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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins - Chief Executive Officer, Green For All (

Follow Phaedra on Twitter @PhaedraEL

Prior to coming to Green For All, Phaedra was head of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA. While there, she earned her reputation as one of the nation's most brilliant, inspirational and creative problem solvers for working families. She also earned a wealth of experience that will help her lead Green For All to new heights:

* Expanded job opportunities in the realm of green improvements. Working Partnerships USA's efforts to integrate environmental projects included additional training for roofers on solar panel installation, retrofit programs and state policy advocacy.

* Expanded the Living Wage. Phaedra's experience crafting and making the case for policy centered on economic justice will be key in making sure the new green economy benefits everyone

* Launched the Partnership for Working Families. Phaedra co-founded the Partnership for Working Families, a national coalition to bring the principles of good jobs and community benefits to local economic development. This is the sort of national, inclusive scale-building that non-profit organizations need to maximize their always limited resources, while helping to drive a specific agenda more broadly.

* Community Benefits Agreements and Team San Jose. Phaedra led the fight to create one of the first Community Benefits Agreements in the country. That agreement provided community standards for a large-scale economic development project in San Jose. Now she is bringing her innovative thinking about how public investment can assure benefit to workers and the community to make sure the green jobs movement can create real pathways out of poverty and into prosperity.

That is just the beginning of Phaedra's highlight reel. The scope and scale of her many achievements have won her wide praise. San Jose Magazine named her one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley. The Silicon Valley Business Journal called her one of "40 to watch under 40" by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

As a woman of color, Phaedra has distinguished herself as an innovative leader in California and led the way for emerging leaders in the American progressive movement, directing campaigns to win policy victories on local, regional, and state levels. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal online, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, America at Work, NBC News and ABC News.

An alumna of American Leadership Forum, she has served on the boards of the Progressive Technology Project, New World Foundation, the Women's Fund of Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose General Plan Update Task Force and the Central Labor Council Advisory Committee. She serves on the board of the Leadership Council of California Forward and is Chair and Co-Founder of the Partnership for Working Families.

Entries by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

How Michelle Obama's Critics Undercut Progress

(11) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 3:03 PM

Becoming a mother last year fundamentally shifted the way I think about leadership and how we create a more just and healthy world. I've realized that one of the biggest barriers to our progress is shame. It's what keeps us feeling isolated and prevents us from realizing that we share...

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A Lesson From Sandy: Why We Need to Fortify Vulnerable Communities

(15) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 10:48 AM

One year ago this week, we all received an unforgettable warning about the potential of climate change to alter our lives. When Hurricane Sandy struck the Atlantic coast it destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, and worse -- it cut short the lives of 150 residents.

The storm drove...

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Latinos Lead the Way in the Green Economy

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 12:01 PM

As we work to build a healthy green economy, Latinos in America have a critical role to play. It's not just because of growing influence at the voting booth. Latinos make up a huge portion of our workforce -- and it's getting bigger every day. By 2050, a projected

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On Behalf of the Kids Whose Families Depend on Food Stamps

(405) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 11:43 AM

The first time I knew that being poor made me different than everyone else was when my mom sent me into the grocery store to get food with food stamps. We had just picked up our free cheese at the food bank. I was running into the store to get...

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Refocusing the Debate in Congress on Climate Change

(8) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 7:40 PM

Nobody wants climate change to be real. It's scary. It's hard. We would all much rather it wasn't happening. But denial is a costly proposition. Just ask the insurance industry.

Last week, at the Senate's first hearing on the issue since President Obama rolled out his comprehensive...

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Obama's Climate Plan Must Build for Tomorrow, Address the Needs of Vulnerable Communities Today

(5) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 6:34 PM

Today, President Obama unveiled a nuts-and-bolts plan to respond to climate change. The plan is very good news. In the months since the president's State of the Union promise to act on climate, we've seen more and more Americans devastated by tornadoes, wildfires, and disasters. If the need for decisive...

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If It's Broke, Fix It: President's Economic Agenda, Paired with Action on Climate Change, Is a Winning Strategy for Building a New Economy

(3) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 12:49 PM

Let's face it. The economy we have isn't working for far too many of us. The progress on unemployment has yet to make it to African-Americans, Hispanics, and youth, who still experience unemployment rates as high as twice the national average. This is especially troubling considering the rising...

