Van Jones Joins White House As Green Jobs Advisor

He will be key in shaping the administration's energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in vulnerable communities.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 10, 2009 (ENS) - Van Jones, an early green jobs visionary will join the White House Council on Environmental Quality as special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley announced Monday.

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. "

"Van Jones has been a strong voice for green jobs and we look forward to having him work with departments and agencies to advance the President's agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources," Sutley said.

"Jones will also help to shape and advance the administration's energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities," she said.

The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates federal environmental efforts and works with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.

The Council's Chair serves as the principal environmental policy adviser to the President. In addition, CEQ reports annually to the President on the state of the environment and oversees federal agency implementation of the environmental impact assessment process.

Van Jones(Photo courtesy Green For All)

When he moves into the White House on March 16, Jones will begin helping to shape and implement job-generating climate policy. He will work to ensure equal protection and equal opportunity in the administration's climate and energy proposals and publicly advocate the administration's environmental and energy agenda.

Green For All, based in Oakland, California, is a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy. It was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on September 26, 2007.

"It's time the African American community had a part in the discussion on climate change," said Jones at the launch. "We're not going to solve global warming just with expensive consumer choices like buying hybrid cars and shopping for organic food. People need to realize that you don't have to be white or wealthy to benefit from going green."

New leadership for Green For All will come from Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, who is presently the head of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA. She will join Green For All this month as its chief executive officer.

"Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is one of the nation's most brilliant, inspirational and creative problem solvers for working families," said Jones. "She has a proven track record of success. Under her leadership, Green For All will deliver on the promise of a green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

Ellis-Lamkins said, "I see the work of Green For All as an antidote to fear and pessimism - a statement that we can tackle the difficult problems of poverty, quality employment and environmental sustainability."

"Van going to work for the Obama White House affirms three things: the quality of Green For All's accomplishments over the last 14 months; the quality of Van's work over the last 20 years; and, the dedication of President [Barack] Obama's White House to the vision of an inclusive green economy," said James Rucker, Green For All board member and executive director of ColorofChange.org.

In its first 14 months, Green For All has grown into an organization with a multi-million dollar annual budget, 32 staff members and an online network of 70,000 people.

It has won a string of victories, most notably $500 million for green-job training as part of the $48 billion for job training and education in President Obama's Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

By securing job training for hundreds of thousands of workers from urban communities for the emerging green job market, Green For All believes new avenues of opportunity will open for those who have traditionally been left behind by the nation's economic growth. It also will extend the fight against global warming to the neglected streets of cities like Oakland, Detroit, Baltimore and New Orleans.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2009. All rights reserved.

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