In our February edition of Staff Spotlight, we are highlighting Amy Wong, one of our amazing Program Specialists and co-founders of ActiveSGV's Women on Wheels-WoW. Amy has worked with us on some of our biggest projects and is a passionate and creative leader. She always brings a smile to the office--and to think, her path to us started with a just Google search! Find out more about Amy below!
How did you get started working at ActiveSGV?
It all started with a simple Google search. Fresh out of college, I was driven by a passion to advance environmental justice, but didn't know exactly how I would go about doing so. After months of jobhunting and testing out various volunteer positions, through a Google search, I came across Day One, a public health non-profit based in Pasadena. I started volunteering there and eventually was hired as part of the team. It was during my time at Day One that I was introduced to ActiveSGV (formerly BikeSGV) and also, Nature for All (formerly the San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition). I am fortunate to be continuously working towards environmental equity and justice in the San Gabriel Valley.
What do you like most about ActiveSGV?
We're all passionate about creating sustainable communities here in the SGV. Since almost all of us are from the SGV, we live and breathe the issues we're trying to solve. That authenticity inspires and fuels me, and gives me hope.
Favorite and/or memorable ActiveSGV experience
I have a lot of great memories at ActiveSGV. I enjoy the moments spent outdoors. One experience that was really fun was our Women on Wheels bikepacking trip. I'd never gone bikepacking before, and we biked southwards to camp overnight at a beach. Funnily enough, we rescued a turtle that was lying on its back in the middle of the street, and it ended up coming with us back to the SGV via Metrolink.
If a friend from out of town were to visit, which place in the SGV would you take them to and why?
We'd start with a beginner-friendly hike in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument- either at the East Fork or West Fork of the San Gabriel River. I grew up thinking these mountains were far away, when in actuality they are only 30, 40 minutes away by car. Then we would eat lunch at Thien Tam, a vegan Vietnamese restaurant in El Monte (love their bun rieu). Finally we would hang out at a local park, such as Peck Road Park, to picnic w/ burritos from La Palma and watch the sunset, enjoying the view of the lake and mountains.
What you're listening to/ reading/ watching/ digging right now:
At the moment I'm reading Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut. I want to read The Changs Next to the Diazes next, it's also our Book Club book for ActiveSGV this year.
Follow Amy on Instagram (@sunlightleak) and Twitter (@amyjwong)!
AB 1080 / SB 54 - the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act - would set our state on a path to reduce single-use, non-recyclable plastics by 75% by 2030. Less than 9% of plastics currently produced are “downcycled” (plastics cannot be “recycled” in the same manner metal or glass can). Decreasing our reliance on single-use plastics made from fossil fuels will also help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and remove plastic pollution from our rivers and open spaces. This legislation is strongly endorsed by hundreds of community organizations across the state, including ActiveSGV, and has already passed the State Assembly. Now it needs to clear the State Senate in order to move forward!
#GetActiveSGV - Call Your State Senator!
Calls only take a minute, and we have a sample call script below. Just be sure to call during business hours, for most offices M-F 9am-5pm. It only takes a minute, so a lunch or other break is ideal if you're a 9-5 employee. We also recommend saving your State Senators phone number for future reference! Unsure who your rep is? See below or check online here.
*Senator Rubio has not supported the legislation to date.
**Senator Archuleta has not voted on the measure to date.
**Senator Portantino supported the bill in 2019.
Sample call script:
"Hello my name is___________ and I'm calling today as a local constituent from the City of _______ to urge my Senator to support AB 1080 - the CA Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.
[Staff may ask you for your home address / zip code to verify you live in the District.]
And you’re done! Super easy!
1. How did you get started working at ActiveSGV/In this field?
When I was a kid bicycling gave me the freedom to go anywhere I wanted and allowed me to enjoy the world at my leisure. I grew up in Highland Park and always enjoyed the endless summer nights of riding. To this day I can still recall the joy I got when I received my first bike. Prior to working at Active SGV I had the privilege of working for a variety of different bicycle shops and was able to witness, as others were able to experience the same joy. I began volunteering for Active SGV prior to working at Active because I saw the need and enjoyed helping others learn how to complete basic maintenance on their bicycles to give them the freedom to ride. I look forward to continuing to work with individuals who want to get out and safely enjoy the beautiful San Gabriel Valley in a car free way.
2. What do you like most about ActiveSGV?
Active SGV is a resource for the community and gives opportunities to individuals to explore their city in a safe and healthy manner. Additionally, I appreciate that Active SGV has given me the opportunity to connect to other individuals who connect and value the San Gabriel Valley and are passionate about safe streets and accessibility for all.
3. Favorite and/or memorable ActiveSGV experience
My favorite memory of Active SGV has been the 626 Open Streets. It has been great to see people enjoy their community out of their vehicles while enjoying the streets without the stress of vehicle hazards. I look forward to our future 626 Open Streets where we will be giving people the opportunity to ride down the 110 Freeway. Additionally I enjoyed leading the Bike Trains because I was able to explore different parts of the city that I was not aware of before such as different museums and cultural landmarks.
4. If a friend from out of town were to visit, which place in the SGV would you take them to and why?
I would take them down the Emerald Necklace and stop by Cyber Yogurt. This would give them an opportunity to experience the city without the hustle and bustle of traffic and have a delicious zero waste treat since Cyber Yogurt encourages that you bring your own container. Afterwards, we would get back on the Emerald Necklace bike trail and stop at one of its many beautiful parks to enjoy the sunset.
5. What you're listening to/ reading/ watching/ digging right now:
You can find me listening to the Meat Eater Podcast or delving into any historical book. I just completed The Labyrinth of Ice and I highly recommend it. I enjoy reading and learning about historical figures and events.
Social media handles?
If you are interested in helping fight climate crisis check out @zerowastegracias for some easy Zero Waste Tips you can implement in your every day life!