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California Policy Complete Streets GHG Reduction Livable Communities Local Government Metropolitan Planning Public Transit Safe Routes to School SB 375 Sustainability

Strategic Growth Council Awards $16M in Planning Grants : Looks to Future Cap and Trade Funding

FINAL ROUND OF PROP 84 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES PLANNING GRANTS AWARDED – WHAT’S NEXT?

Today the California Strategic Growth Council awarded over $16 million in its third and final round of Proposition 84 Sustainable Communities Planning Grants.  This successful program has sparked innovation in sustainability planning across California’s communities by incentivizing the integration of transportation, land use, and resource conservation.

The City of Davis, in partnership with Yolo County and UC Davis, received $591,108 for their “Downtown/University Gateway District Plan” proposal — which will bring together a vision for energy, water, and transportation conservation in a critical infill site located between the three jurisdictions.  Reviewed by a panel including a dozen state agency departments, the innovative plan was the highest ranking application in the state.  Policy in Motion is so grateful to have had the opportunity to help craft this proposal with the City, County, and University and is dedicated to ensuring California continues to fund the implementation of projects like this across the state.

Today was a significant milestone for the Strategic Growth Council — having now awarded over $66 million to 126 cities, counties, and regions in California under the Prop 84 funding program.  With the total grant requests vastly exceeding the available funding, it is clear that California communities are eager to plan and build a more sustainable future.

Since the passage of SB 375 in 2008 local governments have been actively seeking funding sources to make the implementation of regional Sustainable Communities Strategies not just a goal, but a reality.

We have a transformative opportunity under California’s cap and trade program to help communities do this — but we need to ensure that we create a program that focuses on three things:

  • INTEGRATION – the combination of different transportation demand management and multi modal infrastructure is essential for not only maximizing greenhouse gas emissions, but also for cost effective investments in our communities. A Sustainable Communities Implementation Program that focuses on real projects and programs in communities would allow for innovative and integrated transportation solutions — for some communities that might be electric car sharing, others may need a central transit station, a bike trail that links across town, or a landscaped street to encourage walking. We need to empower local governments to figure out the best combinations of these investments and incentivize combined approaches because transportation is a “system” not a “silo.”
  • LAND USE – local land use planning is the most critical and most overlooked component in reducing transportation GHG emissions.  We need to take this window of opportunity to leverage sustainable changes in local land use plans, codes, and ordinances, by offering local governments much needed transportation funding that requires outdated land use plans to get a makeover. We have a critical opportunity to think about how transportation systems link and leverage land use. This is what “integration” is all about.
  • PEOPLE – we must keep in mind the cap and trade program impacts will essentially look like a new gas tax to consumers of all incomes and should keep a nexus with putting funding back into local transportation systems that serve all people — whether they be motorists, transit riders, bicyclists, or pedestrians (all of whom use some aspect of our roads). Current proposals for allocating cap and trade do not highlight the importance of this and need to include more funding for active transportation and roadway preservation. And we also must remember sustainable communities are ultimately about creating “people-oriented development” and places where families, seniors, and students all want to live, work, learn, shop, and play.  At the end of the day we want to create communities where people want to walk their dogs under tree lined streets, bike with their kids to a school nearby, take transit to work (and get there on time), and drive through roundabouts without potholes.

Cap and trade revenues will grow into billions of dollars per year in the next few years, so this source of revenue could provide the missing piece in achieving sustainable communities throughout California if done right.

But now is the time.

A performance-based approach to reducing GHG emissions is at the heart of cap and trade – it is a market mechanism geared toward innovation beyond what can be achieved purely through regulatory measures.  We have a real opportunity to use a unique funding source to re-create communities across the state.

We can do this through new sources of funding that are allocated at a regional level where the technical and policy expertise is greatest, and through competitive grants for local communities that are based on maximizing GHG reduction through combinations of transportation investments and land use changes needed to implement SB 375.

Lauren Michele, Principal/Founder, Policy in Motion.

Lauren earned a Master’s of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies after working as a transportation planning professional at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst at the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington D.C., and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  At the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) she focused on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375 and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.  Her academic work includes teaching undergraduate courses in Transportation Policy at UC Davis and experiential learning while living and researching multi-modal transportation planning in Europe.

Lauren currently serves as Policy Director for the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities — an organization which includes the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, National Resources Defense Council, League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Councils of Governments throughout the state. The Coalition promotes the investment of cap and trade revenue to address both the greenhouse gas reduction goals of AB 32 and critical transportation system maintenance and operation needs that build on the framework of SB 375 and other GHG reduction strategies.

Her firm, Policy in Motion, specializes in sustainable transportation policy.  Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions.  Lauren Michele’s 2011 book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32” explores the State’s evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning, and identifies how 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.  Lauren’s 2012 film documentary, “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on “People-Oriented Development” (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and www.policyinmotion.com.

 

Categories
NewsFlash

SENATOR STEINBERG PROPOSES NEW VISION FOR CAP AND TRADE FUNDING

In 2008 California became the first state in the nation to set the course for integrated land use and transportation planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under Senator Steinberg’s SB 375 – for the last five years regional and local governments have been actively seeking funding sources to make the implementation of these Sustainable Communities Strategies not just a goal, but a reality.

