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Samantha Meyer | Environmental Analysis

From: Chicago, IL; Current: Los Angeles, CA

Pomona Days: Class of 2010 | Environmental Analysis

Current Employment: Masters Degree in Urban & Regional Planning at UCLA

Past Employment: Community Advocacy Manager @ TODCO Group, Associate Planner @ Baird and Driskell Community Planning, Independent Consultant, Hunter-Gatherer @ Smitten Ice Cream, Waste Prevention Program Manager @ Clean Water Action


Samantha is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is interested in affordable housing policy and development, eco-gentrification and just urban design. Samantha is working to advance a new paradigm of sustainable urbanism that has social justice, equity, and affordability at the core. She serves as a Bohnett fellow in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Homeless Initiatives.

As an undergraduate at Pomona College, she conducted a sustainable food assessment of the College’s dining halls for her senior thesis. Based on her recommendations, she was hired to transform the campus food system with more sustainable and ethical purchasing practices and ultimately transitioned over 40% of purchases to local, sustainable and ethically produced foods.

Samantha went on to lead a coalition of eight Bay Area jurisdictions and over 100 business to reduce plastic pollution by eliminating single-use disposables at the source. She then lead sustainable procurement and programs at Smitten Ice Cream. It was at Smitten that Samantha observed firsthand the intertwined nature of housing and environmental work that led her to shift her focus to affordable housing policy and development.

Prior to starting her master’s degree at UCLA, Samantha worked for Baird + Driskell Community Planning and affordable housing developer and community advocacy non-profit TODCO. At Baird + Driskell, Samantha supported San Mateo County’s efforts to promote accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Her work at TODCO included advocating for existing residents’ needs in the City of San Francisco’s community planning process.