Van Jones and GFA National Director Michelle Romero Break Down Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal

Right-wing media outlets seem to be waging a coordinated campaign to portray US Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a dimwit radical. Their efforts will backfire. She is in fact championing the smartest, most practical idea in US politics to address two urgent problems: climate change and poverty.

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Green For All Supports the Green New Deal

Yesterday, hundreds of people showed up, and thousands more tuned in online, to listen to the Climate Townhall co-hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders, Van Jones, Bill McKibben, and Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley. It’s real. It’s happening. And it’s happening right now, where you live.

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Green For All Supports Local Leaders at Launch of Electric Ride Share Program in Rural Community

Many people living in Huron do not have access to a car. And to reach medical or social service appointments, they have to somehow get to Fresno, which is about fifty miles away. That’s an hour’s drive in a car–or a three- to four-hour trip on a bus.

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Climate is Costing Californians Too Damn Much

I stayed up last night shopping for an air filtration mask for my 3-year-old because we’re experiencing hazardous air quality here in Sacramento, CA.

California is on fire, and there’s nowhere to escape for a breath of fresh air. The Camp Fire is reportedly the deadliest wildfire in the United States in a century.

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Van Jones, Macklemore, and Michelle Romero Teamed Up With the Yes on 1631 Campaign to Organize a ‘Get Out the Vote’ Training at University of Washington

SEATTLE -- On Wednesday, October 10th, Green For All organized a “Get Out The Vote” training for Yes on 1631 at the University of Washington, in coordination and collaboration with the Yes on 1631 campaign and UAW 4121 Climate Justice Workgroup.

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Green For All National Director Michelle Romero on Green Solutions for a Clean Energy Economy on Political Climate

In this episode of Political Climate, hosts speak to experts at the clean economy group Green for All, the conservative think tank R Street Institute, and the policy firm Energy Innovation about the policies they believe are necessary — and politically feasible — to implement.

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Register to Vote

Midterm elections matter!

This November, you have the power to elect representatives at all levels of government to represent the issues you care about. Several states also have important ballot measures on the ballot that may impact your life.

Register to vote here with Green For All. Even if you're already registered to vote at your current address, sign up with us to receive election reminders, polling location information, or to request an absentee ballot.


Don't delay! Voter registration deadlines in some states can be as many as 30 days before Election Day.



Green For All Speaks to ABC News in Fresno on fuel efficiency and emissions rollbacks

The Trump Administration's efforts to stop California from imposing its own air pollution standards for cars and trucks got a negative reception in Fresno.

The EPA held the first of three nationwide hearings on the plan to strip states of their power to set emission standards and to roll back the gas mileage requirements for new cars. The EPA is getting input on their plan called SAFE for Safer, Affordable Fuel Efficient vehicles.

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Green For All Mobilizes Central Valley Residents to Speak Out for Clean Air, Clean Cars

Dozens of Central Valley residents put off work and other commitments to testify Monday at the U.S. EPA hearing on the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule”, a proposal put forth by the Trump Administration to weaken clean car standards (despite the misleading name).

The Latino community in particular, turned out in force to reject the Trump Administration’s clean car rollbacks. Testimony after testimony, residents spoke of the ongoing contamination and pollution they see in their communities: pesticides, water contamination, air pollution, asbestos. Rolling back the Clean Car Standards, they say, would further put their health at risk.

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[En Español] Festival ambientalista promueve el voto boricua y de las minorías

La organización Dream Corps afirma que el cambio climático ha provocado que huracanes como María, Irma, Sandy, Katrina y otros sean más frecuentes y más violentos. Los ciclones “pueden limpiar comunidades enteras en Florida y Puerto Rico”, aseguró a La Prensa Michelle Romero, directora de la campaña ‘Green For All’ de DreamCorps, una organización nacional que en alianza con grupos locales de la Florida Central impulsa una iniciativa para motivar el voto puertorriqueño y el de la “gente de color”.

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Youth, environment and immigrant groups host Orlando FreedomFest concert to enlist voters

Jones, founder of the environmental advocacy group Green for All, said the “climate refugees,” as he calls them, have more power than they may realize.

“Obviously, the devastation that happened in Puerto Rico and the botched recovery effort have made displaced Puerto Ricans critical to the election,” he said in an interview this week. “They need to send a message to both political parties that Puerto Rican issues and climate issues need to be taken seriously.”

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Global Climate Action Summit: Uplifting Equity

On September 11-14, Green For All participated in the Global Climate Action Summit and several affiliate events, joining leaders from around the world to celebrate our progress to curb fossil fuel emissions, uplift issues of environmental equity, discuss solutions and make additional progress toward an inclusive green economy for all.

Green For All co-founder Van Jones, Dream Corps CEO Vien Truong, and Green For All National Director Michelle Romero asked tough questions and posed innovative ideas to address the urgent threats ahead.

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Green For All National Director Michelle Romero Speaks Out Against Trump's Dirty Coal Plan

Romero described the statistics offered by Wheeler's EPA as nonsense, arguing that the "dirty economy actually costs us more" and saying that "struggling families and low-income communities are subsidizing the cost for big polluters to continue to profit."

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Green For All, Love Army Launch Climate Refugees Vote Campaign

Saturday, Sept 15, 2018

Press contact: [email protected] // Nathaly: 510-593-8500 

Green For All and Love Army Launch “Climate Refugees Vote” campaign, Bring 1,000 People of Color Together to Build Unity and Encourage Participation in the 2018 November Election

 Photo caption: Reggaeton performer Jory Boy at We Are All America FreedomFest Sept. 15th in Orlando, FL.

ORLANDO, FL -- As Tropical Storm Florence tears up North and South Carolina, Green For All, Love Army, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition organized a 1,000-person gathering today in Orlando called FreedomFest: We Are All America, a concert to build solidarity and unity across Central Florida’s diverse communities, and to encourage voter turnout for the 2018 November elections.

Congressman Luis Guitiérrez (IL-04), Aja Monet (poet), DJ Blass (Reggaeton DJ from Puerto Rico), Jory Boy (Puerto Rican Reggaeton artist) Kerene Tayloe (Green For All policy director) and many others took the stage to celebrate the diversity of the Greater Orlando area and build unity across the many issues facing communities of color right now, including climate change. 

The event also served as the launch of Green For All and Love Army's “Climate Refugees Vote” Campaign to register 10,000 Puerto Rican climate refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria and 5,000 additional people of color in the Central Florida area, to turn the tide on climate action.

There are many issues at stake in November, from open Senate and House seats, to an open Governor's seat, and a ballot measure to restore voting rights to former felons. 

Michelle Romero, national director of Green For All, a national climate justice initiative said: “A few thousand votes can make all the difference in November. With thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans now living in Central Florida, and Hurricane Florence raging on as we speak, the Climate Refugees Vote campaign will empower people to take their power to the polls and turn the tide on climate action. Our families and our future are depending on it.”

3.4 million million American citizens in Puerto Rico were left without food, water or electricity after Hurricane Maria last year, a situation made worse by the federal government’s disastrous response. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans were forced to flea to the states, with most now living in Central Florida. In the face of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, communities of color, coastal, and island communities are on the frontlines of climate change.

The current Administration has turned its back on Puerto Rico while continuing to deny climate change. Together, Green For All, the Love Army, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and local partners are ensuring that climate refugees have a voice in our democracy this November.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) called Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria “a continuation of his inhumanity” and said “everyone has to do their job to vote.”

Isabel Sousa, organizing director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition said: “[Trump’s response] was outright negligence and deliberate negligence, rooted in the racism he’s instilled since he started his campaign.”

Kalia Lydgate, national coordinator of the Love Army said: “With so much hate and divisiveness in the country right now, it’s more important than ever we are building unity, love, and solidarity. No matter where you came from, we are here and we vote. We need to vote for the country we want to be.”