Senator Steinberg’s proposal today is a step toward making that goal a reality.

Among the key supporters of this proposal are members of the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities — including the League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, CALCOG, California Transit Association, and California Alliance for Jobs.  These groups have praised Senator Steinberg’s leadership on this critical issue and are committed to working with him as a more detailed proposal develops over the coming weeks.

The concepts outlined in Senator Steinberg’s Long Term Investment Strategy for Cap and Trade Revenue would empower regional and local governments to be leaders in implementing sustainable communities and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector — California’s largest source of GHG emissions.

Specifically, these elements of the proposal have the potential to make transformational changes in the planning and implementation of California’s sustainable communities:

  • A long-term funding source for SB 375 and integrated transportation and land use strategies;
  • A competitive ranking process to ensure that projects providing maximum feasible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are funded;
  • Regional allocation of funding through the Strategic Growth Council for Sustainable Communities Strategies implementation;
  • Funding for transit construction and operations based on GHG performance criteria;
  • Funding for complete streets and roadway retrofits, maintenance, and operations based on GHG performance criteria;
  • Funding for Electric Vehicle Deployment Program;
  • Funding for construction of California High Speed Rail

By recognizing that transportation and land use investments must be integrated together in order to maximize GHG emissions and foster sustainable communities, Senator Steinberg’s approach to allocating cap and trade revenues has the potential to go beyond just “transit-oriented development” to create more “people-oriented development.”

Integration is critical for ensuring that we use our limited financial resources in the most cost-effective way. Changes in land use patterns, if properly supported with transportation infrastructure, are vastly more important to achieving more livable communities—and GHG reductions—than any transportation investment alone.

California’s MPOs are all showing trends toward sustainability. The SB 375 Sustainable Communities Strategies have laid out a vision for more compact and diverse mixes of development patterns – combined with needed investments in new and existing transit systems, active transportation programs and projects, and complete streets maintenance and operations.

Senator Steinberg’s proposal would create an integrated funding source at the regional level so that local communities can compete to reduce GHG emissions — with strategies like transit-oriented development, land use planning, active transportation, high density mixed use development, and transportation efficiency and demand management projects.

SB 375 was created to help the State achieve the GHG reduction goals of AB 32. The four largest MPOs have all adopted Sustainable Communities Strategies to meet the GHG targets and are now ready to fund integrated projects that will improve communities for all, create new jobs, and protect the environment.

Cap and trade revenues will grow into billions of dollars per year in the next few years, so this source of revenue could provide the missing piece in achieving sustainable communities throughout California.

A performance-based approach to reducing GHG emissions is at the heart of cap and trade – it is a market mechanism geared toward innovation beyond what can be achieved purely through regulatory measures.  We have a real opportunity to use a unique funding source to re-create communities across the state.

We can do this through new sources of funding that are allocated at a regional level where the technical and policy expertise is greatest, and through competitive grants for local communities that are based on maximizing GHG reduction through combinations of transportation investments and land use changes needed to implement SB 375.

Lauren Michele, Principal/Founder, Policy in Motion.

Lauren earned a Master’s of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies after working as a transportation planning professional at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst at the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington D.C., and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  At the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) she focused on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375 and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.  Her academic work includes teaching undergraduate courses in Transportation Policy at UC Davis and experiential learning while living and researching multi-modal transportation planning in Europe.

Lauren currently serves as Policy Director for the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities — an organization which includes the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, National Resources Defense Council, League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Councils of Governments throughout the state. The Coalition promotes the investment of cap and trade revenue to address both the greenhouse gas reduction goals of AB 32 and critical transportation system maintenance and operation needs that build on the framework of SB 375 and other GHG reduction strategies.

Her firm, Policy in Motion, specializes in sustainable transportation policy.  Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions.  Lauren Michele’s 2011 book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32” explores the State’s evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning, and identifies how 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.  Lauren’s 2012 film documentary, “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on “People-Oriented Development” (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and www.policyinmotion.com.

 

Categories
NewsFlash

THE NEXT BIG VISION :: California and Global Leaders in Sustainability Convene for 2014 VerdeXchange in Los Angeles

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti address the 2014 VerdeXchange – a green energy conference packed with leaders in sustainability from across the globe, not to mention a few of California’s own like CARB Chairman Mary Nichols, University of California President Janet Napolitano, Former Chief of Staff to Gov. Schwarzenegger Susan Kennedy, ITS-Davis Director Dan Sperling, Senior Advisor to Gov. Brown for Renewable Energy Michael Picker, and hundreds of others I had the pleasure of speaking alongside.

From auto manufactures discussing green technologies to the Urban Land Use panels on innovative community designs and “urban acupuncture,” the underlining theme of the conference seemed to convey a message of solidarity – that California’s past environmental successes have been due to great vision, that we have done seemingly insurmountable things to make that vision a reality, and that we must continue to ask ourselves: WHAT IS THE NEXT BIG VISION?

