Daniela Leon is currently a first-year Master of Urban Planning student at the University at Buffalo, and a graduate of UB’s Environmental Design program. She is interested in the role of economic development as a lever for positive change in urban communities. Her experiences as research assistant at the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab have fostered her passion for equity and social justice among people of color and other marginalized communities in cities. Her research has focused on identifying opportunities for the integration of informal markets to the urban milieu, specifically street vending. While Buffalo has been home for many years now, she hopes to someday return to the New York City area and contribute to the innovative strategies that advance local economies and small businesses.