have strong connections with our neighbors."
David Breingan began working at Lawrenceville United right out of college, running summer camps for kids and helping to strengthen public education and parental engagement for some of the city’s most marginalized students. But then the housing market ballooned, and many of those families he’d been working with were priced out of their own neighborhood.
“I thought, ‘We’re on this path toward great public schools and we won’t have any families left to use them,’” he says.
Today, as the executive director of Lawrenceville United, Breingan is working to implement policies that ensure equity and quality of life are protected for all residents. The organization’s biggest win has been inclusionary zoning, requiring all new developments of 20 units or more to reserve 10 percent of those units for low-to-moderate-income families.
The organization scaled food distribution when it witnessed a tenfold increase in demand due to COVID-19 and implemented a buddy system to check in on elderly and immuno-compromised residents. “It’s so important that we have strong connections with our neighbors,” he says.