PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center Launches Policy Agenda for Allegheny County Leaders & the Public

Logos of organizations signed on in support of the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda
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Organizations signed on in support of the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda

Given that Allegheny County has a legacy of environmental and health challenges, local leaders need to be informed about air pollution, water pollution, waste, and solutions to these problems. 

That’s why the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center has brought together some of the Pittsburgh region’s top environmental policy organizations to develop the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda. The Agenda is a nonpartisan document intended to inform local leaders and concerned citizens about priority policy solutions that can help address the greatest environmental and public health threats facing Allegheny County. 

Our partners in creating the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda include Women for a Healthy Environment, the Breathe Project, Clean Water Fund and Food & Water Watch. 

Photo of groups speaking to media at Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda press conference
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The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center held a press conference to announce the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda with (left to right) Robin Lesko, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch; Matt Mehalik, Executive Director of the Breathe Project; Ashleigh Deemer, Deputy Director of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center; Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, Executive Director of Women for a Healthy Environment and (at the mic) Joy Braunstein, Western PA Policy Director with Clean Water Fund.

The Green Allegheny Issue and Policy Agenda recommends 50 policies that county and municipal leaders can implement, including increasing penalties against air polluters who break the law, powering county and municipal buildings with 100% renewable energy, and banning certain single-use plastics.

Nearly 30 groups and individuals, listed here, signed on in support of the Agenda:


PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center
Breathe Project
Women for a Healthy Environment
Food & Water Watch
Clean Water Fund
Three Rivers Waterkeeper
Physicians for Social Responsibility PA
Group Against Smog & Pollution
Humane Action Pittsburgh
Allegheny Cleanways
Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN)
Community Partners in Asthma Care
Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh (RP3)
Millvale Community Development Corporation
Clean Air Council
Grounded Strategies
350 Pittsburgh
Center for Coalfield Justice
Cancer and Environment Network of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Chalfant Run/Thompson Run Watershed Association
Environmental Health Project


Adam R. Forgie, Mayor, Turtle Creek
Dan Peluso, Commissioner, Leet Township
State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, District 24
Patricia M. DeMarco, Vice President, Forest Hills Borough Council

The Agenda will be distributed to all candidates in Allegheny County, and candidates for County Executive, County Council and Pittsburgh City Council will be invited to meet with PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center to be briefed on the issues. All materials provided to candidates will be provided on the Green Allegheny Issue & Policy Agenda website


Ashleigh Deemer

Deputy Director, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Started on staff: 2018 B.A., Chatham College; Masters of Public Management, Carnegie Mellon University As the deputy director with PennEnvironment, Ashleigh oversees campaigns to protect clean air and clean water in Pennsylvania. She brings more than 15 years of experience in community organizing and government to her work to win policy change and hold decision-makers, agencies and polluters accountable. Most recently, she worked with colleagues and coalition partners to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags in Pittsburgh. Prior to joining PennEnvironment in 2018, Ashleigh served as a chief of staff in Pittsburgh City Council and organized clean air campaigns for Clean Water Action and the Clean Air Task Force. Ashleigh lives in the Pittsburgh region, where she enjoys gardening and engaging with her community.

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