While the State has pioneered solutions to some of our greatest environmental challenges over the past few decades, largely through new technologies, I would say Mayor Garcetti really hit the nail on the head when he talked about the role of “cities as the innovation hub of the state” – because this time it is our communities that need to be pioneering the NEXT BIG VISION.

For those of you who were not able to join us in Los Angeles the past few days, I wanted to share Policy in Motion’s presentation on “Financing Sustainable Communities “ capturing how we can really empower communities like Los Angeles and other cities and counties across the state to be pioneers for our sustainability challenges.

Cap and Trade for “PODs” :: Tuesday, January 28th :: Lauren Michele, Policy in Motion

“We don’t struggle from ingredients, we struggle from how we combine them.” I wanted to open with this quote from Mayor Garcetti’s address to the VerdeXchange because it illustrates exactly what I want to talk about today: that our success lies in local innovation and integrated solutions.

It’s really a pleasure to be here at my first VerdeXchange among such leaders to talk about financing sustainable communities through new sources and approaches.  I’m here to share a concept that has been the result of my years of technical research on greenhouse gas reduction through transportation strategies, as well as my personal experiences living car-free in Sacramento for 8 years (before leasing an Electric Smart Car two weeks ago!).

The dialogue for promoting sustainable communities is often driven by a dialogue about transportation infrastructure, but if you look at all the great cities of the world and the great neighborhoods to live in you find one thing in common: they fundamentally are “people-oriented” and have evolved to include within its land use patterns the diversity of commercial, residential, retail, public space, and other services that create a quality life.

So really, sustainable communities are fundamentally People Oriented Development—not transit oriented development, not vehicle oriented development —but “POD.” We need to create PODs across California.

In looking for ways to reduce GHG emissions as required by law we see a fascinating phenomena—POD has inherently lower GHG footprint, lower infrastructure cost, AND provides a more livable community.

The great thing is when we design communities around people instead of infrastructure like roads or transit there is less dependence on it – so a reduction in vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions becomes a co-benefit to really awesome communities.

But integration is the key.

State and federal governments have a tendency for single purpose funding programs – one pot for roads, another for active transportation, one for transit, etc. But we don’t get GHG reductions from just single purposes.

All the research points to the same central message: you get compounding reductions in GHG emissions when you combine transportation strategies with land use changes.  For example, you get a magnitude of around four times the reductions you would get with just transit when you combine transit with land use changes that increase density, and even more when the transit is linked to good pedestrian, bike, and automobile access.  So it’s not really about just funding transit – it’s about leveraging land use changes and incentivizing combinations of transportation investments across all modes.

Integration is critical for ensuring that we use our limited financial resources in the most cost-effective way.   Changes in land use, if properly supported with transportation infrastructure, are vastly more important to achieving more livable communities—and GHG reductions—than any transportation investment alone.

Compact development isn’t “one ingredient” – it’s a “combination of ingredients.” It’s buses and bike lanes, people and sidewalks, underground infrastructure, trees, apartments, coffee shops, and banks.  It’s also schools and parks, and how we connect to them safely, conveniently, and pleasantly.

Likewise “funding compact/infill development” doesn’t magically happen with the stroke of one funding source.  Local governments have to piece together funding from multiple, usually single purpose programs, to get to the kind of integration we see in vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods.

We have programs in place across California to encourage cities, counties, and regions to do smart growth and compact/infill development, to make better use of existing infrastructure, and to support transit oriented development.  What we haven’t done is evolve our transportation funding programs to align with this new vision.

A key reason for this misalignment is purely institutional—taking advantage of local government’s ability to integrate transportation investments with land use changes requires giving local and regional agencies more discretion in how they spend transportation dollars.  That decreases the level of control at the state level, and giving up control is hard to do.

SB 375 was created in 2008 to help the State achieve the GHG reduction goals of AB 32.  It requires Metropolitan Planning Organizations like SCAG here in LA to develop integrated transportation and land use strategies to achieve their assigned regional GHG targets.  The four largest MPOs have all adopted Sustainable Communities Strategies to meet the GHG targets and are now faced with the elephant in the room: how will we fund these integrated approaches.

California’s MPOs are all showing trends toward sustainability: a shift toward more compact development, more diverse transportation alternatives, and a more diverse mix of development with multi-modal, integrated transportation infrastructure.

But planning is one thing, implementation another.   Our existing funding sources for transportation tend to focus on one purpose: one program for road maintenance, one for transit capital, one for transit operations, one for bikes, one for pedestrians, one (if any) for streetscape enhancements.  While some progress has been made, the current mix of funding simply does not support the integrated strategies found in the Sustainable Communities Strategies.

So what’s the solution? The State has an opportunity to start fixing this through cap and trade revenue, or at least using that new program to provide the overarching integration funding we need to achieve the vision of sustainable communities.

The Governor’s budget proposes directing $100 million through the Strategic Growth Council—an organization founded on the notion of increasing integration of infrastructure and environmental goals—to fund planning and implementation of Sustainable Communities Strategies.