By coming together to take their power to the polls, organizers hope to turn the tide on climate action and counter hate and division by showing solidarity on other issues affecting people of color. Learn more about the “Climate Refugees Vote” campaign at or contact Michelle Romero, Green For All’s national director at [email protected]  or 408-550-3121.

People are encouraged to register to vote at


Green For All, the climate justice initiative of The Dream Corps, works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All has uplifted the voice of people of color in the climate movement and advocated for solutions that strengthen neighborhoods, improve health, and expand economic opportunities for struggling families, since its was founded by Van Jones in 2008.

#LoveArmy,  the civic engagement initiative of The Dream Corps, is fighting hate and divisiveness in the United States, with love + power. Through education, connection, and action, the Love Army cultivates leadership and builds common ground using digital tools and platforms as well as face-to-face connection. Founded in 2016, Love Army has 3,000 Local Teams and 49,000 volunteers.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) is a statewide coalition led by its membership of more than 65 member organizations and over 100 allies. FLIC was founded in 1998 and formally incorporated in 2004. FLIC has become a hub for a bold, agile and strategic multi-racial, intergenerational social movement. It works for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants.

Green For All National Director Michelle Romero Sits Down with KALW to Discuss Environmental Equity

The Global Climate Action Summit will be hosted here in San Francisco. World leaders will evaluate how far we’ve come since the Paris Agreement. The three-day event is co-chaired Governor Jerry Brown.

One featured speaker is Van Jones, former “Green Jobs Czar” in Barack Obama’s White House, and founder of Oakland’s Green for All, which advocates simultaneously for clean energy and job production. Green for All named a new National Director this month: Michelle Romero.

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The Green Guide to the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Week

The very first Green Guide to the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Week articulates the important role of African American voices in leading on climate change. Please share the guide far and wide. We hope that it will the beginning of us creating a stronger presence for environmental justice and the many voices in our community who are doing advocacy work. 

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Michelle Romero Announced as Green For All's New National Director

As we gear up for our upcoming 10th year anniversary, I am thrilled to announce Michelle Romero as Green For All’s rising National Director.

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Green For All Policy Director Kerene Tayloe Moderates Discussion On Sustainability for African Americans

Toyota helped kick off Afropunk Brooklyn with an intimate lunch and panel discussion about the importance of African Americans living sustainably.

The day before the Afropunk festival last weekend, the auto manufacturer hosted the event at Nas’ restaurant Sweet Chick, where panelists including Yoli, aka the “Queen of Green,” Yvonna Wright of Lomar Farms and “Dead Prez’s” Stic. Kerene Tayloe, policy director for Green For All, a national organization working to ensure people of color and working families have a place and voice in the climate movement, moderated the discussion.

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Don’t Overlook Equity Issues in City Climate-Action Plans

Cities that fail to make issues of equity and empowerment central to climate-action initiatives are not living up to the values of the movement, says a former mayor of Portland, Oregon.

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Where Are They Now? Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis Fellows Class 2012

Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis are former Green For All fellows who own a professional consulting firm helping businesses, governments and not for profit organizations in achieving and implementing their sustainability goals. They share their story about their time at Green For All and the impact the experience had on their journey to today. 

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Environmental groups redoubling outreach to people of color

Van Jones, the co-founder of the climate justice group Green for All, is seen speaking at the League of Conservation Voters' Chispa campaign rally in Las Vegas in 2017. The group has been advocating for diesel-fueled school buses to be transitioned to electric, a better alternative for the environment

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Green For All One of 25 Environmental, Advocacy Organizations Oppose Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in New Letter

WASHINGTON - In anticipation of the start of hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh will begin on September 4, 25 of the nation’s leading environmental, legal, and advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing their opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

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Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero On Carbon Captives: The Human Experience

Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero speaks to Climate One about different parts of the vast fossil fuel system that drive the global economy and explore how many are captives of an economy run on carbon.

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Climate Change is Hot Wedge Issue For 2018 Midterms, Polls Indicate

Raise your hand if you think talking about climate change is a risky move on the campaign trail in 2018 midterms.

Okay, now put your hands down.

Recent polling makes climate change look more like a wedge issue than a hot potato—especially for younger and Latino voters.

Polling shows that US voters not only understand climate science, but more and more are increasingly worried about it—including hefty shares of moderate Republicans and Independents. Yes, it appears conservative US voters lag behind, but their attitudes are looking more like outliers. There’s also strong bipartisan support for a range of policies to address climate change and voters support a stronger Environmental Protection Agency—even Trump backers.

And climate change is a particular focus for millennial and Latino voters.

A Pew Research Center study confirms that millennial generation voters—ages 22 to 37 this election season—are considerably more liberal than older Americans. What’s more, that group now represents 28 percent of the US adult population. These voters are considerably more likely to support climate action and the Congressional candidates who talk them up. According to Pew: “these young people are poised to have an outsized impact on political races—this year and subsequently.”  (See also: Ten US congressional districts where millennial voters could decide who wins this November.)

Pew notes that millennials are more than 40 percent nonwhite—the highest share of any adult generation—while millennials’ parents and grandparents are more like 79 percent white.  

Racial demographics in general are a factor in the electoral equation. Latinos are now the largest non-white racial group in America and they’re the second-fastest growing population after Asian Americans. There are 57.5 million Latinos in the US according to the most recent US Census estimates.

“This group is more than large enough to transform the political balance of power in key states and in the country as a whole,” author Steve Philips wrote in an article for The Nation.” Most immediately, Latinos now have the numbers to swing key races that will determine control of the United States Senate.”  It’s not inconsequential that all kinds of opinion research—and I mean poll after poll reveals strong environmental values among Latino voters, including support for aggressive action to address global warming. 

African American voters’ attitudes on climate change haven’t been measured as fully, and neither have Asian American or Native American attitudes. What’s available tends to show green values among people of color. A 2014 Green For All poll showed that minority voters are more supportive of candidates willing to give resources to fight climate change than those who do not. I wrote about polling showing Asian Americans’ strong environmental attitudes a few years back. A 2015 Benenson Strategy Group poll found that 85 percent of African Americans supported global commitments on climate. And from the same year, a Green for All and Natural Resources Defense Council survey found that African-American voters were out ahead of white voters in both their concern about the problem and their backing for climate solutions. This is confirmed by more recent EcoAmerica metrics from 2017.


Read the full article here:

50+ Tri-Caucus Members Oppose Weaker Clean Car Standards, Warn of Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color

WASHINGTON – Members of the Tri-Caucus sent a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in opposition to the Trump Administration’s recently announced plan to weaken federal clean car standards. The bicameral letter, which was led by U.S. Reps. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Doris Matsui (CA-06), expressed Members’ concerns that the new standards will result in an increase of air pollution, climate change impacts, and fuel costs that will disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.

“Tailpipe pollution has been linked to a variety of health problems, including asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that can lead to premature death, as well as low birth weight and impaired fetal brain development, with lasting health and cognitive impacts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes this fact, stating that “economically disadvantaged and minority populations share a disproportionate burden of air pollution exposure and risk” and “experience higher residential exposure to traffic and traffic-related air pollution than nonminorities and persons of higher socioeconomic status,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Climate change, like air pollution, disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. From coastal towns suffering from more severe tropical storms, to urban neighborhoods suffering from increasing heat waves, our communities are hit earliest and hardest by climate change. With transportation surpassing the energy sector as the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, federal vehicle emissions standards are the most effective policy we have on the books to combat climate change.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Green For All applauded the lawmakers for their effort:

“Our nation’s clean car standards work to protect low-income households and communities of color who bear the brunt of harmful tailpipe pollution and suffer most from paying more at the pump,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Members of Congress who represent frontline communities should join with these leaders to prevent the Trump administration from driving these protections into a ditch.”

