Outreach & Education

Policy in Motion Interns on California State Senate Floor

Policy in Motion Mentorship Program

Policy in Motion’s “Career Development” Mentorship Program is designed to mentor youth, college students and emerging professionals with an interest in public policy and sustainability planning into careers in transportation or urban planning. The program leverages Sacramento as a learning ground by engaging mentees/interns in the firm’s current local/state/federal policy research and transportation planning projects. It is designed as a work exchange where students provide project and research support for hands-on learning in business development and policy implementation,  as well as personal mentorship into career networks around California’s Capitol. Aligning with Policy in Motion’s vision for fostering the growth of “PODs” – people-oriented development — this program seeks to mentor budding leaders in the field of sustainable transportation planning and policy.

Policy in Motion provides “Growing Leaders” annual scholarships to students — including UC Davis graduate student Brigitte Driller and Met Sacramento High School senior Jeremy Gray in 2012! Learn more about the student all star team on the “Growing Leaders: Interns in Motion” Hall of Fame

“Lauren was instrumental in getting my career started.”

-Mindy Bacharach, Transportation Planner, Caltrans

“My time at Policy in Motion definitely has underpinned many of the ideas I’ve been sharing with my colleagues during my graduate research work in Brazil and Scandinavia.”

-Amanda Bradshaw, PhD Candidate, Columbia University

“You’re doing a good service to the field by helping them get established.  We need energetic blood!”

-Obama Administration, Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Transportation

Policy in Motion Book

Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32 was authored and published in August 2011 by Lauren Michele. The book is based on her MS thesis graduate research at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. It covers five key topics that are necessary for policymakers to understand in order to implement transportation solutions at all levels of government. While state and federal actions have been taken to set new requirements for vehicle efficiency and fuels, tackling travel behavior policies that reduce vehicle-miles-traveled and improve transportation network management is needed if California is to reduce its transportation sector’s 38 percent contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The book explores how the State is setting new policy directions for sustainable living through transportation planning, but outdated regulatory frameworks must be aligned with supporting paradigm shifts if California is to move forward in a truly unified vision for People Oriented Development and transportation.

The book is available on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as for loan in the libraries of the State of California’s Department of Transportation, Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, Department of Conservation, and LA Metro’s Transportation Research Library (Transportation Research Board Affiliate). Download free book sample or check out the photos from the Book Release Event!

“This book examines California’s transportation planning initiatives since AB 32, with a nuanced eye toward the State’s particular rules, laws, politics, and institutions. Lauren Michele provides insights and lessons for policymakers and practitioners—in California and elsewhere—as they strive to create more sustainable communities and transportation systems.”

-Dr. Daniel Sperling, Director, Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis

“I recently ordered a copy of your book, and have just begun reading it. This is an ambitious work, and already from skimming a few sections, I sense that you are and will be making significant contributions toward shaping policy in California toward a more sustainable and livable future.”

-George Dondero, Executive Director for the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission

Policy in Motion Film

Growing Beautiful Communities is an independently-produced documentary building upon the themes in Lauren Michele’s book “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32.” Through interviews with policy leaders and planners in transportation and sustainability fields, Growing Beautiful Communities depicts how the People Oriented Development concept can be used as a process to not only help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals but also to create sustainable communities and beautiful places to live. POD is driven by six main areas explored in the film: Job Growth, Community Schools, Places to Play, Quality Travel, Resource Management, and Housing Diversity. Growing Beautiful Communities depicts how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. The 40 minute documentary was produced in August 2012 by Lauren Michele, mentor to Met Sacramento High School intern Jeremy Gray (Writer/Director/Editor) — on our iPhones! with background “PODtrack” music by Met Sacramento High School student Noah Damiani.

As an author and producer, Lauren Michele has shared her book’s technical research and her film’s “POD” vision with hundreds of University students, emerging professionals, and leading experts — as well as key policy makers across California and Hawai’i  – all of whom are interested in more integrated sustainability planning at the local, regional and state levels of government.

“This inspiring documentary film was made here in Sacramento, based on her book that was published last year. Lauren explores the important changes California cities are pursuing to grow greener. Bike lanes, in-fill housing design, more sensible transportation options, etc. are all part of our efforts to live a little lighter, and hopefully a little happier, in our changing cities in the 21st century. Lauren Michele, in my estimation, is both a very smart and progressive thinker and an utterly delightful person.”

-Mark Nechodom, Director, California Department of Conservation

Staff Training

Educating planners and engineers on legislative requirements in climate/transportation policy and how to lead the state of the practice in the industry

“Lauren has been a key member of our firm’s highly-valued efforts devoted to transportation solutions for sustainable global climate, energy and health. She has worked closely with a select group of senior company leaders in strategy development. She has also undertaken important activities, including facilitation among public, private and academic sector interests in this most critical area of transportation’s societal influence. Through those activities I have observed Lauren handle complex and challenging situations with energy, intelligence, empathy and professionalism.”

-Jerry Walters, Chief Technical Officer, Fehr & Peers

Program Development

Developing transportation and climate change policy curriculum/programs for academic institutions, private/non-profit organizations, and public agencies

“When Lauren helped me teach a transportation policy course at UC Davis in 2007 and 2009, she showed an outstanding ability to translate transportation research and practices to a large undergraduate audience.”

-Dr. Daniel Sperling, Director, Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis

“Lauren is committed to contributing to the education, understanding and advancement of transportation issues to the community and within the industry. She has developed the rare capability to meaningfully contribute to the future of transportation – from socioeconomic transportation planning research to grassroots fundamental industry awareness with our nation’s youth.”

-Judy Matsui Drury, Women’s Transportation Seminar (President, Sacramento Chapter, 2007-08)

Public Outreach

Presenting complex policy frameworks in easily understandable terms to engage both members of the public and experts in the field

“Lauren has an eagle eye and night owl vision in her view of transportation policy. She presents a comprehensive policy overview, showing how all the pieces fit together clearly. May more policy thinkers see and speak with such clarity, so they can help convince the everyday citizen to change behavior. Thank you for moving this effort forward.”

-Tina Suarez-Murias, AICP