2022 represented a significant transition for CleanAIRE NC. First and foremost, June Blotnick, the organization’s founding Executive Director, retired after 17 years of distinguished service. We thank June for her years of guidance and dedication to the fight for clean air for all North Carolinians.
2022 also marked a year of tremendous growth and impact across the state. We grew our capacity for health and action, training over 130 advocates to navigate environmental policy in North Carolina. Hundreds of our members took action in support of climate solutions and a clean energy Carbon Plan. And we installed two dozen new air monitors across the state, doubling our network of citizen scientists.
Our work to build community green districts really took off. In Charlotte, our partnership with members of the Historic West End (HWE) community continues to grow and flourish. Together we are working to spread clean air awareness, create new green infrastructure, and reduce harmful air pollution. And we laid the foundations for new community green districts in other cities across the state.
CleanAIRE NC also connected over 200 health professionals, researchers, community advocates, and students at our annual NC BREATHE conference at Catawba College, sharing solutions and working together for climate justice and healthier communities.
Finally, we celebrated our organization’s 20th year of clean air and climate action. A lot has changed since 2002, when a small group of volunteers first came together to improve air quality in Mecklenburg County. However, one thing will never change, and that is our commitment to protecting the health of all North Carolinians.
Throughout 2022, the NC Utilities Commission sought community and stakeholder input to develop a Carbon Plan, a roadmap for how North Carolina should reduce carbon emissions over the next several decades. CleanAIRE NC rallied hundreds of North Carolinians to voice their support for a Carbon Plan centered around clean energy by speaking at public hearings, writing to the NC Utilities Commission, and signing our petition. We also trained dozens of new Climate Ambassadors to talk about the issue and inspire action in their communities.
We continued our work with community leaders to establish a Green District in Charlotte’s Historic West End. Together we installed two new electric vehicle charging stations to broaden EV access, built a clean air garden to raise air quality awareness, and expanded green spaces for the community.
Working with CleanAIRE NC supports my goal to promote sustainable changes and improved health and wellness. I’m thrilled to continue learning and sharing information about the impacts of air quality on the lives of my community.”
Historic West End, Charlotte
We’re raising awareness on the ways industrial-scale hog farms are hurting our air, water, and communities. In 2022 we toured toxic factory farms in Sampson County, amplified community stories by hosting a documentary screening of The Smell of Money, and launched a new CleanAIRE Book Club to keep the conversation going.
Over 100 community members learned how to protect their health from air pollution, strengthened their advocacy skills, and connected with local health care workers through our healthy air educational and training workshops.
CleanAIRE NC’s obvious commitment to helping communities made us know they are genuine. Supporting CleanAIRE NC is supporting the communities that are suffering environmental injustices.”
Anderson Community Group
Our AirKeeper network keeps on growing! 24 new volunteer citizen scientists joined us in 2022 to host air sensors and shine a light on their local air quality. We also established our first air monitor cluster network in Charlotte.
Over 200 health professionals, researchers, community advocates, and students connected at our annual NC BREATHE conference in Salisbury to share solutions and work together for climate justice and healthier communities. Nationally renowned environmental justice leader Richard Moore gave the morning keynote address, providing insights from his decades of experience advocating for people of color and other disenfranchised groups.
The NC BREATHE conference was an amazing opportunity to learn more about how communities are dealing with issues of air pollution.”
Expanding access to electric vehicles (EVs) will both clean up local air quality and equip our communities with sustainable transportation options. In 2022 we met with Charlotte residents to discuss the growing financial and health benefits of EVs, showcase a wide variety of electric cars, trucks, and buses, and discuss available incentives and programs for EV ownership.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Climate Leaders coalition added several new members last year, amplifying our call to expand clean energy and adopt carbon-reducing strategies in the Charlotte area. This CleanAIRE NC-led partnership now represents over 30 local organizations.
Any fruitful partnership is one that’s rooted in trust and collaboration. The way CleanAIRE NC went about getting input and feedback from the community, and applying solutions with the voice of the community, makes for an incredible recipe that continues to produce results.”
2022 was a milestone year for CleanAIRE NC! As we close the book on our first 20 years and look ahead to our next 20, we know that the fight against climate change and air pollution leaves us little time to slow down. Because everybody deserves to breathe clean, healthy air.
When people are equipped with the right knowledge and tools, they’re empowered to take action and chart a better future. To that end, our programming teaches our members about climate change and air quality, engages them in data collection, and empowers them to take action in the community and political sphere.
Citizen scientist volunteers track and help interpret local air quality data, captured by low-cost air monitoring devices. All across the state, scientists and change-makers can use the data we collect to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
As advocates, we organize and take action for policy solutions that lead to better health for our communities. We provide the training and tools to help our members hold polluters accountable and push for stronger climate and clean air protections.
No community should suffer more environmental burdens because of their race or socioeconomic status. Our environmental justice efforts target the root causes of the damage, identify its disparate impacts, and chart paths to restoration.
Doctors, nurses, and health professionals are among the most trusted messengers on the health impacts of air pollution and climate change. The CleanAIRE NC Health program leverages these trusted voices to advocate for a healthier, more resilient future.
We’re equipping North Carolinians with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to protect their health and advance clean air and climate solutions.
Fmr. Executive Director
Sr. Marketing Manager
Environmental Justice Manager
Vice President, Commercial Construction | RJ Leeper Construction
Senior Financial Business Analyst | Bank of America
Founder | RESET Integrative Health Coaching
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer | Foundation For The Carolinas
Financial Capabilities Manager | Self-Help Credit Union
Operational Risk Consultant | Wells Fargo
Civic Science Fellow
Physical Scientist | U.S. EPA
Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences | UNC Charlotte
Senior Manager | TIAA
NC State Senator, District 39 – Mecklenburg
Architect | Becker Morgan Group
Hazards and Land Use Specialist | CASE Consultants International
President | Executive Sellers Realty