Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Van Jones Is the Hope for Millions Looking to Steer the Ship Around

posted by Paul K. Haeder

Well, this blog for PacifiCAD is suppose to look at sustainability, focus in on the leaders in the field, or how technologists and social scientists and the entrepreneurs and community organizers and legal minds and visionaries and common people can come together and effect change, at the neighborhood level. Van Jones -- a key leader of one of these movements, Van Jones of 'Green For All' -- was appointed to a top environmental and urban policy post in the Obama administration. He's now been ousted, resigning under the pressures of what some call a witch hunt or smear campaign.

Jones is a founder of an urban-based campaign focused on low-income young people, multinational and multicultural, that first developed as a response to police repression, gang killings and all-round "criminalization of youth."

This sector of the population Van Jones saw as excluded from living-wage work and other opportunities as a key cause of the violence and destruction.

Jones envisioned putting young people to work at low-to-medium skill levels retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency seemed like a no-brainer, so the demand for "Green Jobs, Not Jails" was raised.

The slogan has found a home here in Spokane, and it has spread across the country. Jones' acclaimed book, "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems," outlines ingenious, interconnected programs aimed at resolving the savage inequalities of structural unemployment and the global dangers of climate change rooted in carbon-based energies systems.

See a talk with Carl Pope (director of Sierra Club) and Van Jones on Robert Greenwald's This Brave Nation


He was involved in a smear campaign, and his leadership for this country is vital -- he is a lawyer who comes from the place where green jobs and the post-carbon shift have to take place: urban centers, inner city areas, the big metropolises and the small ones too.

Watch Democracy Now for more on Van Jones stepping down:
"The Obama administration’s special adviser for environmental jobs, Van Jones, has resigned citing what he described as a 'vicious smear campaign' against him. For the past month, Fox News has run a series of reports on Jones’s alleged association with communists and his decision to sign a petition calling for a congressional probe of the 9/11 attacks. Jones is the founding president of Green for All and author of the book The Green Collar Economy."

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