The 40th Anniversary Clean Air Awards REcap

2016 Clean Air Awards

On May 11, 2016, Breathe California hosted the 40th Anniversary Clean Air Awards luncheon at the Memorial Auditorium. The event honored seven clean air champions. The City of Rancho Cordova received the leadership award; Raley’s, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properties, and the California Department of General Services all received Sustainability Awards; and the Sacramento River Cats received a Triple Play Award for excellence in all three categories of Leadership, Sustainability and Innovation. The Blue Ribbon Panel also honored Mike McKeever and Tom Christofk with Legacy Awards for their lifetime commitments to improving air quality and livability. The awards ceremony kicked off with a brief video recapping 40 years of environmental improvements in the Sacramento region:



2016 Clean Air Awards

Sponsors included the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Regional Transit, Capitol Public Radio, SMUD, SACOG, and more. Breathe California also hosted a clean air art contest for local high school students. Over 100 students from five different high schools participated. Click here to learn more about the art contest and where the winning artworks will be on view this summer and fall. After the awards ceremony, Prosio Communications took a few minutes to speak with the presenters and attendees. Below is their interview with Lisa Riley, Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy and Community Outreach at Fleet Feet Sports.

Lisa Riley

Q: Why is having clean air an important issue for you personally?

A: I am an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast and I recognize that I need to be able to breathe clean air so that I can continue to go outside and do the things that I want to do.

Q: What do you do to improve outdoor air quality?

A: I walk to the grocery store. I’m very good about recycling, and I also spend a lot of time on my bike. My daughter and I ride our bikes to her school whenever possible.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to recognize the people who actively try to improve Sacramento’s air quality?

A: It’s absolutely critical, because as one of the speakers said today, [clean air] is not a warm and fuzzy subject so we need champions out in the community, finding ways to have innovative solutions for clean air and keeping it on the forefront, because without clean air we don’t have a livable, sustainable community.

Q: What do you find exciting about attending this awards ceremony?

A: It was really exciting to see all of the honorees and the things that they are doing. Big and small, all of their work and their changes will ultimately have a big impact on clean air.

Q: Are you optimistic about achieving a clean air future in Sacramento?

A: I feel like Sacramento is on the cutting edge of big change and I don’t think there are too many people that would argue with that. I think our leadership, corporate and non-profit communities are more engaged than ever. Because we are putting focus on clean air and rallying those leaders behind it, I am very optimistic about a clean air future in Sacramento.

Sonny Mayugba

2016 Clean Air Awards

Sonny Mayuba, founder of the Red Rabbit Kitchen + Bar and founder of the Requested App, delivered one of the keynote speeches at Breathe California’s 40th Anniversary Clean Air Awards Luncheon. Below is Sonny’s interview with Prosio Communications about air quality in our region.

Q: Why is having clean air an important issue for you personally?

A: Well the most important issue about having clean air is I like to breathe. As a human being and as a living organism, breathing is good! But in all seriousness, I have a family here and friends that I love, and I want them all to be healthy, happy and active. Clean air is important for all those reasons.

Q: What do you do to improve outdoor air quality?

A: The number one thing I do is to drive a Tesla. That’s right! It’s not just a fancy hipster car, it is zero emissions, runs on a battery. I have not produced any gas emissions for fifteen months and I’ll probably never go back.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to recognize the people who actively try to improve Sacramento’s air quality?

A: It’s important to recognize these people because clean air is not top of mind for most people. People expect to have clean air, but it’s not that simple, it’s not that easy, we have to recognize the people that take care of the air for us.

Q: What do you find exciting about attending this awards ceremony?

A: One of the most exciting things is that it is in the beautiful historic Memorial Auditorium. I love this building, and it’s a great space. We have two awesome and creative MC’s from Unseen Heroes, and the crowd was really receptive and great.

Q: Are you optimistic about achieving a clean air future in Sacramento?

A: Totally optimistic, for two reasons. One – we are in California, that’s just how we roll here. Two – we’ve got a great group of people that are the custodians of our air and we are counting on them to do the right thing.

Mike Mattos

2016 Clean Air Awards

Lastly, Prosio talked to Mike Mattos, a luncheon attendee and a board member of Breathe California

Q: Why is having clean air an important issue for you personally?

A: So that I can actually breathe, you know, I’m an old guy and it gets harder and harder to breathe as you get older so clean air is important. Also, I love to cycle.

Q: What do you do to improve outdoor air quality?

A: I cycle and I keep my vehicles tuned and clean and use vehicles that don’t pollute.

Q: Why do you think its important to recognize the people who actively try to improve Sacramento’s air quality?

A: Because you reward good behavior, by rewarding good behavior, we get more good behavior.

Q: What do you find exciting about attending this awards ceremony?

A: I really liked the food!

Q: Are you optimistic about achieving a clean air future in Sacramento?

A: If you look back you will see we are making a lot of progress. I’ve been living in Sacramento since the 60’s, and I can tell you that the improvements and the changes are huge. Not only do we have a great bike trail, but we have more trails than any other region in this part of the country. We have so many things to do that are outdoors. We also have lower energy use and less pollution in the industrial sector than we’ve had in the past.



To find out more about the Clean Air Awards and how you can get involved, contact Event Manager Jenny Matchell.

←Back to News


Footer Breathe Logo

Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails is committed to the fight for clean air, healthy lungs and a tobacco-free future in Northern California.

We are a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Tax ID#: 94-1641240

A member of the
Breathe America™ Alliance

Latest Blog Posts

RSS Feed Widget

LATEST TWEETS