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.