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Jessy Tolkan
Jessy Tolkan serves as the Executive Director for the Energy Action Coalition, a coalition of 50 leading youth organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Energy Action Coalition leverages the power of young people to organize on college campuses, high schools, and in local communities to build models of the clean energy future. Under her leadership the Energy Action Coalition is growing a generation-wide movement to stop global warming, by advocating for green jobs, stopping new coal plants, and making young people's voices heard in the policy debate around global climate change. Jessy has spent most of her career working to build power amongst the millenial generation. In 2004, as state director for the New Voters Project, Tolkan helped to register more than 130,000 young voters and produce one of the highest youth turnout rates in the country. She's been featured in Time Magazine, Hard Ball with Chris Matthews, and Vanity Fair Magazine. Jessy helped to plan the largest youth gathering on global warming in our nation's history - POWER SHIFT 2007, a conference that brought together more than 6000 youth representing all 50 states, and culminated with the largest single lobby day on capitol hill focused on global warming. Most recently, Jessy spearheaded POWER VOTE, a campaign to mobilize 1,000,000 young voters are climate and energy issues in more than 30 states across the country.

Prior to her work at the Energy Action Coalition, Tolkan worked with leading advocacy and grassroots organizations including: United States Student Association, Young Democrats of America, and Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. Tolkan received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Political Science and African America-Studies. In 2006, Tolkan was named one of the REAL HOT 100 Women in America, for her work with young voters.

Entries by Jessy Tolkan

Hillary Clinton Agrees: We Need a 100 Percent Clean Energy Future

(11) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 9:55 PM

Recently, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton took a pretty game-changing stand on climate change. She threw her support behind a 100 percent clean energy future, saying, "We need to be moving as quickly as possible to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. We have...

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From White House Meetings to White House Arrest

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 11:42 AM

Nearly three years ago I lined up in front of the same White House fence I was arrested in front of yesterday. It was weeks after President Obama's inauguration that I waited in great anticipation of my first-ever meeting inside the White House. I can't tell you how excited I...

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Top 3 Things to Know About How to Vote on Your Campus

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 10:15 AM

The No. 1 Reason Students Don't Vote is that no one ever asks you or tells you where to vote.

Top 3 Things to Know About How to Vote on Your Campus

  1. Make a plan. Schedule it including travel to and from the polling place. Don't know where your polling...
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Dirty Talk in SOTU: Why My Generation's Jobs Must Be Clean

(3) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 1:06 PM

At the voting booths in 2008, America's next generation dreamed of a day when our President would declare that developing a clean energy economy and passing a climate bill were the nation's top priorities. Last night in the State of the Union, Barack Obama made it the centerpiece of his...

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Dashed Hopes: Unless Obama Steps Up, My Generation's Future Is in Peril

(3) Comments | Posted December 16, 2009 | 8:54 AM

As I write from Copenhagen, it's hard to imagine that the rest of the world is wrapping up lose ends and holiday gifts, preparing to start a new decade with resolutions and resolve. It is hard to be inspired right now, having waited so patiently with all the others demanding...

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Youth Must Use Our Unique Position in Copenhagen's Week Two

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2009 | 6:50 PM

After a power-packed week, Copenhagen is buzzing with pivotal moments - from delegations deciding whether they will stand with Tuvalu's bold proposal to mounting anticipation for President Obama's speech next week on Friday. Through all the dramatic twists and turns, the youth climate movement is steadfast: We're asking all the...

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Copenhagen's Conscience: The Youth Climate Movement Won't Settle

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2009 | 10:23 AM

One of the most common themes on the Obama campaign trail was that sometimes the people are far ahead of the game, ready for change and waiting for their leaders to step up and represent them effectively. As I arrived in Copenhagen yesterday and stood in line with 20,000 member...

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Youth Climate Leaders Talk Time Lines & Targets At White House

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 6:17 PM

When the members of the Energy Action Coalition come together, we have a little cheer we like to sing that goes something like this:

"Ooo! It's hot in here. // There's too much carbon in the atmosphere. Take action! Take action! // And get some satisfaction!"

Well, yesterday, we had...

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Our Renewable Commitment To Change

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2009 | 4:59 PM

Voices from Hopenhagen: Jessy Tolkan

There have been times this year when “hope” was thrown around like a dirty word, spoken sarcastically as though the young people who wore it on T-shirts and showcased it on poster in their dorm rooms last year had somehow grown to despise...

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Attn Leaders: Share Your Ideas With Obama at Wednesday's Youth Clean Energy Forum

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2009 | 10:27 PM

This Thanksgiving, leaders in the youth climate movement have much more to celebrate than our tofurkey dinners. On the heels of the President's encouraging announcement that he will attend the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen on Dec. 9, dozens of us also received an invitation to the Obama...

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Time Out: Youth Climate Leaders Must Change the Game

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2009 | 4:18 PM

After an emotional week for the members of the youth climate movement, who have staked so much hope on the promise of passing legislation in congress this year and sealing a binding agreement in Copenhagen, we've had to deal with managing our expectations and reframing how we approach the opportunities...

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Young Americans Won't Let Obama Waste Copenhagen Opportunity

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2009 | 4:49 PM

I was wide awake until 3am last night watching President Obama take questions from students in Shanghai, China, after announcing over the weekend that the expectations for the United Nation's climate meeting in Copenhagen next month will be significantly scaled back.

Seeing a president who wants to be...

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Deconstructing the Myth of Disengaged Young Voters

(7) Comments | Posted November 5, 2009 | 4:28 PM

The election tallies are in and the pundits have delivered the verdict on young voters, who didn't turn out to Tuesday's regional elections in the record-breaking numbers they did a year ago for Barack Obama.

We are one of the following:

1) Fickle.
2) Only supported Obama...

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From MIT to Copenhagen: How Obama Can Help Us Win Climate Victory

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 12:52 PM

Whether you were standing in the middle of Times Square with a bullhorn (like me!), or holding signs at a rally in Fargo, North Dakota, or lined up in the formation of the number "350" on the steps of the Sydney Opera House: The local and global buzz leading up...

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Five Things Obama Should Say in Friday's MIT Climate Change Speech

(21) Comments | Posted October 21, 2009 | 6:28 PM

Almost a year into President Obama's administration, the young people who turned out and voted for him in record numbers, hopeful that he'll deliver bold action on climate at home and abroad in 2009, have something to be excited about.

Given the number of pressing issues on the president's agenda,...

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Youth Vote 2010: Millennials Demand Clean Energy Economy

(3) Comments | Posted October 20, 2009 | 4:38 PM

If our leaders who are running for re-election in 2010 want to benefit from the youth vote that rocked Campaign 2008, they need to understand that creating new jobs through the development of a clean and independent energy future is a paramount issue for young people. The financial crisis, health...

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How Our Youth is Forcing Congress to Vote Green

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2007 | 7:30 PM

If you were around Capitol Hill a few weeks ago, you may have seen quite a few people with green hardhats walk by. If you were close enough, you may have also heard chants for '80% cut by 2050!' and 'Green Jobs Now!' echo across the West Lawn. You may...

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Leading the Way Towards a Clean Energy Future

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2007 | 5:47 PM

If you were around Capitol Hill a few weeks ago, you may have seen quite a few people with green hardhats walk by. If you were close enough, you may have also heard chants for '80% cut by 2050!' and 'Green Jobs Now!' echo across the West Lawn. You may...

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