Planning, Mobility, and Development Advisor to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero
Manisha Bewtra, AICP (she/her) is Mayor Romero’s Planning, Mobility, and Development Advisor. In this role, she leverages her passion for planning for thriving, healthy, and inclusive communities with her love for policy-making and politics as the Mayor’s liaison on transportation and land use issues. Manisha is an experienced public process facilitator and project manager and works collaboratively with the Mayor’s team and city departments to apply an equity lens to all city initiatives.
Manisha has built her career on bringing divergent perspectives together, facilitating conversations around change, and generating data-informed solutions that move communities forward. She is driven by public service and champions equitable policies and inclusive community engagement.
Prior to her current role, she worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston as a senior regional planner and the manager of the analytics team, at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership where she was a statewide technical assistance provider, as an adjunct city planning instructor for Master’s degree program courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at Arizona State University, and in municipal government and nonprofit community development organizations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Chandler, Arizona.
Manisha has served on various equity-focused organizations and committees and is a graduate of Emerge Massachusetts, the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership, and the Massachusetts Commonwealth Seminar, three organizations dedicated to training underrepresented groups to influence public policy and to run for office. She has a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a BA in Economics and Art from The University of Iowa, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She currently serves as a member at large for the American Planning Association Arizona Southern Section and is a member of the executive team for the Asian American and Political Islander Caucus for the Arizona Democratic Party.
Before moving to Tucson in the summer of 2020, she lived in the Boston area for twelve years. During her years in Melrose, Massachusetts, she served as a Human Rights Commissioner and subsequently as a City Councilor. When elected to the Melrose City Council, she became the first person of color ever to serve in elected office in Melrose. She grew up in Iowa and identifies as Desi/Indian-American. She, her husband, and her son felt welcomed and right at home in Tucson when they moved here – even in spite of a pandemic and searing summer heat.