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Valley Vision Takes the #MyCleanAirPledge

By Adrian Rehn

At Valley Vision, we recognize the importance of clean air to the communities we serve.

Air pollution is everyone’s problem – from low-income neighborhoods burdened by diesel truck emissions to homesteads in the rural Sierra foothills, which face dangerous woodsmoke and wildfire risk. According to the American Lung Association, the Sacramento MSA in 2018 has the #5 worst ozone pollution (“smog”) and #19 worst short-term particle pollution (soot, smoke, and exhaust) in the country. Further, the region does not meet federal and state clean air standards, risking harm to our economy and the potential loss of millions of dollars in transportation funds. We also risk harming our environment, our health and our wellbeing.

This is why seven Valley Vision team members joined Breathe California Sacramento Region, each taking an individual #MyCleanAirPledge during the month of May. Below are their thoughts on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in following their respective clean air commitments:

  • Valley Vision Managing Director Meg Arnold will encourage the Cap-to-Cap 2018 Air Quality team to use bikeshare in DC! #MyCleanAirPledge

“#MyCleanAirPledge benefited from the very willing members of the Air Quality team at Cap-to-Cap. In fact, I didn’t really have to do any “encouraging,” as I had committed to. As of the very first day we were in DC, we were on bikes for the almost-three-mile ride from Union Station back to the Mayflower Hotel at the end of the day’s meetings at the Capitol. We enjoyed a variety of DC’s well-thought-out bikes lanes, team co-captain John Lane’s knowledgeable history of DC bikeshare’s success and fast growth — and also DC’s unseasonably chilly, cloudy, and windy weather that day. Bike sharing continued through the rest of the trip — even including a meeting at EPA that John had to miss, because he was babysitting the group’s bikes, which we’d been unable to dock and return due to the docks all being full! Thanks to my Air Quality team-mates who made #MyAirQualityPledge really easy to succeed at!”

  • Valley Vision Communications Intern Ruben Moody will bring his reusable bags with him when grocery shopping! #MyCleanAirPledge

“Keeping myself accountable for bringing reusable grocery bags has been a great exercise in remembering commitments and taking steps to reduce waste. The first time I went shopping in May I did not bring my bags, but since then I have brought my large bags each time! Because I go to a smaller grocery store, the cashiers have taken notice of me getting better about bringing my reusable bags. I look forward to keeping my pledge going after Clean Air Month wraps up!”

  • Valley Vision Project Manager Adrian Rehn takes the #MyCleanAirPledge to commute to work via bicycle at least 2x per week during the month of May! #MyCleanAirPledge

“I’ll admit it – I have a history of getting a little lazy each Winter when it comes to biking to work and to meetings. This transgression is compounded by the fact that I reside a mere mile and a half from Valley Vision’s Broadway offices. May turned out to be a great month to break my bad habit, as Sacramento’s mythical “Spring” actually lasted more than 3 days, resulting in minimal rain and moderate temperatures – perfect for biking. I have now completed my pledge and even gone further – playing around with those new JUMP Bikes about half a dozen times. I will continue to keep the bike riding momentum going as best I can. See you out there!”

  • Valley Vision Executive Assistant Chloe Pan will force her parents to go to Refill Madness with her this month! #MyCleanAirPledge

“I became more aware of my carbon footprint and how much waste we produce when I was going to school in Santa Barbara. However, I moved back to Placer County after graduation and was tossed back into my parents’ lifestyle – where you don’t think twice about buying chemical drain cleaners, having meat in every meal, or throwing recyclables together with the trash (“They sort it out, sweetie!”). The opportunity to make a Clean Air Pledge gave me the push I needed to introduce my parents to Refill Madness. I can’t say that they were convinced to change their way of life, but it was nice to show them that there truly are concrete, practical, convenient ways of making a difference in our local community.”

  • Valley Vision’s Director of Strategy and Evaluation Evan Schmidt will carpool at least once per week during the month of May! #MyCleanAirPledge

“I’ve kept up my clean air pledge to carpool once a week by carpooling every Monday with Linda Cloud, a friend and neighbor who works at Local Government Commission in downtown Sacramento. Carpooling every Monday has been a great way to connect with a friend every week in addition to reducing air pollution. Also, I drive my electric Leaf (all the time) and so get even more benefit when I’m able to drive with someone else.”

Valley Vision’s Thousand Strong Intern Anessa Chacon and Project Leader Tammy Cronin also took the #MyCleanAirPledge. Anessa committed to reducing pollution in the air by walking to work and Tammy rode the Big Blue Bus (aka El Dorado Transit) to work instead of driving!

Valley Vision, Breathe California Sacramento Region, and the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce anchor the Cleaner Air Partnership, a diverse coalition of business leaders, environmental advocates, regulators, and others who have been helping the Sacramento region protect public health and promote economic growth for 30 years. Keep up with this important work by subscribing to our monthly ‘Cleaner Air News’ email newsletter, or by contacting Project Manager Adrian Rehn at (916) 325-1630 or emailing

Adrian Rehn is a Valley Vision Project Manager overseeing the Cleaner Air Partnership and Valley Vision’s online communications.