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03/16/2009 08:08 AM     print story email story  

Van Jones Joins Obama Team News

High-profile green jobs advocate Van Jones begins work this week as a Special Advisor to the Obama administration.

Jones is the founder of Green For All, an organization focused on creating green jobs in impoverished areas. He is also the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, and was the author of the 2008 New York Times best-seller, The Green Collar Economy.

As a member of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) his duties will include: helping to shape and implement job-generating climate policy; working to ensure equal protection and equal opportunity in the administration's climate and energy proposals; and publicly advocating the administration's environmental and energy agenda.

In a New Yorker profile of Jones published in January, he was quoted as saying: "Your goal has to be to get the greenest solutions to the poorest people. That's the only goal that's morally compelling enough to generate enough energy to pull this transition off. The challenge is making this an everybody movement, so your main icons are Joe Six-Pack-Joe the Plumber-becoming Joe the Solar Guy, or that kid on the street corner putting down his handgun, picking up a caulk gun."

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins will take over leadership of Green For All, which in its first 14 months of operation has developed a multi-million dollar annual budget, thirty-two staff members and an on-line network of 70,000 people.

"We couldn't be prouder of Van, Phaedra and Green For All," said James Rucker, Green For All board member and executive director of "Van going to work for the Obama White House affirms three things: the quality of Green For All's accomplishments over the last fourteen months; the quality of Van's work over the last twenty years; and, the dedication of President Obama's White House to the vision of an inclusive green economy."

Read the New Yorker piece at the link below.


Reader Comments (1)


Date Posted:
03/16/09 05:57 PM

I'm not sure what "equal opportunity and equal protection" means in terms of the green industry. I've seen a new government "weatherization" program that gives rebates to low income families. I don't see what taxpayer money should be targeting a specific low income group if the goal is to reduce energy useage. Phaedra was the president of one of the largest unions in California. In my mind, unions ensure high pay and benefits for those in the union, but block out lower priced workers and create more unemployment and poverty around them. Just look at Detroit. Great unions, failing car companies and lots of poverty. I think we should carefully examine what is being said to understand the true meaning underlying the words of these people.

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