“Tailpipe pollution is a huge health and safety issue, and the Trump Administration is playing fast and loose with it, said Michelle Romero, deputy director of Green For All. “Recent studies have shown that traffic related pollution results in more death than traffic related accidents. Attempting to weaken fuel economy and emissions standards while forcing working families to foot the bill in increased gas prices and medical costs, is unconscionable.”

Full text of the letter is available here

Green For All Statement on Clean Cars Rollback: Trump Admin. Wants Families to Foot Bill for Dirtier Air

Today, the U.S. EPA released a proposal to weaken clean car and fuel efficiency standards. The public will have an opportunity to submit comments on the rule, which the administration has dubbed the “The Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026,” before the EPA finalizes it.

Green For All issued a statement in response to today’s announcement:

“The Trump Administration remains dead set on advancing a policy agenda that benefits big, corporate polluters at the expense of our health and safety. According to recent studies, tailpipe pollution can lead to 30 percent more premature deaths than car accidents. So, why is the Trump Administration doing everything it can to weaken standards that curb vehicle pollution?

The Trump Administration’s proposal would force families to foot the bill for dirtier, unhealthy air.

Current emission standards save families an average of $3,200-$4,800 per year on fuel. Weakening the standards means families would pay hundreds of dollars more in fuel each month. Meanwhile, people with asthma and respiratory issues like COPD, could pay more in medical costs and hospital visits. To force working families to pay for dirtier air, that’s ridiculous.”


Green For All is a national initiative focused on building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All is an initiative of The Dream Corps.

GFA Deputy Director Michelle Romero Talks to 94.1 KPFA About SCOTUS Nomination

Originally aired and published by 94.1 KPFA.

Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero talks to 94.1 KPFA about the implications of Brett Kavanaugh's SCOTUS Nomination and what Scott Pruitt's resignation means for the future of the environment. 

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Kavanaugh Nomination Threatens Climate & Communities of Color

by Kerene Tayloe 

With suspense like a prime-time reality show, President Trump announced his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy. While many suspected Trump would name a woman to The Court, he instead nominated Brett Kavanaugh; a 53-year-old man from Washington DC who served as a clerk to the Justice he will replace. Kavanaugh has been serving on the on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the last 12 years.

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Together, we did it. #BootedPruitt

By Kerene Tayloe

I didn't do much for Independence Day this year. On top of the ridiculously hot and humid weather, I just wasn't feeling it. It has been over 1500 days since the people of Flint, MI have had clean drinking water; there wasn't much to celebrate. Beyond the search for a good cookout, I was at home watching The Handmaid's Tale, the cautionary Hulu original series about  a dystopic American society that feels more like every day under this current administration.

But, as the good book says: “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  (Psalms 30: 1-5) And what a morning it was. Who could have guessed that only a day after the federal holiday, we would be celebrating our liberation from Scott Pruitt?!

Scott Pruitt, the below-market-rent-paying, $43,000-phone-booth-on-the-taxpayers-dime- having, secret-schedule-from-the-public-hiding head of the US Environmental Protection Agency  resigned!


I am floored. The number of federal inquiries against Pruitt during his time at the EPA kept adding up. Public pressure was mounting for him to resign, but still it seemed unlikely given that  either Trump would have to fire his own pick for EPA, or Pruitt would have to quit himself.

In fact, when Green For All joined forces with a coalition of national partners to launch the #BootPruitt campaign, there were definitely people who doubted us. But alas, I am amazed how the coordinated efforts of so many to shine light on Pruitt’s seedy ways has finally come to a victorious end.

Our coalition published a full page ad in the New York Times calling for Pruitt’s resignation, garnered nearly 1 million petition signatures, and worked tirelessly to amplify in the press how Pruitt’s actions were hurting communities.

Right now, I’m dancing. And, we must not lose sight of who will replace Scott Pruitt. Andrew Wheeler will be the acting Administrator of the EPA, and though he might not be running around town trying to get his hands on a Trump hotel mattress or figuring out how to get his wife a Chick Fil-A  franchise, he is still very aligned with the same groups as Pruitt. Wheeler is a lawyer and former lobbyist for the coal industry. He lobbied on behalf of Murray Energy, the nation's largest privately owned coal company run by vocal climate change denier Robert Murray. Before becoming a coal lobbyist, Wheeler was a longtime staffer for one the biggest climate deniers on Capitol Hill, Senator James Inhofe (IA). That's right, the same Senator who took a snowball on to the Senate floor as “proof” that climate change isn't real.

So while the name at the head of the EPA has changed, the same kind of destructive policies are in place and will continue. The same EPA that has been working diligently to roll back over 67 rules protecting our water, air, you name it.

The same EPA that dismissed a civil rights claim of an all black town in Alabama who is dealing with toxic coal ash that was moved away from a town 90% white into their backyards. Many of the residents are experiencing health problems affecting their nervous and reproductive systems. This EPA found no “causal connection.”

The same EPA that wants to roll back fuel efficiency standards that determine how much pollution vehicles can emit. The very same standard that, if rolled back, the federal agencies themselves acknowledge “would result in increased adverse health impacts (mortality, acute bronchitis, respiratory emergency room visits, and work-loss days) nationwide.”  Countless studies have found that people of color are the most heavily impacted by the pollution from cars and trucks. Rolling back clean car standards will also have a negative impact on families’ pockets. The current fuel economy standards are on track to save families an average of $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck over the lifetimes of model year 2025 vehicles.

So again, this victory feels good. Scott Pruitt had no business being over the EPA. And, our work must go on.

Acting Administrator Anthony Wheeler is a Washington insider who definitely understands the political landscape. We will need to duplicate our efforts.

Moms must continue to show up and demanded a fully funded EPA . We must not be afraid to respectfully confront our public servants. The rallies must continue and the support for the EPA career professionals who genuinely care about our environment must also go on. Now, more than ever, we must also register all eligible Americans to vote and vote for representatives who care about protecting our environment.

Because if there’s anything to take away from our successes this year -- securing a FY 2018 federal budget that protected critical funding for environmental programs, and booting Pruitt out of office -- it’s this: In both scenarios the likelihood of success was a long shot, but we rose up anyway because it was the right thing to do. It took all of us lifting our voices and standing together to win against an administration that has intently sought to divide us. And winning, we proved, is possible.

We need to share our stories of how we are being impacted by climate change every single day. Our stories matter. They make a difference. They can change hearts and minds. They can weaken divides. And they can heal our country.

So, dance a little and get some rest today. Tomorrow is a new day to resist, unite, and continue protecting this future worth fighting for. Green For All will be releasing a new platform for sharing your story with us later this month. Stay tuned.



Kerene Tayloe is the policy director at Green For All, based in Washington D.C.

EMA Honors Gala Recap with Michelle Romero

The Environmental Media Association Honors Gala honors some of “the most influential green leaders in entertainment, technology, and business.” Green For All’s Deputy Director, Michelle Romero had the opportunity to capture the action live from the green carpet, and speak with some of the greatest innovators, thought leaders, and changemakers, who are working to create a better world.


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THE HILL: Closing coal plants is reducing premature births — immediately

OP-ED originally published in The Hill by Vien Truong and Mary Anne Hitt.

As moms, we'll never forget those last few weeks of pregnancy, a nervous and exciting time when the rest of the world seemed to fall away, as we did everything we could to provide a safe and peaceful entry into the world for our babies.

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PARENTS: 8 real moms that make the world a better place

Who better than a parent to tackle the biggest problems facing families? In honor of Mother’s Day, Parents magazine asked eight leaders to write meaningful messages to those they love. Dream Corps CEO and Green For All director Vien Truong is featured at number 7. 

