We couldn’t resist the pun when news broke in March that Van Jones will serve as Special Adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Jones is expected to work with departments and agencies to advance the President’s agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources. 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.
The appointment is viewed as something of a bellwether for the green jobs movement. Jones, a founder of Green For All, a national organization that promotes an inclusive green economy, and a New York Times bestselling author, could be pivotal in assuring major federal investments that support the growth of a green economy. In a 2008 Shelterforce interview, Majora Carter, a Green For All cofounder and founder of Sustainable South Bronx, called for a “Green New Deal” that included federal support, in addition to community support.