Education/Webinars Mentorship

Happy Holidays from Policy in Motion

The holiday season is always a good time for reflection on what we’ve achieved in the transportation and sustainability planning profession, as well as thinking about the upcoming year’s goals.  However, the other 11 months of the year often fly by us in a frenzy as we are inundated with deadlines and meetings.  Here at Policy in Motion I’ve learned a trick to balancing out the immediate demands of work with long-term thinking: MENTORING

It may sound like something that just requires more time, but incorporating professional and personal mentorship into our schedules is the best thing we can do not only for our future transportation and planning leaders, but for ourselves too.

I started the Policy in Motion “Career Development” Mentorship Program in 2011 as a way to bridge student interests with real-world projects.  I’ve since worked with half a dozen high school, undergraduates, and grad school students on projects in the Sacramento region and it has been a joy to see these bright leaders go on to pursue careers in the public, private, and academic transportation sectors.

This year I have the great pleasure of mentoring a young professional through the American Planning Association’s “Planning+Leadership+Advancement+Networking” (PLAN) Mentorship Program with 10 other mentors and their mentees.  Say hello to Emily!

Emily Alice Gerhart is a recent graduate of UC Davis, with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.  She is a project coordinator at WALKSacramento, a non-profit that promotes walkable communities through active transportation planning and advocacy.  She currently works on a variety of projects, leading a Safe Routes to School project in West Sacramento, reviewing development projects and plans, and analyzing regional policies related to Complete Streets. Emily was an invited speaker at the Pedestrians Count! 2014 statewide conference in May 2014, where she gave a presentation on using social media to achieve pedestrian advocacy and outreach goals. In Fall 2014, she was accepted into the American Planning Association award-winning PLAN Sac Valley mentorship program for aspiring planners.  Emily Alice is passionate about creating safe public spaces and promoting active transportation through urban and environmental design.

Here are a few easy tips on how to help students succeed:

  • Share internship opportunities with related programs at local Universities. For example, contact Cynthia Goldberg at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center with internship announcements related to environmental planning/policy at
  • Volunteer with college outreach activities through a local professional organization, such as the Women’s Transportation Seminar, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute, or the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
  • Encourage your agency, company, or organization to make donations to local scholarship funds.  Most professional organizations have a student scholarship program. Share information about these scholarship opportunities with local teachers and advisors.
  • Meet for coffee — invite a young professional at your organization or someone you met in a meeting out for a morning coffee.  The best mentorship is subtle, casual, and genuine.
  • Bring a student or young professional with you next time you have a WTS luncheon, ITE holiday party, APA planning program, or ULI happy hour. Introduce them to others in the field. Mentorship breeds easily :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!



(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.

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

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!


  • 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.


  • 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 :)


  • 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!


Education/Webinars Livable Communities Mentorship Safe Routes to School

Met Sacramento High School Bicycle Collective Dubbed Region’s “Bike Program of the Year”

For Jeremy Gray’s senior thesis project, a group of seniors at The Met Sacramento High School put together a bicycle repair facility/workshop to be housed at the downtown Sacramento public charter high school which was founded on a “project-based” approach to education.  They created the first youth-run bicycle collective in the Sacramento area and were in charge of getting the project started/funded, running and maintaining the site (which is centrally located adjacent to classrooms), and ensuring that other Metsters are able to take on the Bike Collective after they graduate.

Of the nearly 300 students at the Met, 100 bike to school and related internships in the community – less than a dozen are licenced drivers

By creating a place for students to learn about bikes through real work experience,  the students hope to promote bike-riding in the Met community. The also will be giving volunteer students community service hours and the opportunity to meet other bicycle enthusiasts.


Our mission is to teach Met Sacramento community members of all skill and knowledge levels about repairing and maintaining their bikes so that they may become more self-sufficient.  We are dedicated to providing helpful and lasting hands-on bicycle help to Metsters in an accessible and friendly environment.  Many Metsters rely on their bicycles for transportation, and we hope to create the collective to support them.

Jeremy Gray is also Policy in Motion’s first high school intern who is currently creating a full length film on a concept called “people-oriented development” (POD) and how we can create beautiful communities where people interact more and drive less. The firm’s Career Development Mentorship Program mirrors the “project-based learning” philosophy at the Met Sacramento High School – a dependent public charter high school located in downtown Sacramento that fosters community sustainability at its essence and the concept of “POD.”

Lauren Michele is a proud member of the Met community!

California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities Mentorship Metropolitan Planning Sustainability

Film Trailer Released for “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” :: August 2012

“People-oriented development” – POD – is about creating communities with access to affordable living near quality jobs, food, schools and health services. We can use the process of POD to foster sustainable communities while at the same time meeting California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals under AB 32 and SB 375. Check out the trailer for Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities and stay tuned for the August 2012 release of the film!

**Special thanks to filmmaker Jeremy Gray, Senior at the Met Sacramento High School**

Mentorship NewsFlash Public Health Safe Routes to School

First Graduate Scholarship Awarded to Brigitte Driller from UC Davis!

