About Policy in Motion

Located in the heart of California’s capital city for nearly a decade and now based in San Diego, Policy in Motion is a small, woman-owned business founded by Lauren Michele in 2010. Policy in Motion’s mission is to promote the environmental, economic, and equitable health of communities through effective policymaking — fostering a sustainable future for all people and the planet.

Since the passage of California’s landmark climate change and sustainable communities legislation AB 32 and SB 375, Policy in Motion has worked with governmental agencies and varied stakeholders from the local to federal level on crafting and implementing policy frameworks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting community sustainability, and promoting People-Oriented Development (“POD”).  The firm’s research and strategic analyses have been utilized by the Federal Highway Administration; California Air Resources Board; California Department of Transportation; Nevada Department of Transportation; California Department of Public Health; University of California; California Transit Association; California Water Foundation; as well as both city and county agencies and local governments developing sustainability plans. Policy in Motion clients include US presidential candidate campaigns, government agencies, foundations, universities, private sector firms, and non-profit organizations.


Lauren Michele, Founder/Owner of Policy in Motion, earned her Master’s of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis.  She has worked as a transportation planning professional in Sacramento at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst in Washington D.C. at the Center for Clean Air Policy, and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  Her background extends from in-classroom teaching of undergraduate courses in Transportation and Climate Change Policy to experiential learning while living and researching sustainable communities in Europe.

Lauren Michele is a policy consultant/advisor and communications strategist, specializing in progressive and non-partisan politics. She helps candidates and clients build campaigns, coalitions, and communication strategies. She has 15 years of experience working with federal, state, and local government agencies; non-profit organizations; foundations; universities; and political/issue campaigns, including a Presidential Campaign and a California State Bond.

Lauren is an independent consultant, author, and producer with experience in policy analysis and legislation development at the state and federal level; policy research and debate prep for political candidates; strategic communications, coalition building, and digital outreach for political and issue campaigns; campaign event management and logistics; political fundraising and PAC management; and communications with major news networks (i.e. CNN/NYT/WaPo).

Ms. Michele has built strategic relationships at the state and federal level which aided her work as a transportation and climate change policy analyst at the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) – focusing on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375, AB 32, and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.

Her combined knowledge as a practicing transportation planning consultant and sustainable policy analyst has given her a foundation to build a vision for how to connect federal/state funding priorities and legislative developments with local/regional implementation of projects and programs. In a time where policy efforts are pointing toward economic, environmental, and equitable stewardship, Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public participants an understanding of how sustainability policy impacts community values.

Lauren Michele’s August 2011 book Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32 is available 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). Her film documentary, Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities, was released in August 2012 and explores how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on People-Oriented Development 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 and Amazon.

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 the world  — all of whom are interested in more integrated sustainability planning at the local, regional and state levels of government.