Green for All
Van Jones from the Ella Baker Center is working to launch a national initiative called "Green for All". The initiative, would seek federal funds to create a "Green" job training corp.
Dear Sustainable Business Friends,
We hope this e-mail finds you well. Thank you for your support of the Ella Baker Center and our shared vision for a just and healthy future for all.
We are writing to you about an incredible opportunity that has just occurred for the Ella Baker Center. We are launching a new national initiative, "Green For All," in New York City at the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative in two weeks. We are looking for 25-50 green businesses to back our new program. We are calling on our green business allies to partner with the "Green For All" Initiative by saying that you will:
1. Support our call for the federal government to allocate funds for a national green jobs training corps.
2. Hire well-trained people from formerly disadvantaged sectors of the population that most need healthy jobs.
Your business will be named in our massive national publicity effort headed by Fenton Communications beginning this week. We will also be holding a press conference and inviting our business friends to participate in New York City. Because of the time constraint, we are asking businesses to respond quickly. Please let me know if we can add the name of your business.
To sign on, simply send an e-mail indicating that you would like to add your name, and whether you are interested in attending the press conference in New York City on Thursday afternoon, September 27, 2007 (exact time TBD).
Please find some information about the Initiative below.
Thank you so much for your vision and for your speedy response.
Toward a just and healthy future,
Outreach & Events Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Green For All Initiative
344 40th Street
Oakland, CA 94609
tel 510.428.3939 x227 fx 510.428-3940
Focus Area: Energy & Climate Change
Commitment Name: Green For All
Key objective: To create "green pathways out of poverty" for 250,000 people in the United States over four years (by greatly expanding federal government and private sector commitments to "green-collar" job training, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities).
Partners: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Apollo Alliance, Center for American Progress, Workforce Alliance, One Sky, Color Of Change, and other organizations committed to increasing economic opportunity in the context of greater ecological wisdom
Commitment duration: Four years
First-year costs: $3 million in public education, advocacy, research, and technical assistance
Total estimated value: $1 billion in job training and other educational investments, to better include people from disadvantaged communities in the growing "green-collar" workforce
Background: Per capita, the United States is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. To avert climate chaos globally, the United States must transition rapidly to a low-carbon economy, with an emphasis on renewable energy and conservation measures. This transition could boost the U.S. economy, generating new opportunities for wealth and work.
A highly-trained "green-collar" workforce is going to be essential to a successful transition. But the United States lacks a comprehensive job training strategy to meet the demand for skilled labor in the emerging green trades (e.g., green building, solar panel installation, energy-saving retrofits of existing buildings, bio-fuel production, etc.).
Progress toward global warming solutions could be slowed by a simple shortage of skilled labor. Such an outcome would be doubly tragic - since so many urban and rural communities are desperate for new sources of work, hope, and opportunity.
Green For All will advocate for a national commitment to greater job training, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green economy - especially for people from disadvantaged communities.
The initiators of Green For All are already making serious progress. They succeeded this year in convincing the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorizes $125 million in green-collar job training (enough to train about 30,000 workers). Companion legislation passed in the U.S. Senate. They also succeeded in getting the City of Oakland to fund a local Green Jobs Corps for 2008.
Green For All will be the vehicle to replicate and scale these successes. It will also build broad public support for the idea that America's new "green wave" can and should lift all boats. With the right strategy, the United States can build a green economy that is strong enough to lift many people out of poverty.
As the United States moves to a clean energy economy, both common decency and smart politics dictate that we should minimize the pain and maximize the gain for poor people. Creating greater access to "green-collar" jobs can be a key part of that effort.
Description and summary of activities:
Green For All will not be a job training organization. It will be an advocacy, community education, and technical assistance organization. Its role will be to create public will, legislation, and public-private partnerships to ensure that people from disadvantaged backgrounds find work and opportunity in the green economy.
It will work in three arenas:
National Advocacy: Green For All will spur action in the federal government and corporate sector to ensure that the United States has a sufficient quantity of well-trained "green-collar" workers and entrepreneurs, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Technical Assistance: In cities where advocates for the disadvantaged want "green-collar" job training and other opportunities, Green For All will help align business, labor unions, community organizations, and educational institutions to support their efforts.
Public Education: Green For All will impact news coverage, produce PSAs, host convenings, create advocacy toolkits, employ new media, and anchor a web 2.0 strategy for shaping debate, organizing discussion, and sharing best practices.
Metrics you would use to evaluate progress:
1. The passage of federal and state legislation to strengthen "green-collar" job training for the disadvantaged, amounting to a total of $1 billion.
2. The recruitment and cross-affiliation of 1,000 educational organizations (community colleges, public schools, vocational programs, non-profit job training centers, etc.) to host "green-collar" job training programs.
3. The recruitment of thousands of green employers to hire the graduates of these training programs.
4. The training and employment of 250,000 persons from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds in green fields.
5. The recruitment of 100,000 e-activists, spread out across the United States, who believe in Green For All, interact on the GreenForAll.org website and respond to calls to action.
Anticipated launch: Announcement at Clinton Global Initiative.
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