The County Voice

Alameda County Brings Vision of Healthy Environment to Life

For the past decade, Alameda County has been bringing its vision of a healthy environment and thriving population to life through the County’s Climate Action Plan for Government Services and Operations.

Last year, the Institute for Local Government (ILG), of which CSAC is a parent organization, awarded Alameda County a platinum level Beacon Spotlight Award for 27% reductions in agency greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2019. Alameda County also received the inaugural Beacon Leadership and Innovation Award for cross-agency collaboration in climate resilience and adaptation for its Air Quality Communications Protocol.

With larger, more frequent wildfires across the state, smoke and poor air quality pose an increasing threat to public health. Alameda County’s new protocol aims to reach the most vulnerable populations – particularly people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, children, older adults, and people experiencing homelessness – with vital health messages and air quality alerts.

When the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, Alameda County makes available clear information in multiple languages, designed specifically for hard-to-reach populations. The goal is to use trusted channels to alert residents. Through the protocol, the County has successfully shared important health safety information with residents during the October 2019 and August 2020 wildfires.

The Air Quality Communications Protocol is a collaborative effort among the General Services Agency Office of Sustainability, the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, Health Care Services Agency and Public Health Department, and Fire Department, as well as other internal and external partners. The County found that working on the protocol helped strengthen relationships across County agencies and within the community. The County’s work in building relationships and creating communications channels to reach vulnerable populations built a foundation for sharing critical messaging in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a decade of climate leadership, Alameda County continues to lead the way on climate action and resiliency. Congratulations, Alameda County! To learn more about Alameda County’s climate action leadership, check out the five-minute video, “Planning for a Healthy Future: A Decade of Climate Action Leadership.”:

Apply for a 2022 Beacon Award!

For more than 11 years, the Institute for Local Government’s (ILG) Beacon Program has been recognizing local governments for voluntary efforts to build more vibrant and sustainable communities. Participants include a network of over 160 cities and counties statewide that are committed to creating communities with cleaner air and water, more efficient transportation, and a healthier use of natural resources. Beacon participants receive free technical assistance from ILG in sustainability best practices, as well as access to peer networks and webinars, and opportunities for award recognition.

The 2022 Beacon Awards are open for applications through May 2nd! To learn more about how to apply for awards and join the Beacon program, visit www.ca-ilg.org/beacon-program.

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