The Green Guardian

Vien Truong 
As the CEO of the nonprofit Dream Corps and leader of its Green for All national initiative, Truong, mom of 5-year-old twins, is on the front lines tackling poverty and pollution. "This work is a labor of love," she says. “I’m joining moms and hundreds of volunteers across the country to fight for all our kids. Whether they’re working to switch from diesel to clean fuel or to fix contaminated pipes, they’re all operating from passion, from a place of unconditional love. It’s not about politics or recognition or anything else. In that way, these moms remind me of my own mother.”

Read the full article on

Van Jones takes on climate myth: You can save the planet and have good jobs

Van Jones co-founded Green For All to solve poverty and pollution at the same time. We're building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We're bringing clean energy, good jobs, and better health to communities who need it most. 

Al Gore: Trump 'ought to fire' Scott Pruitt

(CNN)Former Vice President Al Gore said President Donald Trump should fire Scott Pruitt, the embattled administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Donald Trump ought to fire him," Gore said in an interview with CNN's Van Jones on "The Van Jones Show," airing Saturday. "It won't do him any good for me to say that," the former vice president quipped. "But if I told him to keep him on, maybe that would make him fire him."
Pruitt has come under intense scrutiny as a result of being involved in multiple controversies. 

Green Causes Are Not Always Colorblind

The energy mix of a country, state, and local region can be considered a common good, as the power companies that provide electricity are local monopolies and customers generally do not have a choice in who their provider is. While there are operations like Clean Choice Energy that allow customers to opt in to having their energy use accounted for by renewable sources, by and large all the costs and benefits of a region’s energy mix are thrust upon the customers without their input. The political process is an available tool to voice a community’s concerns in the issues that are government-regulated, but the specter of NIMBY will often force decisions that benefit those with the most political pull (e.g., communities in high-income areas and with strong ties to the decision makers) at the expense of everyone else.

Read the full story at The Energy Collective.

Van Jones on Scott Pruitt: "Worst EPA person ever"


Green For All has joined forces with national partners to call for EPA Administration Scott Pruitt's resignation.

Sign our petition to #BootPruitt here.

Leading Environmental and Progressive Organizations Launch Boot Pruitt Program

New coordinated effort aimed at forcing Scott Pruitt, the embattled EPA administrator under multiple investigations, from office

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Grupos hispanos se unen para pedir la renuncia del líder de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental

Scott Pruitt, administrador de EPA, es un escéptico del cambio climático que está siendo investigado por malgastar fondos públicos. También está señalado por su contribución a debilitar normas ambientales que protegen la salud de millones de personas, especialmente de minorías.

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BREAKING NEWS: Moms came together and won full funding for the U.S. EPA

March 22, 2018

Contact: Kerene Tayloe, Green For All, [email protected], 202-664-3767


Green For All Statement on the FY2018 Omnibus Spending Package:
A big win for the women who sounded the alarm on cuts to the U.S. EPA

Oakland, CA – Green For All today released the following statement in response to the approval of the FY2018 Omnibus spending package:

A year ago, when Trump introduced a budget proposal that would drastically cut funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green For All launched the Moms Mobilize Campaign to fight back. And we won. The EPA is the most critical agency for protecting our right to clean air and water.

“Green For All is thankful that Congress listened carefully to women, moms, and communities across the country who were outraged by the Trump Administration’s proposal to slash funding for the EPA. Had the Trump cuts passed, it would have put clean air, water and the health of our communities at serious risk,” said Michelle Romero, Deputy Director of Green For All.

“A future worth fighting for is one in which our children have access to clean air and drinking water. We are pleased to see that Congress has acted in a bipartisan way to ensure that the EPA is provided the funding to do this work,” said Vien Truong, CEO of the Dream Corps.

In addition to keeping EPA funding at current levels, the Omnibus provides well needed funds to address clean and safe drinking water and Superfund programs that are vital to communities across the country, especially communities of color who are most impacted by pollution.

We thank the many women who participated in our Moms Mobilize campaign, including the grassroots activists and celebrity women who signed our open letter to Congress demanding full funding for the EPA. We also recognize the women of color in Congress who were the very first to speak out against cuts to the EPA in the budget bill, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). It is efforts like these that we believe clearly articulated why the EPA is important to protecting the health of our most precious resource, our children.

That said, we do not take for granted that this budget provides needless funding for a border fence and leaves out support for the thousands of Dreamers who are doing all they can to comply with our laws and remain productive contributors to our society. It is our hope that Congress take seriously the need to support our Dreamers as well. We will continue to fight for our most vulnerable as we build an inclusive green economy for all.

To learn more about Green For All's moms mobilize campaign, visit


Green For All is a climate and economic justice organization working at the intersection of poverty and pollution to create an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All is an initiative of the Dream Corps, which brings people together to solve America’s toughest problems by backing initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity for all.

Green For All Statement on FY2018 Omnibus Spending Package

Oakland, CA – Green For All today released the following statement in response to Congress unveiling its FY2018 Omnibus spending package:

The release of the Omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018 is a clear win for protecting public health and the environment

“Green For All is thankful that Congress listened carefully to the communities across the country who were outraged by the Trump Administration’s proposal to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. Had the Trump cuts passed, it would have put clean air, water and the health of our communities at risk,” said Michelle Romero, Deputy Director of Green For All.

“A future worth fighting for is one in which our children have access to clean air and drinking water. We are pleased to see that Congress has acted in a bipartisan manner to ensure that the EPA is provided the funding to do this work,” said Vien Truong, CEO of the Dream Corps.

In addition to keeping EPA funding at current levels, the Omnibus will provide well needed funds to address clean and safe drinking water and Superfund programs that are vital to communities across the country, especially communities of color who are most impacted by pollution.

We thank the many women who participated in our Moms Mobilize campaign, including the grassroots activists and celebrity women who signed our open letter to Congress demanding full funding for the EPA. We also recognize the women of color in Congress who were the very first to speak out against cuts to the EPA in the budget bill, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). It is efforts like these that we believe clearly articulated why the EPA is important to protecting the health of our most precious resource, our children.

That said, we do not take for granted that this budget provides needless funding for a border fence and leaves out support for the thousands of Dreamers who are doing all they can do to comply with our laws and remain productive contributors to our society. It is our hope that Congress take seriously the need to support our Dreamers.

Contact: Kerene Tayloe, Green For All, [email protected], 202-664-3767

Congressman Cleaver, Green For All, and Local Leaders Speak Out Against the U.S. EPA’s Proposed Repeal of the Clean Power Plan


February 22, 2018

Contact: Michelle Romero, Green For All, [email protected], 408-550-3121


Congressman Cleaver, Green For All, and Local Leaders Speak Out Against the U.S. EPA’s Proposed Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Pictured above: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05) gives opening remarks.

KANSAS CITY, MO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in Kansas City yesterday holding a public hearing on its proposal to repeal a program known as the Clean Power Plan. Local leaders joined Green For All and Congressman Cleaver for a community conversation in advance of the hearing, to discuss the Clean Power Plan’s implications for community health, jobs, and the local environment.

“Many of the harmful emissions torching the planet are also making our communities sick. We’re seeing high rates of asthma, cancer, and pollution-related disease in our communities,” said Michelle Romero, deputy director of Green For All, a national climate justice initiative founded by Van Jones. “People of color are hit first and worst because of their proximity to the dirtiest sources. Investing in clean energy can reverse this trend and improve public health.”

The Clean Power Plan, enacted by the Obama administration, is aimed at combating climate change by reducing pollution from power plants. Power plants account for 40 percent of the United States’ climate pollution.

U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05) said, “We know that clean energy works. Under the Obama Administration, Recovery Act stimulus funding helped to deploy clean energy and build green infrastructure right here in Kansas City, Missouri. We even put solar on the roof of a local high school. We need more of that now and we need the Clean Power Plan.”

