On behalf of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, I am honored to bring you this exciting news:
Green For All has officially launched.
Last Wednesday, Van Jones, President and Co-Founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, got on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative and announced Green For All’s commitment to securing one billion dollars by 2012 to create “green pathways out of poverty” for 250,000 people in the United States. (Green For All is spinning off as its own separate national organization, while the Ella Baker Center continues to run its “Green-Collar Jobs Campaign” regionally and statewide in California.)
These goals may seem ambitious, but they are very necessary, and very possible. The realities of the environmental issues we face are clear, as can be seen through dwindling resources, detrimental health effects, and natural catastrophes. Therefore, we will need everyone, all communities, all people, involved in the solutions that are coming in the following years. Green For All will work to ensure everyone understands that what’s good for the environment can also be good for the economic well being of all people.
So who’s on board? Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been vital in supporting the Green Jobs Act, which has passed the House of Representatives and will probably soon pass Congress as a whole. Last week at a Senate hearing on Green Jobs, California Senator Barbara Boxer opened the hearing by highlighting Van’s ideas and stating, “Green jobs are our future”. Also last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton personally endorsed the mission of Green For All. As a speaker for Senator Barack Obama’s panel on climate change at the Congressional Black Caucus, Van Jones received two standing ovations from the audience. And over 150 green businesses and organizations have formally signed on to support the Green For All pledge.
But we need more than big names in order for Green For All to succeed. Everywhere the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has been able to reach out, everyone that has supported and championed our work, all the organizations that have partnered with us, and each event that has given Van space to eloquently spread our message—all of you have been important, and you still are.
We need all of your help now more than ever. Here are just a few things you could do:
• LOBBY WITH US AT POWER SHIFT 2007: During Power Shift 2007 in November, come out to Lobby Day and pressure our political representatives to adopt the platform of green jobs and eco-equity. And remember to be involved with Step it Up2 that same weekend, demanding effective policies for “the defining challenge of our time.”
• HELP CREATE LOCAL GREEN JOBS: As a student, demand a shift to sustainability on your campus. Make sure the green jobs created at your school in solar panel construction, energy retrofits, etc., are local jobs and benefit local communities.
• HELP DRIVE NATIONAL CLIMATE POLICY: Green For All is part of the 1Sky Campaign, a major new coalition fighting for a sane, effective national climate policy. The first ask of the 1Sky campaign is to “Create 5 million green jobs conserving 20% of our energy by 2015.” Make sure that these proposals become a reality.
• What else can YOU think of? This short list is just a start!
And definitely stay informed and stay tuned. We’ve just launched a new website, www.greenforall.org, that will grow and develop over time. We’re just getting started.
P.S. Here are a couple of articles about last week’s launch!