The language in the Governor’s proposal has a number of good points—recognizing the need to link land use and infrastructure, housing and transportation—but it also reverts to traditional siloed thinking is several ways.  It fails to run the funds through the MPOs, the institutions charged with implementing SCSs, instead keeping control at the state level.  It also fails to explicitly require projects to achieve the greatest GHG reductions through combining land use changes with infrastructure investments.  However, both of these deficiencies do have the potential to be corrected in the budget process.  But failure to do so will mean the state misses an opportunity to achieve the maximum benefit from its investment.

Cap and trade revenues will grow into billions of dollars per year in the next few years, so this source of revenue could provide the missing piece in achieving Sustainable Communities throughout California.

By aligning our funding and programs under an integrated approach we will shift the focus of sustainable communities toward people-oriented infrastructure rather than forcing local governments and people to conform to transportation infrastructure driven by funding steams.

So in closing, we have been cultivating a new vision across the state’s communities but also need a new vision for integrated funding approaches to support this and SB 375 implementation.  Innovation, integration, and collaboration are the key elements that underline “POD.”

A performance-based approach to reducing GHG emissions is at the heart of cap and trade – it is a market mechanism geared toward innovation beyond what can be achieved purely through regulatory measures.  We have a real opportunity to use a unique funding source to re-create communities across the state.

We can do this through new sources of funding that are allocated at a regional level where the technical and policy expertise is greatest, and through competitive grants for local communities that are based on maximizing GHG reduction through combinations of transportation investments and land use changes needed to implement SB 375.

I would be happy to talk with anyone interested in learning more about this statewide effort to support this concept and implementation!

Lauren Michele, Principal/Founder, Policy in Motion.

Lauren earned a Master’s of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies after working as a transportation planning professional at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst at the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington D.C., and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  At the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) she focused on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375 and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.  Her academic work includes teaching undergraduate courses in Transportation Policy at UC Davis and experiential learning while living and researching multi-modal transportation planning in Europe.

Lauren currently serves as Policy Director for the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities — an organization which includes the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, National Resources Defense Council, League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Councils of Governments throughout the state. The Coalition promotes the investment of cap and trade revenue to address both the greenhouse gas reduction goals of AB 32 and critical transportation system maintenance and operation needs that build on the framework of SB 375 and other GHG reduction strategies.

Her firm, Policy in Motion specializes in sustainable transportation policy.  Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions.  Lauren Michele’s book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32” explores the State’s evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning, and identifies how 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.  Lauren’s 2012 film documentary, “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on “People-Oriented Development” (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and www.policyinmotion.com.

 

Categories
Mentorship

(Cat)walking for a Cause! Scholarship Fundraiser with Top Transportation Professionals

Please join the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS-Sacramento) for the Inaugural FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER to support the organization’s scholarship program for female students entering the transportation profession! Lauren Michele, along with transportation public agency directors and private firm CEOs will be showcasing local Sacramento fashion boutiques at this event, reception, and silent auction — Fox 40 News Morning Anchor, Bethany Crouch, and City of Sacramento’s DOT Director Jerry Way will be our Mistress/Master of Ceremonies.

Last Chance to RSVP for the Transportation Event of the Year!

Don’t miss your chance to see former and current Caltrans Directors and transportation CEOs showcasing their pedestrian moves on the catwalk!  Walking for a cause has never been more entertaining and this special event is directed at benefiting the next generation of transportation leaders.

MODEL LINE-UP:
Will Kempton, Karla Sutliff, Malcolm Dougherty, Sharon Scherzinger, Celia McAdam, Matt Carpenter, Mike Penrose, Andre Boutros, Kiana Buss, Tom Zlotkowski, Katie Carr, Liz Diamond, Melissa Jones, Randy Clyde, Felicia Strati, Dennis Haglan, Emir Macari, Mike Higgins, Rob Himes, Cheryl Creson, Diane Nakano, Carl Haack, and Lauren Michele

What better way to celebrate Policy in Motion’s 3rd Birthday than in style Cruising the Catwalk with transportation “Makers and Shakers” to support the next generation of leaders!

More details on the WTS-Sacramento Event Page

Categories
California Policy Complete Streets Education/Webinars Livable Communities Mentorship Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School Decision Maker Toolkit :: Webinar Launch of Web-Based Interface

Student Focus: Learn, Involve, Give

With all the hustle and bustle of the state budget, legislative frenzies, and policy activity it is easy to lose sight of the future when so entangled in today.  Here’s a few ways you can keep the vision forward by thinking about California’s upcoming leaders — our students!

LEARN MORE:

  • Join Lauren Michele and the Institute for Local Government for the launch of the “Safe Routes to School Decision Maker Toolkit” — a guide for local government leaders to create safer walking and bicycling environments through transportation investment decisions in California and to improve collaboration across cities, counties, and schools. By working across traditional silos for better land use and transportation planning, policies, and investments we can create safer communities for California’s students and residents. Policy in Motion is excited to see this exciting project now in web interface and is happy to answer any questions you may have!  Check out the toolkit here and register for the webinar here.

