From Blackberry updates in the middle of the the Clinton Global Initiative to Daily Show rundowns from my home in DC, I've been jarred as much as anyone by the unprecedented economic and political events unfolding in these United States this week. The feeling of distress is palpable wherever I've been.
These are the most uncertain times young Americans my age have ever known, and many are downright panicked. Frankly, they have good reason. That said - perhaps because of where I sit at the cross section of clean energy and youth advocacy - I'm very hopeful. And with what I think is also good reason. This uncertainty is a huge opportunity for the country, and in the midst of it, something really beautiful is happening tomorrow. Action.
And it sure isn't coming from congress, or have to do with another convoluted, unregulated bailout proposal.
Because we know the economic, energy, and climate crises we face are all connected, tens of thousands of people will be organizing events in all 50 states to tell our leaders that we're ready to take on these crises by building a green economy strong enough to put people back to work, lift people out of poverty, and begin to secure our climate.
"Green Jobs Now: A Day to Build the New Economy" has been put together by Green for All, 1Sky, the We Campaign, the Energy Action Coalition and over 100 other diverse and extraordinary partners. The creation of a new, green economy represents our best path forward, and just as people of all ages, creeds, and locations have already committed, I really hope that you will join in rather than sit back and wait for the administration or congress to do something.
If you're not already involved, it's really simple to find an event near you, plan your own event, sign the petition or spread the word. Again... just head to the site.
Some people I've spoken with this week have asked what exactly people would or should be doing on a Day of Action. Here are some great examples my colleague and friend Billy Parrish sent earlier today.
In New York, the Green Jobs NY campaign is pushing for a program to retrofit a million homes in 5 years - an initiative that will create quality jobs and put energy bill savings back in consumers' pockets. Down the street from the Energy Action Office here in DC, African-American farmers will be meeting to discuss their role in a green economy. In the Southwest, the Navajo Green Economy Coalition will propose a Green Economy Fund to finance green job training programs and sustainable economic development initiatives to transition the tribal economy. The possibilities are virtually limitless.
Van Jones, the founder/President of Green for All which is behind the day of action wrote best about it, but in short, here's the big idea: With Green Jobs Now, partner organizations aim to raise these hundreds of local efforts up (over 600 as of this post!) as models, and call on our national leaders to bring these solutions to scale. We can put America back to work rebuilding and repowering America with millions of green-collar jobs. We can solve the climate crisis. We can overcome the problems of our failed economy.
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