Sixty-eight percent of African Americans in the U.S. live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, and 80 percent of Latinos live in areas that do not meet basic air quality standards set by the U.S. EPA. Kansas City and St. Louis have the highest rates of asthma in the state of Missouri. Local residents hoped that programs like the Clean Power Plan would accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy to improve conditions in heavily impacted communities.

Margaret J. May, former executive director of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council said, "Our ability to live healthy and well is largely dependent on the quality of air we breathe. Clean energy principles must be followed by industry and individuals to ensure a future for our children."

Clyde McQueen, President and CEO of Full Employment Council added, “Clean energy is not a matter of how, but when. Fossil fuels are finite by their very existence and we need to plan for their eventual depletion, and eventual transition to a green economy. For once we can proactively plan for the employment and business opportunities that will be created and ensure that the unemployed and undercapitalized in rural and urban areas are not the last to be included in economic opportunities of the eventual green economy."

Over the past year, clean energy jobs in solar and wind have outpaced job growth in the rest of the U.S. economy, growing 12 times faster. From 2015-2016, the clean energy sector in Missouri added 2,772 jobs, growing three times faster that the state economy as a whole. Climate change would increase the costs of business in Missouri by threatening economic activity and services while pushing insurance premiums higher, putting 110,838 small businesses at risk.

“Clean energy and mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been a high priority in Kansas City over the past decade, and all of our efforts in these areas include promoting social equity and creating new local jobs,” said Dennis Murphey, chief environmental officer for Kansas City, Missouri.

The focus on building more sustainable energy infrastructure in Kansas City is paying off, but local leaders agree more is needed.

Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said, The Clean Power Plan would no doubt boost an already thriving local clean energy economy that is driven both by the dropping price of wind and solar energy, efficiency improvements to homes and businesses, and electric vehicles.”

“In the Westside neighborhood, we’re teaching residents about energy efficiency and putting solar on affordable housing,” said Gloria Ortiz-Fisher, executive director of the Westside Housing Organization. “We’re making housing more affordable for low-income residents by reducing the cost of their energy bills. Programs like the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Energy Incentive Program would enable us to continue this work.”

The Clean Power Plan would result in a 37 percent reduction in harmful carbon emissions from power plants in the state of Missouri by the year 2030, and a 44 percent reduction in the state of Kansas. Following the community conversation, residents travelled to the U.S. EPA hearing to join people from across the region in asking the current administration to keep the Clean Power Plan.


Green For All is a national initiative to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All is an initiative of the Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator founded by Van Jones.


GOVERNING: California Launches Environmental Justice Bureau

By Peter Fimrite

Frustrated by declining federal regulation of the environment and health disparities between poorer and wealthier communities, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday appointed a team of lawyers to fight pollution.

The four attorneys assigned to the new Bureau of Environmental Justice will focus on low-income Californians and people of color who suffer a "disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards," according to Becerra's office

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THE HILL: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05) gives Green For All a shout out


President Barack Obama revealed the Clean Power Plan to the world in 2015. Obama referred to the proposal as “a moral obligation” and rightfully labeled it "the single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change.”

Obama’s sentiments were shared by a host of bipartisan congressional leaders, particularly my colleagues on the Safe Climate Caucus. And hundreds of multinational companies supported the plan. But instead of embracing this widespread consensus and building on meaningful progress, the Trump administration would rather jeopardize America’s global leadership and public health by moving backwards.


The Environmental Protection Agency, now under the environmentally-insensitive leadership of Scott Pruitt, seeks to undermine our nation’s top scientists and the EPA’s legal obligation by proposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The EPA administrator’s sin is his willfully unconscious hijacking of future generations’ ability to drink unsoiled water and breathe unpolluted air.

We must not let this happen. With the EPA holding listening sessions across the country – one most recently in my district, the 5th District of Missouri – we must use this opportunity to take a stand for the environment and the well-being of our communities. 

In some ways it is irrelevant whether you believe in climate change or the idea that humans are contributing to climate change, because we are all certainly paying for its effects. In the words of Ben Franklin, an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Though a vocal minority have yet to embrace the facts that climate research has found, we must take action to mitigate these growing costs. 

We all have been haunted by the disheartening images from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. And we have seen footage of the damage caused by the devastating wildfires in California. This is all a result of climate change, which is exacerbated by carbon pollution. If we ignore this fact, the frequency and severity of extreme weather will exponentially increase, leaving hardworking taxpayers to foot the bill. And even more tragic will be the loss of life. 

As a parent and grandfather, I cannot help but also think of the environmental consequences that repealing the Clean Power Plan will have on children. At a time when many families are already on the brink, repealing this proposal would lead to more sick kids, higher asthma rates, more expensive hospital visits and thousands of premature deaths. 

And to make matters worse, the public health outcomes as a result of pollution are disproportionately worse for people of color.

America, we have a moral obligation to get this right. 

As proclaimed in the gospel of Matthew, I believe that our country will ultimately be defined by how we treat the least of these. Will the health outcomes of children and the sorrow of displaced families be taken into account in the future of America’s environmental policy? Our global stature starts with correctly answering these questions.

I commend groups like Moms Clean Air Force, Green for All, and others for holding Administrator Pruitt accountable and ensuring that all Americans have a voice in the environmental space. But we must also keep pushing forward. We must stand up, we must fight for future generations, and we must act on climate.

Turning our back on the Clean Power Plan is dangerous. The world is in desperate need of American leadership and innovation, and we cannot afford to ignore or delude our way out of this current crisis.

Cleaver represents Missouri's 5th District. 

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KSHB: Green For All discusses importance of the green economy, Clean Power Plan on Kansas City morning show

They are working to educate on opportunities available with clean energy and how each one of us can help reduce our carbon footprint. Kim Noble and Kerene Taylor, of Green For All advance solutions that bring clean energy, green jobs, and opportunities to the poorest, and most polluted communities in the country.

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KKFI 90.1FM EcoRadio with special guests Kim Noble and Kerene Tayloe

Victoria Cherrie from Nourish KC and Mariah Friend from After the Harvest KC join Craig Lubow to talk about food waste, including free area screenings of the movie "Wasted". Additionally, Kim Noble and Kerene Taylor from Dream Corp USA, a Green For All affiliate, join Richard Mabion.

Play or download broadcast

Original post on KKFI


Happy (Green) Presidents Day

This Presidents Day, we’re taking a moment to celebrate some of the “greenest” Presidents in our nation’s history. You might be surprised to find that half of them are Republican. 

Let’s start with President Richard Nixon (Republican). As president, Richard Nixon passed some of the most important environmental legislation in U.S. history. The focus of his efforts was protecting people from environmental hazards. Nixon passed the Clean Air Act to control air pollution across the country. The law is thought to be one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. He passed the Clean Water Act to control pollutant discharges into U.S. waters. This law protects drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans from becoming contaminated. He also passed the Endangered Species Act, which of course protects endangered species from going extinct and preserves our food chain.

Nixon is also the one who established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. The U.S. EPA was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment. To sum it up, Nixon, a Republican, enacted some of the toughest environmental regulations of any president in U.S. history.

Ironically, every one of his landmark achievements is now at risk of being rolled back, eliminated, or defunded by current President Donald Trump, who claims environmental regulations are bad for the economy. Click here to take action. But enough about Trump.

President Jimmy Carter (Democrat) is another president worth our attention. In 1979, Carter became the first president to ever put solar panels on the White House. At the time, the Arab oil embargo had caused a national energy crisis, with oil prices jumping from $3 per barrel to $12 per barrel. Carter called for a campaign to conserve energy across the country and decided to put up 32 solar panels on the White House to set a good example. In his first year as president, he created the Department of Energy, passed the Soil and Water Conservation Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

He also helped to further strengthen the Clean Air Act by setting limits on industrial sources of pollution. A critical component was establishing fines equal to the cost of cleanup for companies that did not comply. Carter understood the American people shouldn’t foot the bill for industry’s pollution (something Democrats and Republicans today should seriously think about).