GET INVOLVED:

  • The Safe Routes to School National Conference is coming to Sacramento! Policy in Motion nominee Zelia Gonzales from the Met Sacramento High School was selected by the Youth Engagement Committee to be a Youth Facilitar at the national conference….congrats Zelia! Learn more, register early here, and donate to the Charitable Bike Build! See you there :)

GIVE BACK:

  • Policy in Motion’s founding principle is service to others, exemplified by the firm’sCareer Development Mentorship Program and scholarships for outstanding interns.
  • The firm is a 2013 DBE Sponsor for the Sacramento Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar and encourages others to support their outstanding Student Scholarship Program.
  • The California Transportation Foundation is also seeking to raise $50,000 for the Bimla Rhinehart Scholarship Fund geared toward future transportation professionals.
  • Lauren Michele has benefited from these programs and organizations as a student and young professional, so please help invest in California’s future leaders today with her!

 

Categories
Cupcakes Sustainability

Official Cupcake Recipe of Policy in Motion!

Policy in Motion’s specialty “mini-cupcakes” are starting to make a name as a key ingredient in sustainable transportation policy and stakeholder coalition building.  Due to popular demand, I am releasing the secret recipe driving the vision for POD.  For anyone who has gone to a workshop or meeting I have hosted, you have likely encountered one of these healthy and tasty “mini” treats (generally fresh out of the oven as I find baking to be an excellent way to prepare for work).

While these may be gluten-free, vegan, and don’t require cane sugar, they are packed with sweetness! Made with healthy ingredients like carob powder, coconut oil, and coconut palm sugar, these treats are also packed with lots of vitamins and minerals for a healthy energy boost and immune system.  These cupcakes serve as a reminder that we can also bake up communities that are so wonderful no one has to know they are “sustainable”– let’s make healthy and happy places for people to live, and not just for greenhouse gas reduction!

Policy in Motion “Mini” Fudge Brownie Cupcake

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 mini-cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers.

Mix together the flour, potato starch, arrowroot, carob powder, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt.

Add the coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and hot water to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the mini chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

Scoop the batter into each prepared mini cupcake wrapper.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on fudgey preference. For extra fudgy, put the batter in the refrigerator overnight. Finished cupcakes will have firm edge with a soft center, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let cupcake stand for 10 minutes, top with coconut shavings, best to serve warm.

Guaranteed to make all your meetings go smoothly and productively!

INGREDIENTS

  • One cup garbanzo bean flour
  • Quarter cup potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • Half cup carob powder
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Quarter teaspoon baking soda
  • Quarter teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • Half cup coconut oil
  • Half cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Half cup hot water
  • 1 cup “enjoy life” mini chocolate chips
  • Dash of Love <3

 

Categories
California Policy Complete Streets GHG Reduction Livable Communities Local Government Metropolitan Planning Modeling/Tools NewsFlash Public Health Public Transit Safe Routes to School SB 375 State Policy Sustainability Transportation Funding

Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities Cap and Trade Investment Proposal for CARB Workshops

Today the California Air Resources Board will be kicking off its first of three workshops on the development of the AB 32 Cap and Trade Investment Plan. On February 25th in Sacramento the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities – which includes local/regional governments and transit/transportation agencies statewide – will be laying out a vision for how revenues generated from the state’s program could re-shape California’s urban and rural landscape through integrated land use and transportation investments that build on regional SB 375 and GHG reducing plans with competitive grants for local entities. This opportunity to fund beautiful communities would invest billions of dollars in both the critical transportation investments needed in existing communities, while leveraging local land use and policy changes needed to transform how transportation planning and implementation functions in California. This approach of combined land use strategies co-implemented with livable community infrastructure in the hearts of communities will yield significant long-term greenhouse gas reductions as well as numerous community benefits, such as improved public health, open space and habitat preservation, safe routes to school, and needed support for disadvantaged communities.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT:
-Show up for public support at the workshops tonight in Fresno from 5-8pm, Feb 25th in Sacramento from 3-6pm, or Feb 27th in LA from 4-7pm (location details below)
-Write a support letter with your organization’s logo. Click here to download a template letter to start, and email it to info@transfunding.org
-Submit your written support to CARB easily on their on-line form linked here

The Coalition’s program concept would allocate funds equitably to regional governments under statewide criteria to administer competitive grants to local entities – proposing combinations of investments, including transit service and operating costs, road and bridge maintenance, retrofits for complete streets and urban greening, and clean technology and other community infrastructure – all integrated with land use modifications to support regional plans.

The Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities has developed a series of principles included in a program concept proposal to CARB. You can download the program concept letter here. If you support this program concept please let CARB know that these core concepts should be considered for inclusion in their Investment Plan:

  1. Regional allocation of funds to ensure that every region of the state receives a fair share
  2. Favoring integration of land use strategies and transportation investments to achieve the highest GHG emission reductions.  Studies consistently show that combining transportation investments with complementary land use changes significantly increase the GHG emission reduction and co-benefits.
  3. Use a competitive process at the regional level, under criteria developed by the state, to prioritize local project proposals that co-implement transportation investments with land use changes that most cost effectively meet the goals of the program and further stimulate innovation and flexibility at the local and regional level.
  4. Improved modeling and verification systems for GHG evaluation to ensure effective results.

