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Seattle City (spot)Light: Michael Aronowitz, Senior Resource Planner

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? 10 years 

Division:  Natural Resources and Hydro Licensing (in the Environment, Land, and Licensing Business Unit) 

Tell us about your role. What does your job entail?  I’m a strategic advisor 2. My working title is senior resource planner. Our team works with federal and state agencies, Indian Tribes, and other partners to protect and improve natural and cultural resources at City Light’s hydroelectric projects. Currently, we’re working on the relicensing effort for the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project. 

The biggest component of my job is outdoor recreation planning, particularly at the Boundary and Skagit Projects. Before I came to work at City Light, I had no idea that an electric utility would be involved with outdoor recreation. But City Light plays an essential role in providing access to recreational opportunities on public lands and waters where we generate electricity and mitigating the impacts our operations may have on recreation. In recent years, we’ve developed new recreation facilities like campgrounds, boat launches, and trails; continued providing the historic Skagit Tours on Diablo Lake and developed new museum-style interpretive exhibits; and monitored recreation use so we can continue to provide the desired experience. It’s an incredibly diverse job. One day I might be on a Teams video conference with licensing partners; the next day I might be on a backcountry trail downloading trail counter data. 


Hometown: Tarzana, Calif. 

Alma Mater: University of California Los Angeles and Columbia University 

Discipline/Trade of study: MPA in Environmental Science and Policy 

Tell us about your family: My wife Keala runs a policy lab at the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington. We have two kids – Max (7) and Jacob (4). They’re both obsessed with baseball, which is fine with me!  

Just for Fun

What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on/have been working on at City Light? Why? It’s hard to choose just one, so I am going to go outside the box and mention something that is not one of my core job responsibilities. Since 2014, I’ve volunteered to give tours at the monthly open house at the Georgetown Steam Plant, a National Historic Landmark owned by City Light. Every month, a great group of history and technology people, artists and photographers, and just curious people from around the community come to share the space. I encourage everyone to visit!  

What is your go-to, most listened to song? My kids and I usually sing a song at bedtime. Lately, oddly enough, it’s been “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M. 

What is your motto or personal mantra? I saw this just the other day: “Work hard in silence. Let your success make the noise.” 

If you could have dinner with one person, living or deceased, who would it be and why? Vin Scully or Tommy Lasorda, and we’d eat Dodger dogs. 

What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why? My library card. Otherwise I’d go broke buying all the books I wanted.