A Green New Year’s ReSolution for Miami

Authors: Joe Naroditsky I walked through the courtyard at my office building yesterday and noticed a line of people pouring out the door of the employment agency located there. Older folks, college students, all anxiously abuzz, speaking in the familiar languages of Miami – Spanish, French Creole, and even a little English. I overheard a conversation as I walked into the building - “you think they’ll have something for us this week?” a man asked. “Who knows,” his friend replied, “I don’t even know why we wait in this line. Even when we do get work from here, it pays crap and only lasts a few weeks.” As I got in the elevator I couldn’t get that scene out of my head. Never had the need for green jobs hit so close than at that moment. Even though Miami is one of the most vulnerable cities in the world when it comes to climate induced sea level rise, what gets people up and mobilized is the need to put food on the table. There, in the heart of Little Havana, where most of the jobs are at the countless small restaurants, cigar shops, and grocery stores, I got a glimpse of what’s going on everywhere – people are stressed, the economy is in a tailspin, and the planet is on fire. I walked into my office and looked up at the green hard hats decorating our bookshelf. “I’m Ready” reads the sticker on the front of each hat. “We sure are,” I thought to myself. And we’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re serious about creating millions of green collar jobs. We need a new New Deal, a bailout for the people, and its got to be green and inclusive. Most importantly, it must work! Now, every single one of us has a part to play in this. We need a society-wide mobilization of people all over this country demanding green jobs – from unions and teachers, to priests and businesses, we all have a chance to make good on the ticket for change that was voted in to the White House just over two months ago. We here at Faiths United for Sustainable Energy (FUSE) will be doing our part by visiting with communities of faith all throughout the State of Florida to help people learn about the connections between their faith, the environment, and social justice. We’ll be building grassroots support for green collar jobs, renewable energy, and a new, green, sustainable way of life through picture petitions, constituent visits with legislators, media, and public rallies and events. We will also be building alliances with other organizations and individuals who are committed to making a Green Collar Jobs a reality throughout the State of Florida. So if you’re in Florida and want to help build the green collar movement, get in touch with us and we’ll plug you in. Joe Naroditsky is the Executive director of Faiths United for Sustainable Energy (FUSE), an interfaith, non partisan, nonprofit organization which mobilizes faith and spiritual leaders in the movement toward clean and sustainable energy throughout the State of Florida.

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