Members of the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities

California Transit Association • League of California Cities  • California State Association of Counties • Self-Help Counties Coalition • California Association of Councils of Governments • Sacramento Area Council of Governments • Southern California Association of Governments • Metropolitan Transportation Commission • San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council • Transportation California • California Alliance for Jobs • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

Date Location
5 pm – 8 pm:  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mariposa Mall Building – Room 1036 

2550 Mariposa Mall; Fresno

 

3 pm – 6 pm: 

Monday, February 25, 2013

California Environmental Protection Agency,
Byron Sher Auditorium, 2nd floor
1001 I Street; Sacramento
This meeting will also be webcast.
http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/ 

 

4 pm – 7 pm: 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ronald Reagan Building – Auditorium
300 South Spring Street
Los Angeles

Materials (for all workshops):

 

 

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars Livable Communities NewsFlash SB 375

Caltrans Planning Horizons to Host Live Policy in Motion Webcast Feb 20th

Please Join Caltrans “Planning Horizons” for a live program on Lauren Michele’s research, film, and vision for how integrated land use and transportation investments can support the goals of AB 32 and SB 375. The program will be held on Wednesday, February 20th from 10-11:30am. It will be webcast for all Caltrans employees in Headquarters and District offices, and will be available for public viewing at this link: http://livemsmedia.dot.ca.gov/channel12 (live 5 minutes prior to presentation)

Categories
NewsFlash

Urban Land Institute to Host Valentine’s Day Policy in Motion Program <3

Join Lauren Michele on Valentine’s Day for a fun program, chocolate cupcakes, and film screening on how we can create beautiful communities filled with lots of love!  This event is for ULI Sacramento Members as part of the “Think Tank Series 2013.”

For more information check out ULI Sacramento’s Website

Thursday, February 14, 2013
12:00 noon – 1:30 pm
@ AECOM
2020 L Street, 4th Floor, Sacramento

Plan on attending this topical discussion which will include the 40- minute documentary “Growing Beautiful Communities”, produced in August 2012 by Lauren Michele. Through interviews with policy leaders and planners in transportation and sustainability, the film depicts how an integrated approach to planning and funding can improve community quality of life while achieving California’s economic
and environmental goals.

Following the documentary is a facilitated Q&A discussion with Lauren Michele on integrated approaches to
community sustainability.

For more information go to:
www.policyinmotion.com

Think Tank Series:

The ULI Think Tank is an exclusive opportunity for ULI members to meet with leaders in the real estate, public agency, planning and environmental fields to engage in topic-driven conversation on a monthly basis.

Each month, an industry expert will be invited to participate in the brown bag lunch and lead in the discussion. The ULI Think Tank will draw upon the concept of the National Product Councils, enhancing the ULI membership experience through candid dialogue, and the opportunity to ask direct questions of industry experts, the sharing of best practices, real-world challenges and lessons learned.

When: 2nd or 3rd Thursdays each month from 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm

Bring: Brown bag lunch, if you prefer.
Cost: None
RSVP: None required

Categories
NewsFlash

Office of the Governor: Governor Brown Delivers 2013 State of the State Address

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today delivered the 2013 State of the State Address. Below is the text as prepared for delivery (from gov.ca.gov):

Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State of the State Address
Remarks as Prepared
January 24, 2013

The message this year is clear: California has once again confounded our critics. We have wrought in just two years a solid and enduring budget. And, by God, we will persevere and keep it that way for years to come.

Against those who take pleasure, singing of our demise, California did the impossible.

You, the California legislature, did it. You cast difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget. You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment and you reformed and reduced the state’s long term pension liabilities.

Then, the citizens of California, using their inherent political power under the Constitution, finished the task. They embraced the new taxes of Proposition 30 by a healthy margin of 55% to 44%.

Members of the legislature, I salute you for your courage, for wholeheartedly throwing yourself into the cause.

I salute the unions—their members and their leaders. You showed what ordinary people can do when they are united and organized.

I salute those leaders of California business and the individual citizens who proudly stood with us.

I salute the teachers and the students, the parents and the college presidents, the whole school community. As the great jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once said when describing what stirs people to action: “Feeling begets feeling and great feeling begets great feeling.” You were alarmed, you stirred yourselves to action and victory was the outcome.

That was 2012 and what a year!

In fact, both 2011 and 2012 were remarkable.

You did great things: Your 1/3 renewable energy mandate; the reform of workers compensation; the reorganization of state government; protecting our forests and strengthening our timber industry; reforming our welfare system; and launching the nation’s first high speed rail system.

But, of course, governing never ends. We have promises to keep. And the most important is the one we made to the voters if Proposition 30 passed: that we would guard jealously the money temporarily made available.

This means living within our means and not spending what we don’t have. Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our good intentions but the basis for realizing them. It is cruel to lead people on by expanding good programs, only to cut them back when the funding disappears. That is not progress; it is not even progressive. It is illusion. That stop and go, boom and bust, serves no one. We are not going back there.