In early 1980, Carter signed legislation to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to clean up abandoned toxic waste dumps (aka “Superfund sites”). And, he pushed for the passage of the Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which provided special protection to over 100 million acres of land, including national parks, national forests, and wild and scenic rivers. All of these achievements land him on our list of “green” presidents to celebrate.

Next up, President Teddy Roosevelt (Republican). President Roosevelt was considered the first modern environmentalist president. During his presidency, Roosevelt took aggressive actions to preserve the balance of the natural world. He signed at least 50 executive orders protecting natural resources and wildlife. For example, in 1903, plumes for women’s hats were in high demand and that had led to the decimation of shorebird populations. After visiting Pelican Island in Florida to see for himself, Roosevelt created the Pelican Island Bird Reservation.

Through the Forest Reserve Act, he protected 150 million acres of land as public land. This eventually lead to the creation of the U.S. Forest Service. Year after year, he continued his crusade, protecting more land and more species from being devastated.

Roosevelt was an avid hunter and taxidermist, but he understood that if the actions of hunters, miners, and timber cutters weren’t controlled, they could pose a serious threat to entire ecosystems. For Roosevelt, it was about balance, so that everyone who enjoyed and depended upon our natural resources could continue to benefit.

Last but not least is President Barack Obama (Democrat). Now, we should probably mention that Green For All has a special affinity for this president. Inspired by our co-founder Van Jones’s best-selling book The Green Collar Economy, Jones served at the President’s request as special advisor on green jobs.

Many of Obama’s policies helped to jumpstart the green economy and bring it to disadvantaged communities. In 2009, Obama’s stimulus package not only helped the U.S. out of the Great Recession, it also invested billions in clean energy technology. These programs helped to make wind and solar energy more affordable in the last nine years. Obama also helped to fund the Green Jobs Act, which put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work building a more sustainable future.

What some people probably don’t know is that Obama also fought to bring justice to coal miners. He put forth the POWER Plus Plan, which would have deployed $1 billion for workforce and economic development in coal communities feeling the effects of a global transition to a new clean energy economy. His proposal was blocked by the Republican-controlled Congress. But that didn’t stop him. He found a way for his idea to move forward through the POWER Initiative. This initiative began awarding some smaller grants available for economic and workforce development projects in Appalachia and other coal communities across the country.

Obama also played an international leadership role on climate change, signing on to a global agreement to curb climate change known as the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2015, he introduced the Clean Power Plan to address one of the largest sources of the U.S.’s share of climate pollution: power plants. It was the first ever federal rule to limit pollution from power plants. Overall, Obama made protecting the environment a important cornerstone of his presidency.

Take action to defend these presidents’ legacy:
Tell the U.S. EPA to protect Clean Air

Help us spread the message on social media (use #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay):

  • Name two Republican presidents who were "green." Check your answers at #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

  • Who was the first President to put solar panels on the White House? Check your answer at #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

  • Can you name four Presidents who were "green"? Hint: Being green isn’t partisan: #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

Click here to download Facebook/Instagram graphic.

Click here for Twitter graphic. 


CITY LAB: The Uneven Gains of Energy Efficiency


On a rainy day in New Orleans, people file into a beige one-story building on Jefferson Davis Parkway to sign up for the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal grant that helps people keep up with their utility bills. New Orleans has one of the highest energy burdens in the country, meaning that people must dedicate a large portion of their income to their monthly energy bills. This is due in part to it being one of the least energy-efficient cities in the country.

For many city residents, these bills eat up 20 percent of the money they take in, and the weight of the burden can be measured in the length of the line.

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A Refugee No Longer in Flight

A Refugee No Longer in Flight

Vien Truong, the new CEO of the Van Jones-founded Dream Corps, digs in for a fight.

If you want to see Vien Truong get angry, ask her about lead in paint chips.

“My kids play in the playground, in the dirt, and then put [contaminated soil] in their mouths,” says Truong, a longtime activist and resident of Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, where inhabitants have more lead in their blood than the residents of Flint, Michigan. The mother of four-year-old twins, Truong was recently named the CEO of Dream Corps, the nonprofit founded by another well-known environmental fighter, Van Jones. “They’re also at a risk because of a lack of investment in this community,” she continues, “a failed school system, increased job insecurity, and increasing levels of desperation, which lead to increasing levels of crime and violence.” Because of all these problems, she says, people who live in Fruitvale are expected to live eight years less than those in Walnut Creek. “My work my whole life has been to change that.”


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Clean Energy Jobs Lobby Day


Register Here

Oregon has an opportunity to pass a bold law that would cap and price climate pollution. If this bill passes, the largest polluters will finally be made to pay for their pollution. Best of all, proceeds will go toward putting Oregonians to work in the community making clean power like solar available to more people, upgrading homes and businesses to use less energy and save people money, building affordable housing near transit and investing in more transportation options. We're inviting you to join us for a day of action in support of passing Clean Energy Jobs legislation in Oregon.

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Montford Middle School Students in Tallahassee, Florida win Green For All’s KidClimate Art Contest

While Trump attacks clean energy progress, these students envision a more sustainable future.

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HARDWOOD FLOORS MAG: Time for Change Foundation Receives New Hardwood Floor

Bona® in Partnership with the Environmental Media Association Donates Hardwood Floor to Time for Change Foundation’s Sweet Dreams Facility in Collaboration with Green For All

Published January 12, 2018 by Hardwood Floors Magazine.

PRESS RELEASE: Lead in Oakland School Water Still a Problem

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, January 8th, 2017

Contact: Michelle Romero, 408-550-3121
Contact: Larry Brooks, 510-567-6852
Contact: Dr. Vicki Alexander, 510-325-7022
Contact: Jason Pfeifle, 626-221-4925


Lead in Oakland School Water Still a Problem, say Parents and Local Groups 
Coalition Calls for Stronger Action to Protect Kids


Oakland, CA – As kids come back to school today, tests continue to show problems with lead-tainted water at a number of Oakland schools. With the most recent tests, 45 Oakland schools and child development centers have now had at least one water tap that's failed to meet the pediatrician guideline for lead in school drinking water. Parents and local groups are calling for stronger action and a comprehensive policy that will ensure the water at Oakland schools is always safe for kids to drink.

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KRON 4: Activists, parents concerned about high lead levels in Oakland school water

November 1, 2017.

(Click photo to watch video coverage)

OAKLAND (KRON) — New tests have revealed that high levels of lead have been detected in several Bay Area schools’ water.This time, seven schools have tested higher than federal regulations allow.

In a news conference on Wednesday, a local organization is calling for someone to deal with this serious situation.

Crocker Highlands was one of 50 schools recently tested in the Oakland Unified School District. “And that’s certainly a start, but this isn’t enough,” CALPIRG Public Health Advocate Jason Pfeifle said.

Calling on the Oakland Unified School District to step in and immediately take action, the group of activists, parents, doctors and a school board member addressed the recent test results revealing seven schools in the district showed higher levels than allowed by federal standards.

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SFGATE: Oakland parents, activists call on schools to get lead out of water

By Jill Tucker, for SF Gate. November 1, 2017


Oakland parents and community activists called on school officials Wednesday (November 1) to adopt a policy that ensures students have access to safe drinking water, an outcry spurred by test results showing faucets at seven school sites had high levels of lead.

“We’re talking about the water in schools being dangerous to our kids,” said Vien Truong, CEO of The Dream Corps / Green For All, and an Oakland mother whose child is in kindergarten. “Our families already have too much to worry about — they shouldn’t have to fear drinking water at schools.”

