Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at a Grantmakers without Borders conference in San Francisco on which the estimable Van Jones was a speaker. As many will know, Van is a visionary, as well as a practical advocate and doer in the field of environmental justice. I’ve been a fan of Van’s for years, but the panel was the first time I got to meet him and hear him speak live. He didn’t disappoint, laying out a compelling challenge along with an agenda for creating, on a basis of urgency, a green economy that not only mitigates climate change but also provides good jobs and secures human rights for the U.S.’ most marginalized communities. On Saturday, September 27th, the organization Van founded last year, Green For All, is coordinating a national day of action in support of “Green Jobs Now.” (The timing, the day after the first presidential debate — yep, it’s on — is not incidental.) Events are being organized across the country in both “red” states and “blue.” Click here to see what’s going on and to participate. Al Gore’s “We” climate campaign is also a partner.
Here’s some from the Green Jobs Now manifesto, which, like Van Jones himself, makes so much sense (and stay tuned: Jones has a book coming out in early October, his first, on green collaring the U.S. economy):
We are ready to tackle the climate crisis by building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.
Green Jobs Now is a National Day of Action that will empower everyday people to stage hundreds of grassroots events throughout the country. We will have a special focus on low-income communities, communities of color and indigenous people. This will send a message to our leaders that, when it comes to creating green jobs for a more sustainable economy, PEOPLE ARE READY!
Right now, there are millions of people ready to work and countless jobs to be done that will strengthen our economy at home. There are thousands of buildings that need to be weatherized, solar panels to be installed, and wind turbines to be erected. There are communities that need local and sustainable food and people ready to farm the crops….