Congrats Brigitte!

Brigitte Driller was awarded Policy in Motion’s first “Growing Leaders” college scholarship for graduate interns in February 2012 and will be working with Lauren Michele on research to inform the Department of Public Health’s “Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center” and California Cities Counties Schools Partnership on how local policy makers can promote livable communities through transportation planning and funding changes. Brigitte completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis in June 2011 and is now working toward her Master’s in Transportation Technology and Policy with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis. Her educational focus is on bike-ped planning and street design, and she has been involved in numerous research projects — including  a before/after evaluation of a planned road diet in Davis and a series of exploratory interviews with children as part of her transportation planning research. Last spring, Brigitte worked for Policy in Motion as a Research Intern, where she investigated challenges and successes in regulating greenhouse gases in the transportation sector as well as looking at the different regulatory frameworks in Oregon and Washington.

California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities Mentorship NewsFlash Public Health Publications Research Safe Routes to School SB 375

Interns in Motion :: Seeking Graduate Student for Spring Mentorship Program – Become a “POD” Leader!

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

— Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Transportation

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 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.


Jeremy Gray is a senior at the Met Sacramento High School.  With the Met, he has worked at several internship sites which have shaped his interest in film making.  He collaborated with teens and made a documentary on state health insurance through the state organization California Voices.  He was the boom microphone operator on the set of A Cure for the Dead, a miniseries from Misfire Productions.  During the summer of 2011, Jeremy worked on an entry for the Sacramento Film and Music Festival’s 10 x 10 Film Festival.  He co-created the film with Noah Damiani, winner of the festival’s Emerging Filmmaker award.  Currently, Jeremy is starting a youth-run bicycle collective at the Met as his Senior Thesis Project.  As Policy in Motion’s Media Intern, he will be applying his filmmaking skills and interest in sustainable communities towards creating a Policy in Motion Documentary to be released August 10, 2012.


EVELYN :: Local Planning Intern

Evelyn Garcia is currently a senior at UC Davis majoring in Community and Regional Development and minoring in Education.  Evelyn served on advisory board as a liaison for Redwood City’s downtown revitalization efforts and worked closely with City government officials in hopes of bridging the gap between youth and adults in the community.  She mentors independent studies high school students in Sacramento in pursuing higher education and preparing for college admissions through a UC Davis organization called Success Through Educational Mentoring (S.T.E.M.) She is actively involved in her Latina community in promoting professional and educational development while also promoting the advancement of Latinas in higher education to young middle school and high school girls all over the Davis, Woodland, and Sacramento area.  Through Policy in Motion she hopes to gain proper guidance and skills in order to develop her interests within community development and urban planning. As a Local Planning Intern for Policy in Motion she provided support for the Solano County Transportation for Livable Communities Plan Update which focuses on the relationship between transportation and land use through the promotion of smart growth development and sustainable transportation projects in Solano County.


AMANDA :: Policy Research Intern

Amanda Bradshaw is currently completing a dual-degree in Latin American studies and urban planning at Columbia University in New York City.  She received a B.A. in economics and a B.A. in international development studies from the University of California, Berkeley. During her undergraduate career, she served as a research assistant for a U.S. Economic Development Administration-sponsored study which assessed labor markets within California’s green economy, as well as a study conducted by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. As a graduate student, Amanda’s research interests include environmental and transportation planning, especially as they pertain to North and South America. In January 2012 she will begin conducting research in Brazil for her thesis which focuses on Brazilian environmental governance and urban reform. As a Policy Research Intern at Policy in Motion during Summer 2011, Amanda provided research support for the a Caltrans statewide planning project – California Interregional Blueprint – focusing on the implementation of AB 32, SB 375, and SB 391.  Additionally, she provided significant editing contributions to Lauren Michele’s new book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32.” Amanda is currently completing her M.S. research in São Paulo, Brazil where she is comparing the state environmental policy approaches taken in California and São Paulo — Amanda expresses that her Policy in Motion internship has been the most impressive component to her resume reviewers.

MINDY :: Green Business Intern

Melinda (Mindy) Bacharach is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning. During her time at UC Davis, Mindy studied abroad in Cambridge England and participated in the University of California DC internship program where she interned at Governor Schwarzenegger’s Washington DC Office. She is now looking forward to a new chapter in life where she will utilize her college experiences and education to pursue a career in environmental policy. It is her goal to attend business school in the future with an environmental policy emphasis. As Policy in Motion’s Green Business Intern over Summer 2011, Mindy learned about the financial and structural operations of a small business through her involvement in the Solano County Transportation for Livable Communities Plan Update overseen by the firm’s principal/owner, Lauren Michele.  Mindy is now working for the California Department of Transportation Headquarters as a Transportation Planner for the Division of Transportation System Information in the Office of Data Analysis and GIS — she was told that her Policy in Motion recommendation review during the interview process was a critical component in the decision to hire her.