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Meet a New Endangered Species: The Coal Miner

(14) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 3:51 PM

People are accustomed to environmentalists standing up for what's threatened -- the polar bear, forests encroached upon by development, our waterways. Rightfully so, we see the protection of our nation's land, air, and wildlife as intrinsically linked to our own survival.

As an environmentalist, I'd like to see us...

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National Lunch Walk Challenge Helps Create Healthier Communities

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 3:56 PM

The heart of Appalachia's coal country might not be the first place you'd expect to see cutting edge public health initiatives -- it's one of the least healthy regions in America. But a group of residents is determined to change that. In Williamson, West Virginia, neighbors are coming together to...

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Letting The Light in

(8) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 5:42 PM

It is not fun being fat. Being overweight is the physical manifestation of emotional pain. A lot of heavy people pretend they're joyful and happy. In fact, they're filled with shame. What those of us who are overweight need is to be showered with love -- a love that is...

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A Budget That Gets America Working Again

(3) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 8:30 PM

Budget. Congress. Hope; now, those are three words that you don't often see together. With all of the political drama around our nation's economy, it's easy to forget that the federal budget process offers a tremendous opportunity, not just a tremendous headache. Our leaders in Congress have a chance right...

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Clean Air, Safe Communities, and Good Jobs? It's Ours If We Want It

(11) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 2:27 PM

Throughout history, nearly all of the progress we've made toward a more just and peaceful world has started with seeds of discomfort with the status quo, and a growing sense that a better way is possible. That feeling is what gave birth to the bold, audacious visions that fueled our...

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The Dream Reborn: A Sound for Our Movement

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 12:57 PM

Throughout history, music has played a key role in helping inspire and breathe fire into efforts to combat injustice and create a better world. And it was never more important, or more memorable, than during the Civil Rights movement.

"The freedom songs are playing a strong and vital role...

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Want to Tackle Climate Change and Fight Poverty? Protect Job Training

(15) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 1:43 PM

Portland resident Sary Dobhran never thought she would end up on welfare. But when she was four months pregnant, her son's father passed away, leaving her on her own to support a small child in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Fortunately, she didn't give up. She enrolled...

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5 Ways to Be Green in 2013

(24) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 10:16 AM

As we launch into 2013, we face some daunting challenges. We've had a frightening glimpse at the havoc global warming threatens to bring -- from floods and drought to wildfires and super storms. And our most vulnerable folks continue to be hit hardest and hit first. Meanwhile, big polluters are...

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Wind Tax Credits Breathe New Life Into Our Economy

(11) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 10:55 AM

As we launch into this new year, one of the best pieces of news I've heard was the decision by Congress last week to extend important tax credits to one of America's most promising industries: Wind power.

Over recent months, essential job-generating tax credits for American wind...

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In the Face of Threats to our Health and Safety, We Don't Have Time for Political Sideshows

(57) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 6:17 PM

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
Phil Radford, Executive Director, Greenpeace

It's not an easy time in America. The problems we face are daunting and disturbing--from gun violence to poverty, joblessness, and climate change. In times like this, we want to be able to...

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Soot Safeguards Will Keep Us Healthy, Save Millions in Health Costs

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 3:56 PM

On December 14, the White House is expected to release updated safeguards for soot and other fine particulate matter, requiring coal plants to cut back the amount of soot pollution they pump into our air. The regulations are modest, but would go a long way in making our communities healthier...

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Weathering the Storm, Together

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 3:11 PM

Of all the lessons from Hurricane Sandy, there is one that lingers in my mind. In the face of the disaster, neighborhoods with strong local networks were able to help each other, respond better, and bounce back more quickly. In some cases, people waited in vain for help from federal...

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In Indianapolis, Green Economy Takes Root

(5) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 7:51 PM

Once considered one of the most conservative cities in the country, and known largely for its industrial manufacturing history, Indianapolis may seem like an unlikely leader in the movement to create more vibrant, healthy, equitable communities.

In fact, the city is nurturing a promising green economy that serves as...

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