At Sustainable San Mateo County’s Happy Hour on July 20 titled “Air Quality for Equality”, attendees discussed disparities in air quality in San Mateo County and the wider Bay Area.

Guest speaker David Canepa, who serves on the county’s Board of Supervisors and sits also on the Board of Directors at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, correlated these disparities to racial and socioeconomic differences and highlighted some of the work the county is doing to combat these impacts.

Ulysses Vinson, director of SMC Labs, explained how his firm is partnering with an air quality company, Clarity, to monitor air quality in San Mateo and other counties.

Eddie Ahn, executive director of nonprofit Brightline Defense, described how his organization is monitoring and informing residents about air quality in marginalized neighborhoods in SOMA, the Tenderloin and Chinatown in San Francisco.

Following these presentations, participants shared their insights and provided suggestions about what more could be done to achieve equity in air quality, like providing incentives for people to buy more electric cars, which are less polluting, giving out free or discounted Clipper cards and improving resources and access to air filtration and/or air filtration centers to vulnerable populations.