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Jonathan S Austin ’82

Jonathan Austin and family

Jonathan built a career as an affordable housing developer. He was born in New York City and attended the Bronx High School of Science. At the age of nine, he got his first job on the second season of Sesame Street, where he did a scene with Mr. Hooper. At Reed, he fell in love with Hegel and vegetarianism, and became passionate about combining sustainability with social justice. “Philosophy gave me a perspective that few urban planners have,” he said.

After graduating in political science from Reed, he earned a master’s in urban planning from San Jose State University, worked for the City of Oakland, and joined a number of nonprofit housing developers in the East Bay. As principal of his own business, JSA Consulting Services, he helped develop Crossroads, a 125-bed homeless shelter in Oakland that featured green construction and was profiled in the New York Times. He is survived by his mother, Louise Austin; his wife, Mary Mazzocco; his daughter, Alleana; and his brother, Benjamin.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2017

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