The budget is balanced but great risks and uncertainties lie ahead. The federal government, the courts or changes in the economy all could cost us billions and drive a hole in the budget. The ultimate costs of expanding our health care system under the Affordable Care Act are unknown. Ignoring such known unknowns would be folly, just as it would be to not pay down our wall of debt. That is how we plunged into a decade of deficits.

Recall the story of Genesis and Pharaoh’s dream of seven cows, fatfleshed and well favored, which came out of the river, followed by seven other cows leanfleshed and ill favored. Then the lean cows ate up the fat cows. The Pharaoh could not interpret his dream until Joseph explained to him that the seven fat cows were seven years of great plenty and the seven lean cows were seven years of famine that would immediately follow. The Pharaoh took the advice of Joseph and stored up great quantities of grain during the years of plenty. When famine came, Egypt was ready.

The people have given us seven years of extra taxes. Let us follow the wisdom of Joseph, pay down our debts and store up reserves against the leaner times that will surely come.

In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt said: “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.”

We –right here in California– have such a rendezvous with destiny. All around us we see doubt and skepticism about our future and that of America’s. But what we have accomplished together these last two years, indeed, the whole history of California, belies such pessimism.

Remember how California began.

In 1769, under King Charles III, orders were issued to Jose de Galvez, the Visitor General of Baja California, to: “Occupy and fortify San Diego and Monterey for God and the King of Spain.´

Gaspar Portola and a small band of brave men made their way slowly north, along an uncharted path. Eventually, they reached Monterey but they could not recognize the Bay in the dense fog. With their supplies failing, they marched back to San Diego, forced to eat the flesh of emaciated pack mules just to stay alive. Undaunted, Portola sent for provisions from Baja California and promptly organized a second expedition. He retraced his steps northward, along what was to become El Camino Real, the Kings Highway. This time, Father Serra joined the expedition by sea. The rest is history, a spectacular history of bold pioneers meeting every failure with even greater success.

The founding of the Missions, secularized and sold off in little more than 50 years, the displacement and devastation of the native people, the discovery of Gold, the coming of the Forty-Niners and adventurers from every continent, first by the thousands and then by the hundreds of thousands. Then during the Civil War under President Lincoln came the Transcontinental Railroad and Land Grant Colleges, followed by the founding of the University of California. And oil production, movies, an aircraft industry, the longest suspension bridge in the world, aerospace, the first freeways, grand water projects, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Qualcomm, Google and countless others, existing and still just imagined.

What is this but the most diverse, creative and longest standing mass migration in the history of the world. That is California. And we are her sons and daughters.
This special destiny never ends. It slows. It falters. It goes off track in ignorance and prejudice but soon resumes again—more vibrant and more stunning in its boldness.

The rest of the country looks to California. Not for what is conventional, but for what is necessary—necessary to keep faith with our courageous forebears.
What we have done together and what we must do in the coming years is big, but it pales in comparison to the indomitable courage of those who discovered and each decade thereafter built a more abundant California.

As Legislators, It is your duty and privilege to pass laws. But what we need to do for our future will require more than producing hundreds of new laws each year. Montaigne, the great French writer of the 16th Century, in his Essay on Experience, wisely wrote: “There is little relation between our actions, which are in perpetual mutation, and fixed and immutable laws. The most desirable laws are those that are the rarest, simplest, and most general; and I even think that it would be better to have none at all than to have them in such numbers as we have.”

Constantly expanding the coercive power of government by adding each year so many minute prescriptions to our already detailed and turgid legal system overshadows other aspects of public service. Individual creativity and direct leadership must also play a part. We do this, not by commanding thou shalt or thou shalt not through a new law but by tapping into the persuasive power that can inspire and organize people. Lay the Ten Commandments next to the California Education code and you will see how far we have diverged in approach and in content from that which forms the basis of our legal system.

Education

In the right order of things, education—the early fashioning of character and the formation of conscience—comes before legislation. Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children. If we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify.

In California’s public schools, there are six million students, 300,000 teachers—all subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations. In addition to the teacher in the classroom, we have a principal in every school, a superintendent and governing board for each school district. Then we have the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, which makes rules and approves endless waivers—often of laws which you just passed. Then there is the Congress which passes laws like “No Child Left Behind,” and finally the Federal Department of Education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America, where sixty million children study, not six million.

Add to this the fact that three million California school age children speak a language at home other than English and more than two million children live in poverty. And we have a funding system that is overly complex, bureaucratically driven and deeply inequitable. That is the state of affairs today.

The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.

We seem to think that education is a thing—like a vaccine—that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. But as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”

This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.

Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work – lighting fires in young minds.

My 2013 Budget Summary lays out the case for cutting categorical programs and putting maximum authority and discretion back at the local level—with school boards. I am asking you to approve a brand new Local Control Funding Formula which would distribute supplemental funds — over an extended period of time — to school districts based on the real world problems they face. This formula recognizes the fact that a child in a family making $20,000 a year or speaking a language different from English or living in a foster home requires more help. Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.

