Yingqing "Bill" Zhang at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research

Environmental Policy & Management student Yingqing Zhang

I did my practicum at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). OPR was established as the comprehensive planning agency for the State. It is responsible for formulating long-range goals and policies, including land use, state and local planning, climate change, environmental justice, and other major policy issues in California.

My main deliverable for my practicum was to conduct an analytical report about the political and legislative analyses of existing displacement avoidance policies in the State of California, as affordable housing is currently one of the most predominant issues. My analytical report informs staff at OPR with background housing information of a selected city and possible policy impacts on the anti-displacement act to consider before they implement the climate change grant in different locations. I also got involved in the tracking of the implementation of diverse bills among various cities in the State of California, relating to climate change adaptation and the change of transportation measures under CEQA.

This internship experience offered me an excellent opportunity to enhance my understanding of the leading environmental and urban policy goals developed in California. I have learned a lot about how a lead agency, like OPR, tracks projects, and what types of preparations they need to do before they approve plans. And I am looking forward to putting all the policies management I learned at OPR into my future career.