Van Jones: Still an inspiration to me (Updated)

VanJones (UPDATE – 9/10/09: Van Jones was viciously attacked because he believes America can be a better place for all people. To express your support for Van, sign the petition on the new website sponsored by the League of Young Voters.)

I got some news this weekend that came as somewhat of a surprise to me.  In fact I woke up to multiple texts early Sunday morning from friends notifying me that Van Jones, the special advisor for green jobs to our nation’s administration, had just stepped down from his position.

During the past year and a half, I have worked with the organization Green for All to help push for good, green jobs in our state of New Mexico.  Throughout this time I was able to meet Van a few times, and I even had the honor of introducing him in front of thousands of people on the opening night of the 2009 Powershift conference.

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Van Jones Speaks Out for Green Jobs in NM

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In a recorded video message, Van Jones, founding President of Green for All and acclaimed author of The Green Collar Economy (Harper One 2008), offers his support for the NM Green Jobs Collaborative and a green jobs bills package being introduced in the NM legislature this year. Van Jones has been at the forefront of the green jobs movement across the nation and was named a Time Magazine 2008 Environmental Hero as well as one of Fast Company’s 12 Most Creative Minds of 2008, just to name a few. His forward thinking solutions have really succeeded in escalating the environmental movement into a new nationwide social justice initiative that is meant to provide new opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged populations across the country. New Mexico’s green jobs bill package, which “can be model legislation for the rest of the country,” according to Van, can succeed in “putting the state on a journey toward clean energy and all the work and wealth and health that comes from using clean energy.”

HB 622, sponsored by Speaker Ben Lujan, provides the necessary resources to create green jobs training programs to build a new local green collar workforce. It would also create infrastructure within NM to leverage federal funds when they become available. In conjunction, SB 318 and SB 420, both sponsored by Senator Eric Griego, Continue reading