Rachel Aimee is SVP’s development director. From 2016 – 2022, Rachel was the co-founder and executive director of Drag Story Hour NYC, a nonprofit that produces fun and fabulous, queer-affirming storytelling programs for children. Prior to that, she was a co-founding editor of $pread, a print magazine that provided a platform for the voices of sex workers. Rachel is excited to bring her experience in development, community building, and uplifting marginalized voices to support the incredible work of the Street Vendor Project! 



Mohamed Attia, SVP’s Managing Director, immigrated to the US from Alexandria, Egypt in 2008. He worked as a vendor for nearly ten years selling hot dogs, halal chicken and rice, and smoothies. He became a member of the Street Vendor Project in 2012, was elected to the Leadership Board, and served on the board until 2018, when he joined SVP’s staff. He lives in Bensonhurst with his wife.



Steffany Cielo is SVP’s Program Coordinator. She is a first-generation college graduate and daughter to immigrant parents. Her goal at SVP is to enhance accessibility to basic resources and give back to her community. Steffany was born and raised in the world’s borough Queens, NY where she still currently resides.




Rafi Islam is SVP’s Bengali Member Organizer. He grew up in Bangladesh seeing a lot of food vendors outside of his school gate and eating only street food for lunch and after school. That inspired him to stay connected with the vendors here in NYC when he moved here. And now he’s a Founding Member of JhalNYC which is a social entrepreneurship venture built to empower the Bengali New York community through food and employ stay at home mothers, new immigrants and help build their language skills, and prepare them for careers they seek to transition to. Jhal connected him to SVP when they were in need of a Bengali Organizer. And now he educates and advocates the Bengali vendors in NYC with the assist the SVP. Rafi’s favorite street food is Jhalmuri.


Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez is SVP’s Deputy Director. She brings experience in policy development, restaurants, and community organizing for equitable economic justice. At SVP she has worked to pass city legislation to reform the street vendor industry, pass state legislation to create a $2.1 billion relief fund for excluded workers, and initiated a food relief program during the pandemic that employed vendors to make healthy, culturally sensitive meals for​ distribution across the five boroughs. She has previously held positions at NYC Small Business Services, Community Service Society, and Fundación Corona. Carina holds a Masters in International Affairs and Urban Social Policy from Columbia University, and was recognized in City & State’s Labor 40 under 40 in 2021. 




Rui Li is SVP’s Women & BIPOC Business Empowerment Organizer She immigrated to the US from China as a child and is committed to helping and empowering the immigrant community. She has extensive experience in China and Japan, where she worked in consulting and education. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.



Eric Nava-Pérez is SVP’s Latinx/Spanish Speaking Member Organizer. He is a first generation Xicano community and labor organizer that believes membership led organizations are integral to the development of social movements and systemic change. Eric was born and raised in East Harlem, New York City.




Jennifer Salgado


Jennifer Salgado is SVP’s Lead Organizer. She is the daughter of immigrant parents who migrated to the US from a small town in Guerrero, Mexico. For the past few years, she has been an education organizer in the Bronx and Brooklyn where she’s worked to elevate parent voices and bring their issues at the forefront in otherwise exclusive spaces. At the Street Vendor Project, she hopes to build power within the vending community to create longstanding change for Black and Indigenous People of Color and this way pay homage to her family, who turned to street vending when they first arrived in the states. Jennifer was born and raised in the Bronx where she currently still lives.



Matthew Shapiro, our Legal Director, grew up in Miami, where as a boy he was once ticketed by the police for selling mangoes by the side of the road without a license. He joined SVP on a fellowship in 2009, after graduating from Cardozo School of Law and the University of Florida. Matt recently spent a year in SE Asia on a street food sabbatical with his wife, Shari.
Hannah Towfiek is SVP’s Middle Eastern & North African Member Organizer. The daughter of Egyptian immigrants, Hannah is a born and bred Brooklynite who is dedicated to giving back to the communities that raised her. She has recently graduated from The City College of New York with a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations.