From August , together with my fellow Green For All Ambassadors, Courtney Strickland of ECSU and Korbin Miles of FAMU, I had the pleasure to participate in the Power Vote organizing training, designed to prepare us to mobilize our peers to build momentum for local clean energy solutions and demand that both candidates address the climate crisis, instead of promoting dirty and dangerous energy like coal, gas, oil and nuclear.
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Energy efficiency sometimes takes a backseat to more eye-catching sources of energy like solar PV or wind turbines and water efficiency is not even a blip on the radar in most discussions. But the truth is, when it comes to saving money and creating local jobs, energy and water efficiency are workhorses. Last night I joined more than people in Richmond, California for a community meeting to talk about the August 6 Chevron oil refinery explosion that sent thousands of residents to local emergency rooms. At the meeting, residents of all ages and backgrounds shared their stories, and their outrage.
They also offered ideas and solutions. When it comes to pollution and climate change, all too often people of color shoulder the greatest burden. The recent fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California is just the latest example.
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We have more residents living near polluting industry. We suffer higher rates of asthma. And our neighborhoods are hit hardest by severe weather caused by climate change. Leia Lewis will collaborate with environmental leaders from across the country. It takes extraordinary people with big vision to turn that despair into action. True change that benefits us the most often comes from leaders within our own communities who have long-term vision.
Our goal with the training was to help the newly formed Southern Arizona Green For All Coalition advance its vision, which is to link sustainable economic development with participation and power-building in communities most affected by poverty and pollution. I came away deeply inspired by the thirty volunteers I met who are working to create a brighter, more sustainable future for Tucson.
The past few years have been tough financially for many of us. Almost all of us have friends and family who have been out of work or unable to find a job.
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But there is a silver lining. In the face of hardship, neighbors are coming together and finding hope and support from each other. In Williamson, and across the country, cities are finding ways not just to survive the economic crisis, but to thrive. David Jaber has been riding bikes since age six. His path through life was set early on, in watching and appreciating spectacular and diverse animal life and having the opportunity to spend time in nature. I've always considered myself an environmentalist. As a young girl, I was the one that encouraged the family to recycle, and I always signed us up for beach clean-ups.
I became vegetarian when I was 10 and vegan when I was In college I became more directly involved with activism through on and off campus environmental groups. It was also in college that I made the conscious decision not to drive. After getting my license, I went and looked at a few used cars, but then I realized that if I had a car, I would drive it all the time, especially to see friends that lived out of town, and then I would feel like a hypocrite.
The great thing about building an inclusive green economy is that it allows people from all walks of life and all industries to help grow healthy, sustainable communities. So, imagine my excitement, when I fulfilled a life long dream of visiting the White House to celebrate two of my favorite loves — sports and the environment. I want to make a difference and help end our reliance on polluting fossil fuels. How can a business be the best in the world and be the best for the world?
As I greeted the thirty students from around the country at our Washington, D. Want to start your own business but need help navigating legal issues? Next week is your chance to get free advice from seasoned lawyers to help you launch your enterprise. The green economy has never been more important than it is now. And we need to make sure the vision that takes center stage is for an economy that works for all of us. Bring up any policy idea in D. Rightfully so.
If our leaders really want to put America on the road to economic recovery, they will put the health of our families first.
They will invest in pollution controls that save Americans millions of dollars in health care costs. They will invest in the kind of clean energy that creates good jobs and keeps our air and water safe.
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Join Climate Ride! From September , riders from around the world—united by a passion for sustainability and a desire to make a difference—will come together for this life-changing journey.
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If you live in the Golden State, you may soon be saving money on your energy bills and breathing cleaner air, thanks to a recent decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. Fossil fuel companies are poisoning the air we breathe and the water we drink. As we mark this Election Day, the progressive movement is becoming stronger than ever. Groups like labor and civil rights are joining forces to create a larger, broader, more resilient movement. Though the agendas, audiences and locations were different, one common theme emerged: The need to fight for a fair economy and develop leaders to implement real social and economic change.
Win for the 99 Percent. In an unprecedented move, the union set a strategic vision and direction to organize and collaborate with progressive partner organizations in an effort to strengthen direct action campaigns and movement building opportunities for sustainable change. The green economy, good jobs, fair wages, and immigration were just a few areas that were a part of the conversation as participants focused on helping close the gap on income inequality.
Against the backdrop of the most challenging issues of our time, the summit served as a platform for leaders in the civil rights and social justice arena to create innovative and effective strategies for advancing positive and sustainable change. And just like SEIU, they know that the movement is stronger in numbers. Their successful model of bringing thought leaders from the corporate, non-profit, health, and government sectors together for the Leadership Summit is just one of many effective strategies they use to advance their agenda.
The fight for a fair economy is not easy. Thankfully, our strongest leaders in labor and civil rights recognize this. Green For All and University of Phoenix teamed up in April to offer a free one-day Business Academy for small and emerging green entrepreneurs. The Nashville Academy included expert panelists who spoke to attendees about:. University of Phoenix faculty and Apollo Sustainability team members participated in the presentations and panel discussions.
Minority populations across the south and southwest are especially vulnerable to climate change, according to a new report put out by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Local and state governments, it also found, are failing to integrate such concerns into their climate disaster plans. Part of the problem, she explained, is a lack of awareness among policymakers of the varying degrees of vulnerability to climate change from one community to the next. Such issues as poverty, little to no access to health care and other social inequities common to minority communities make them more susceptible to the damaging effects of climate change, she said.
According to the report, nearly one in five residents living in the region fall below the federal poverty line, one in five adults describe their health status as fair or poor, and one in 10 people have Limited English Proficiency LEP. It is the convergence of all these issues that elevates and puts these communities at risk. Minority communities have long borne the brunt of environmental degradation in this country. As a Green For All College Ambassador at Wilberforce University, educating and informing my peers about the Green Movement and getting them active was a test in itself. As a graduating senior and communication major, going green was neither my first thought nor interest.
But today, as I reflect on this semester and how my life has changed as a Green For All College Ambassador, it brings tears to my eyes. This is only the beginning and I know more change is to come. Thank you, Green For All. The face of America is changing dramatically. New census data shows that for the first time in our history, babies being delivered in hospitals all over the country are predominantly African American, Latino, Asian and other minorities.
It's not just our babies who are growing more diverse. It's our neighborhoods, our communities and our workforce.
In some of America's largest cities, a new majority has already emerged -- one made up of people of color. The faces of voters are changing, too. In the election, the percentage of Hispanic voters reached a record high. Meanwhile, census projections show that in just 30 years, nonwhites will represent a larger block of America's total population than whites. It's true that we have work to do before our voting power matches our numbers -- far too many people of color are still systematically locked out of our democracy by arbitrary voter ID laws, criminal disenfranchisement and racial gerrymandering.
But politicians who fail to notice that America is changing -- fast -- may soon find themselves in trouble. Ultimately the leaders who thrive in the 21st century, and the ones who continue to hold office, will be those who respond to the needs of our increasingly diverse citizens. Elected officials will have to pay more attention to the issues pressing African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American families.
And the nation's energy sector is among the most important issues. Because many people of color bear the brunt of pollution from outdated power plants and toxic industries. A staggering one in six African-American children suffers from asthma, compared with one in 10 nationwide. And of the 8 million people living within three miles of polluting coal-fired power plants, a disproportionate number are people of color.
Energy is not just how we power our lives; it's a public health issue.