Establish targeted and collaborative effort between Oakland institutions and government partners to advocate for and prioritize air quality improvements.

  • Poor air quality can be seen as a deterrent when trying to attract new talent to the area.
  • With the focus of public health at many Oakland institutions, there is existing alignment that can be expanded upon and utilized to help move the needle on Oakland’s poor air quality.
  • Advocacy could be supported by air quality monitoring programs and studies led by the institutions.
  • People want to see institutions put their advocacy weight behind air pollution both as a way to attract talent who are scared off by our poor air quality, attract families to live in Oakland, and as part of the public health focus of the Oakland institutions.
  • Create a stronger and unified front for air quality advocacy convened by an organizing partner.
  • Institutions should work to communicate their advocacy plans for air quality to Oakland stakeholders.
  • Consider whether student governments are involved to run surveys to understand what kinds of potential projects or priorities the coalition should be pursuing.
  • Consider the role of other climate initiatives like advocacy for expanding C-PACE, legislation to allow energy cooperatives, etc. with this advocacy work.
  • Find ways to express and connect people to the work. One example is establishing healthy air zones where idling and other sources of air pollution are minimized and post signage that helps people to understand what’s happening and why. It could be linked with air quality monitors as noted above.

When to start: 3-5 years

Duration: Ongoing

Estimated costs: $ (out of $$$$)

Project lead(s): City of Pittsburgh, institutions, Breathe Collaborative

Project partner(s): OPDC, OBID, Student Governments, GASP, neighborhood associations

Potential funding source(s): None needed

Examples, illustrations, data