Fighting for Better Air Quality– Rebecca has been fighting for public health and clean air — and against environmental racism, throughout her career. Kaplan fought for and won a term on the powerful Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board (BAAQMD) as the first Oakland representative on the Board in a generation. Kaplan obtained millions of dollars for vital Oakland projects, helping to clean up and replace highly-polluting diesel engines, expand transit and electric vehicle programs, and ensure that our hardest-hit communities with the worst air pollution are not neglected. Kaplan won funding for vital projects to clean our air including free Broadway shuttle and cleaner trains, trucks and cranes. Kaplan helped to pass a law to crack down on toxic pollution that disproportionately impacts hard-hit communities in East and West Oakland.
Recognizing the vital importance, that communities hardest hit by air pollution have a say in decisions and funding for Air Quality, Kaplan introduced a Resolution, passed by the City Council, to seek a change in law to guarantee our community representation.
Kaplan’s work to create and launch the free green Broadway Shuttle, and to win funding for this project, has helped connect key communities and transit hubs, and has won widespread praise for improving access, reducing traffic congestion, and helping residents and workers get around. For example, a local business owner at the time stated that this project helped significantly increase business at his restaurant in Jack London Square.