"We can — and must — fight poverty and pollution at the same time"
The Washington Post has a terrific profile of Van Jones. Jones authored the recent NYT bestseller The Green Collar Economy, and is currently on a book tour discussing how investment in green infrastructure and stimulus can provide pathways out of poverty as part of a national transition to a low-carbon economy.
If you’ve ever read Jones or seen him speak, you know just how moving he can be. His events are widely attended by all ages and racial groups. It’s worth YouTube-ing recent speeches (start here) or checking out a local book event.
The Washington Post quotes him on his uniquely relevant vision for our times:
I was really trying to show how we could fight poverty and pollution at the same time. Now the import of the book is bigger. Those same ideas can be used to fight global warming and recession at the same time.
Jones stresses that this battle can be fought by holding President-elect Obama accountable to the popular green stimulus and green jobs proposals (many originated by Jones). Such programs would train workers for the green job ladder and equip them with the skills necessary for entry-level, low-skill, and decent-paying jobs with opportunities for advancement inside the movement to build, from the ground-up, a low-carbon economy bursting with economic mobility.
Keep an eye out for Federal policies that mirror Jones’ priorities, as they have traction among the incoming Administration, and equally important, watch for Jones – where his work goes, and if he ever does an event you can tune into.
– Kari M.