School board member Roseann Torres said she expects the panel to vote before the end of the year on setting testing requirements and possibly reducing allowable lead levels in school drinking water.

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Green For All heads to West Virginia to protect clean air

Green For All's Kim Noble travelled to Charleston, West Virginia this week, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a 2-day public hearing on its proposal to repeal The Clean Power Plan.


The Trump Administration believes that power plants should be allowed to pollute our communities as much as they want without repercussions. Through an executive order, Donald Trump directed the EPA to take steps to roll back The Clean Power Plan -- the only federal protection we have that limits power plant pollution. But it's not that easy.

We can stand up and speak out to stop this from happening. Our health should come first. And our communities can't afford to keep sending kids and seniors to the hospital with breathing problems, or pay the increasing cost of asthma medication simply because no one is holding big polluters accountable. These are health problems we can prevent.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt put forth a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, per Trump's directive. Now, it's time for us all to speak up. 

Hear from two women Kim met at the hearing: 

Debbie Sims from Cincinnati, Ohio:
Danielle Walker from West Virginia:


We know most people can't travel to Charleston to testify. That's why we created a page where you can submit your own  public comment here:

The EPA is taking public comments on the proposal now through January 16, 2018. We will make sure to deliver your comments directly to the EPA.  

Together we can and we will make sure that the Clean Power Plan moves forward, and our communities can breathe clean air. Thanks for doing your part. 

Kerene Tayloe breaks down proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan

Green For All's policy director, Kerene Tayloe, joined Young People For for a real conversation about what the Trump Administration's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan means for families. 

Listen in, then take action!

The U.S. EPA is taking public comments now through January 16, 2018 on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. We need you to speak out for clean air for all.

Submit your public comments supporting the Clean Power Plan here:




ATTN: New mini-series features moms on the frontlines of pollution

Green For All released a new mini-series in partnership with Attn:, featuring the stories of women who are raising their families on the frontlines of pollution. These moms are mobilizing to fight for clean air and water all across America. 

Recently, the Trump Administration has tried to roll back every major clean air and water protection we have. Hear their stories on why this matters and what their fight is all about. Then take action. 

From Oakland:

Post by attn.

To Flint:
Post by attn.

To Las Vegas:



Here’s 3 things you can do to help:

1) Submit a public comment to support the Clean Power Plan, which would curb pollution from power plants like the one near Jacob’s school in Las Vegas (and around the country):

2) Call Congress to protect U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding from getting cut so we can hold them accountable to do their job! Much of EPA's money gets re-granted to states for things like water infrastructure. Call 202-335-1787

3) Ask your state Governor to use VW settlement money to transition dirty diesel buses to clean zero emission buses. Sign the petition here

A Coalition of Angry Moms Want Congress to Fix the EPA

Moms from the environmental activism arm of Van Jones' Dream Corps mobilized for climate justice in D.C.

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NOW THIS: This Flint mom warns us what could happen with a bare bones EPA

According to this Flint mom, Flint is a shiny example of what could happen to American people in any city with a bare bones EPA. Hear what she has to say about proposed funding cuts. Then join her in the fight against EPA budget cuts at:


The 51 U.S. Senators Who Voted for a Budget that Could Send More Kids to Hospitals

OCTOBER 18, 2017 -- Today in Washington D.C., the U.S. Senate voted to pass a budget proposal that would slash funding for critical environmental protections, open up drilling in the Arctic, and in summary, put people's health and well-being at risk. Gutting funding for clean air and water protection programs puts Americans at serious risk. One Flint mom, Melissa Mays, warned earlier this month that a bare bones Environmental Protection Agency could leave cities across America susceptible to becoming the next #FlintWaterCrisis.  

So... who are the 51 Senators who voted for this #DirtyBudget that could send kids and our elders to the hospital? See below.

There's still time to introduce an amendment to protect EPA funding. 

  • Ask all Senators to step up and protect our right to clean air & water by introducing an amendment to #ProtectEPA funding. Use #AFutureToFightFor.


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5 Principles of Effective Carbon Pricing

The social cost of carbon pollution is not zero. Therefore, we shouldn't be charging zero to polluters who put poison and pollution into our air. But there's a right way to do carbon pricing and there's a wrong way. There's a way that uplifts all communities, and there's a way that leaves some behind. Download our 5 Principles for Effective Carbon Pricing to learn more:


Then check out our Carbon Price & Invest section for a wealth of resources to get started in your community.

Clean Power For All Toolkits

The Obama Administration issued the first-ever rule limiting pollution from power plants. Despite the Trump Administration's efforts to now dismantle this rule, cities and states across the country are looking for ways to move forward on climate goals and get our pollution in check. The Clean Power For All Toolkits are exactly what every policymaker needs to get started. Learn how to design and implement carbon pollution reduction goals in a way that is fair and just to even the most underserved communities. 

Our toolkits are the product of a healthy amount of collaboration with more than 10 national nonprofit partners and three universities.

We cover topics ranging from community engagement in policy design, to ways to make polluters pay, investments in underserved communities, green job creation, just transition for affected workers, and false solutions!



Vien Truong shares her powerful story in Green For All mini-documentary series

Green For All director Vien Truong travelled the country this summer to talk to moms raising their kids on the frontlines of pollution in America. But first, hear her own story about being raised in Oakland, CA in the 80s and raising her twin toddlers there now, in the city that she loves.  

The truth is, pollution is rampant in low-income neighborhoods and in communities of color all across the country. Due to their proximity to the dirtiest sources of pollution like power plants and busy freeways and highways, these communities have higher rates of asthma and pollution-related disease, including cancer. And in the midst of all of this, the Trump Administration wants to cut funding for environmental protections by nearly ONE THIRD. 

Sign our petition to protect critical funding for clean air, clean water, and a safe environment today. 

Everyone has a story. What's yours? Share it with Green For All at [email protected]. Use subject line "My Story - YOUR NAME."

ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA AWARDS: Van Jones presents award to Russell Simmons for green activism

On September 23rd in Los Angeles, Hollywood filmmakers, producers and celebrities came together to celebrate the industry elite who are helping to bring environmental issues to mass culture. Green For All's co-founder Van Jones, director Vien Truong, and deputy director Michelle Romero, were honored to be there to support our friends at the Environmental Media Association. This was EMA's 27th award show dedicated to highlighting the industry's efforts on environmental issues, and it was tremendous.

Pictured above: LEFT - Michelle Romero, Van Jones, Vien Truong; MIDDLE - Vien Truong, Nikki Reed, Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart, Michelle Romero; RIGHT - Michelle Romero, Natalie Portman, Vien Truong

With Jaden Smith hosting, and our friend Mary Ann Hitt of the Sierra Club opening the evening, things were off to a great start. The 2017 honorees included Natalie PortmanRussell SimmonsJohn Paul DeJoria and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

And of course, Van was honored to present the award to Russell Simmons, a man who -- among his many great contributions to culture and social issues -- supported Green For All's #FixThePipes campaign earlier this year, to help raise money for families in Flint who are still suffering from the #FlintWaterCrisis. Watch now:


Follow the Environmental Media Association on Facebook and Twitter for more.

POLITIC 365: Moms Mobilize: Using Power of Women to Advance Climate Justice

Courtesy of Politic365.


Vien Truong is no stranger to the climate justice movement. A long-time resident of Oakland, California, environmental equity is an abiding passion for the CEO of Dream Corps and leader of Green For All.  Nationally praised for her work developing energy and environmental policy, “this work has been personal for my whole life,” Truong told Politic365 in an exclusive interview.  “I grew up in a community that was considered one of the poorest and most polluted communities in the country – East Oakland, California. And because of the zip code in which I live, my kids and I are projected to live 12 years less than a more affluent family just seven miles away. We have higher lead poisoning in the community here than in Flint, Michigan. So for me, all of this is very real and very personal.”

