Laurel Poeton is working as a Transportation Justice Fellow with Director Simon, combining her passions of female elected officials and the field of transportation. Laurel is currently enrolled joint master's degree in public policy and business administration (MPP/MBA) at Mills College. Prior to attending Mills, Laurel worked at the Alameda County Transportation Commission doing countywide project/program development and implementation. In 2016, Laurel was awarded Member of the Year for the local chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminars, where she has been on the board for the past eight years. This fellowship is the first of many combining policy development and women in politics.
Lia Azul Salaverry is passionate about transportation justice and promoting public transport equity and affordability in the Bay Area. A Bay Area native, Lia graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz where she triple majored in Philosophy, Sociology, and Legal Studies and wrote her senior thesis titled “Accountable Technologies: An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the Design and Engineering of Transportation Systems.” This report investigated the history, engineering, and socio-political dynamics behind BART. Her thesis was nominated for the highest undergraduate honors, the Steck Family Award, and presented at the First Annual Philosophy Undergraduate Colloquium.
Ben Ulrey joined the Fellows because he believes great public transportation systems have the power to make communities and regions more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous. He is passionate about all things transport, and most recently helped win $3.5 billion in core safety infrastructure improvements for BART through Measure RR. He currently volunteers for TransForm, Transport Oakland, and Bike East Bay in order to advocate for walkable neighborhoods with complete streets and multimodal transit choices for all. Ben was born and raised in the Bay Area.
Jacob Wasserman serves as a fellow out of a belief that transportation is a civil rights issue. During college, Jacob managed the goNewHavengo initiative — a resource, contest, and rewards program for alternative transportation — for the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking. He was elected to the city’s Democratic Town Committee and wrote his senior thesis on the stigma of bus ridership. Currently, Jacob works as a San Francisco Fellow for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency*, where he is developing public-facing dashboards and internal process improvements for the capital budget. Originally from University Park, Maryland, Jacob graduated in 2016 from Yale; this fall, he will start his Master of Urban and Regional Planning in transit equity at UCLA.
* For identification purposes only