With respect to higher education, cost pressures are relentless and many students cannot get the classes they need. A half million fewer students this year enrolled in the community colleges than in 2008. Graduation in four years is the exception and transition from one segment to the other is difficult. The University of California, the Cal State system and the community colleges are all working on this. The key here is thoughtful change, working with the faculty and the college presidents. But tuition increases are not the answer. I will not let the students become the default financiers of our colleges and universities.

Health Care

California was the first in the nation to pass laws to implement President Obama’s historic Affordable Care Act. Our health benefit exchange, called Covered California, will begin next year providing insurance to nearly one million Californians. Over the rest of this decade, California will steadily reduce the number of the uninsured.

Today I am calling for a special session to deal with those issues that must be decided quickly if California is to get the Affordable Care Act started by next January. The broader expansion of Medi-Cal that the Act calls for is incredibly complex and will take more time. Working out the right relationship with the counties will test our ingenuity and will not be achieved overnight. Given the costs involved, great prudence should guide every step of the way.

Jobs

California lost 1.3 million jobs in the great Recession but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average. The new Office of Business and Economic Development — GoBiz —directly assisted more than 5,000 companies this past year.

One of those companies was Samsung Semiconductor Inc. headquartered in Korea. Working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County, GoBiz persuaded Samsung to locate their only research and development facility in the world here in California. The new facility in San Jose will place at least 2,500 people in high skill, high wage jobs. We also leveled the field on internet sales taxes, paving the way for over 1,000 new jobs at new Amazon distribution centers in Patterson and San Bernardino and now Tracy.

This year, we should change both the Enterprise Zone Program and the Jobs Hiring Credit. They aren’t working. We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.

California’s exports are booming and our place in the world economy has never been stronger. Our ties with The People’s Republic of China in particular are deep—from the Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific in 1848 to hosting China’s next President in Los Angeles last February. This year we will take another step to strengthen the ties between the world’s second and ninth largest economies. In April, I will lead a trade and investment mission to China with help from the Bay Area Council and officially open California’s new trade and investment office in Shanghai.

Water

Central to the life of our state is water and one sixth of that water flows through the San Joaquin Delta.

Silicon Valley, the Livermore Valley, farmers on the East side of the San Joaquin Valley between Fresno and Kern County and farmers on the West side between Tracy and Los Banos, urban Southern California and Northern Contra Costa, all are critically dependent on the Delta for Water.

If because of an earthquake, a hundred year storm or sea level rise, the Delta fails, the disaster would be comparable to Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy: losses of at least $100 billion and 40,000 jobs. I am going to do whatever I can to make sure that does not happen. My proposed plan is two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the Delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. Yes, that is big but so is the problem.

The London Olympics lasted a short while and cost $14 billion, about the same cost as this project. But this project will serve California for hundreds of years.

Climate Change

When we think about California’s future, no long term liability presents as great a danger to our wellbeing as the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

According to the latest report from the World Bank, carbon dioxide emissions are the highest in 15 million years. At today’s emissions rate, the planet could warm by more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, an event unknown in human experience. California is extremely vulnerable because of our Mediterranean climate, long coastline and reliance on snowpack for so much of our water supply.

Tipping points can be reached before we even know we have passed them. This is a different kind of challenge than we ever faced. It requires acting now even though the worst consequences are perhaps decades in the future.

Again California is leading the way. We are reducing emissions as required by AB 32 and we will meet our goal of getting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Key to our efforts is reducing electricity consumption through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. Over the last three decades, these pioneering efforts have saved Californians $65 billion dollars. And we are not through yet.

We are also meeting our renewable energy goals: more than 20% renewable energy this year. By 2020, we will get at least a third of our electricity from the sun and the wind and other renewable sources—and probably more.

Transportation and High Speed Rail

In the years following World War II, California embarked on a vast program to build highway, bridges and roads.

Today, California’s highways are asked to accommodate more vehicle traffic than any other state in the nation. Most were constructed before we knew about climate change and the lethal effects of dirty air. We now expect more.

I have directed our Transportation Agency to review thoroughly our current priorities and explore long-term funding options.

Last year, you authorized another big project: High Speed Rail. Yes, it is bold but so is everything else about California.

Electrified trains are part of the future. China already has 5000 miles of high speed rail and intends to double that. Spain has 1600 miles and is building more. More than a dozen other countries have their own successful high speed rail systems. Even Morocco is building one.

The first phase will get us from Madera to Bakersfield. Then we will take it through the Tehachapi Mountains to Palmdale, constructing 30 miles of tunnels and bridges. The first rail line through those mountains was built in 1874 and its top speed over the crest is still 24 miles an hour. Then we will build another 33 miles of tunnels and bridges before we get the train to its destination at Union Station in the heart of Los Angeles.

It has taken great perseverance to get us this far. I signed the original high speed rail Authority in 1982—over 30 years ago. In 2013, we will finally break ground and start construction.

Conclusion

This is my 11th year in the job and I have never been more excited. Two years ago, they were writing our obituary. Well it didn’t happen. California is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move. Let’s go out and get it done.