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Reducing emissions to improve neighborhood health outcomes

The science is finally catching up to what West Oakland residents have experienced for decades: exposure to air pollution impacts our health in life-and-death ways. Across West Oakland, people experience higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, and premature death than other parts of Alameda County and the region1:

  • Asthma-related emergency room visits are 76% higher for West Oaklanders than the Alameda County average and asthma hospitalizations are 88% higher.
  • West Oaklanders die from heart disease at a rate 33% higher than the county average.
  • The average life expectancy for West Oaklanders is an average of six years shorter than Alameda County as a whole, and African Americans live an average of 12-15 years less than those with the highest life expectancy.

This is why it’s critical that Owning Our Air addresses health-specific impacts among its solutions.

1 Source: Owning Our Air: The West Oakland Community Action Plan, Vol. 1, October 2019.

Explore the health and living buffer strategies

The West Oakland Community Action Plan has adopted 19 strategies addressing health-specific solutions that range from improving indoor air filtration to planting trees and other “living buffers” that help absorb toxic air pollution. The plan also identifies key areas requiring further study.

80+ strategies aim to improve air quality across West Oakland by 2030

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Latest Steering Committee activity

Owning Our Air is overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of West Oakland residents, businesses, air quality experts, and government representatives.

Find meeting summaries and notes, recordings and agendas, and other working documents.