The personal impact of how environmental issues affect communities across the country is what Truong and Green for All are hoping to tap in to with Moms Mobilize, a campaign to “bring together Moms from around the country to fight devastating cuts to our environmental protections being proposed by the Trump Administration.”

From the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to the crippling affects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and now Maria, the impact of climate change and global warming are real, says Truong. “What’s happening all across the country is that people are starting to see that these attacks on the climate movement have a real, tangible impact,” Truong said. And “the one agency – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – that is supposed to protect our air and water, and protect us from these massive devastations,” she continued, “is the very agency that Donald Trump’s Head of the EPA is trying to dismantle [by] proposing a one-third budget cut this fall. That is just unacceptable.”

On Wednesday, September 27, #MomsMobilize is taking its message to Capitol Hill, hosting a day of action in Washington, D.C. to oppose any congressional roll-backs in funding for the EPA.  While the campaign is all about motivating everyday women to get more involved in the climate movement, several notable personalities have joined the cause as well, including Frances FisherMegan BooneAmy SmartAlfre WoodardAli WongAngie MartinezBozama “Boz” Saint JohnCheryl Contee, and Elianne Ramos.

“The blessing and curse of the moment is that for too long we have seen the Climate Movement be painted as an elitist, White thing, but we’re beginning to see the very visceral impact this will have to families in Flint, to families in Houston, to families in East Oakland and across the country,” said Truong. “People of color are really the ones who can’t afford to relocate and move out when these things happen.”

Women are key to the battle to protect the EPA and improve climate justice because, as Truong said, “women have an amazing power to influence not only the market, but also politics and policies. They have this often untapped power around how they spend their dollars, but also, non-college educated women in the United States have a huge ability to impact the direction of this country.”

“We give life,” she said, “and we can also use our power to protect life, and I think that’s what this campaign is all about for Green For All.”

#MomsMobilize is “bringing together moms from Flint, Las Vegas, Oakland, and other places around the country to say we’re done with the fighting. It’s not about being Anti-Trump, it’s about being for our kids and the future we want to live in.”

In encouraging women to join the Mom’s campaign, Truong’s message is clear – “When I talk to people in this country, oftentimes they say they’re tired of hearing politics. They’re tired of turning on CNN and hearing the political back and forth because it undermines the importance of issues and the reality of the things they’re facing. So our campaign with Moms is to say: it doesn’t matter who you voted for in the last election, let’s vote for solutions.”

To sign the #MomsMobilize petition, or support Green For All’s movement, visit the campaign website to learn more about ways you can get involved.


Original story appeared on Politic 365 on September 19, 2017. Read the story here.

TeleSUR: Women in the U.S. demand Trump to act on climate change [EN ESPAÑOL]

Courtesy of TeleSUR tv

[EN ESPAÑOL] Mothers in U.S. reject cuts to the EPA

Courtesy of TeleSUR TV

NOW THIS: Mothers are fighting for environmental justice because Trump won't

Green For All brought moms from around the country to Washington D.C. -- and it was powerful. These women are fighting for environmental justice because President Trump won't. Thank you to Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), and Tulsi Gabbard (HI) for standing with us. 

Support our moms by signing our petition at

Watch this video to hear why this fight matters.


Van Jones Releases New Book Offering a Path Forward

The Trump Administration announced the repeal of the Clean Power Plan today. Van Jones reminds people that clean energy was once a bipartisan issue. Clean energy does not kill jobs. Degregulation of power plants will kill people though.

Click on the photo to watch Van on CNN New Day, then buy his new book BEYOND THE MESSY TRUTH

Van's new book, BEYOND THE MESSY TRUTH: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together, offers solutions for ending the partisan madness and uniting our country to advance positive change. We are in this together. It's time to start acting like it. 

Buy a copy of Van's book and find tour dates today 

Want to join a Beyond Messy book club? Sign up at

Green For All Statement on Clean Power Plan Repeal

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nina Smith, nina@megaphonestrategies.com301-717-9006 cell
Inaru Melendez, [email protected]413 -331-9530 cell 

Oakland, CA  – Green For All today released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it plans to repeal the EPA’s Clean Power Plan:

“The Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan is a direct assault on our lives and children’s futures.

Even as we’ve seen storms destroy communities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico, this Administration continues to push dangerous policies that are literally killing our kids. We look to our leaders to safeguard our communities, but all we’re seeing from this administration is more polluter giveaways and zero solutions to our looming climate crisis.

Reckless actions like this put our lives on the line. Dismantling the first and only federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants won’t help vulnerable families breathe. Rolling back key protections won’t prevent superstorms or the billions of dollars it takes for communities and economies to recover. Investing in clean energy, keeping our air and water clean, can and will.

Now is the time for action, not outdated ideas that line the pockets of polluters. Green For All will fight to ensure we protect Americans from the dangers of carbon pollution and climate change.  We refuse to allow big money to continue to rob children and vulnerable communities of stronger future we all deserve. Not on our watch.”

Green For All encourages states to move forward in designing their own state clean power plan. We provide toolkits to get started at


Green For All is a climate and economic justice organization working at the intersection of poverty and pollution to create an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All is an initiative of The Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator for transformative campaigns, ideas and innovations.

SHONDALAND: Environmental Justice Activist Vien Truong is Fighting For The World


Boss. Badass. Climate warrior.

Environmental justice activist Vien Truong learned two things as a child: Climate change affects us all, and some people suffer more than others.

When her family arrived in the Bay Area as refugees from war-ravaged Vietnam, her parents didn't speak English and had 11 kids to feed. Truong soon got a crash course in the ill-fated connection between poverty and environmental toxins. “I spent my childhood working in pesticide-filled strawberry fields in California," says Truong. "Later, growing up in Oakland, I saw families like mine suffering terrible health conditions from pollution for generations."

Now her life’s work is "to solve both poverty and pollution" nationwide. She’s accomplishing that as the CEO of the nonprofit social justice accelerator, The Dream Corps, and as the director of its environmental activism arm, Green For All.

Through Green For All, Truong fights to ensure marginalized communities of color are leading the fight to protect the environment. "The families living closest to toxic waste sites, or by busy roads and highways, are often struggling to make ends meet," she says. Training folks for green economy jobs — like installing solar panels or retrofitting buildings so they're more energy efficient — enables people to put food on the table and help make their neighborhoods less polluted.

But Truong, who earned a degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, also knows that legally enforceable regulations are essential. “One of the accomplishments I am most proud to have co-led is passing [California Senate Bill 535] which takes dollars polluters pay the State of California and reinvests them into the poorest and most polluted communities,” says Truong. "Those dollars went to free solar panels for working families, free bus passes for seniors and students, affordable housing by transit hubs, and much more."

Because Truong believes women are at the heart of ensuring the nation’s leaders address climate change. Green For All’s newest campaign, Moms Mobilize focuses on mothers who are seeing the effects on their children. The campaign, which will culminate with an advocacy day in Washington, D.C., is "bringing together moms and women from all walks of life to tell Congress to act now to fight climate change by doing work before the storms," she says.

Indeed, in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and with Jose approaching) Truong says her work with Green For All has taken on a new urgency. But Truong also wants those who aren’t regularly in the path of such disasters to remember that they still need to care about the climate. "Scientists are giving our planet 50 years before Earth expires," she says. "My hometown of Oakland, nestled in the most liberal region in America, is ranked among our nation’s most polluted cities. Climate change hurts all of us — there is no wall high enough to keep the polluted air from blowing into each of our backyards."

Making it easy for people to stay informed and engaged in environmental activism is one of Truong's priorities. To receive updates about clean air, clean water, and climate progress, she says to simply text GREEN to 97483. You can also sign Green For All's petition to urge Congress to fully fund the EPA. But most of all, Truong encourages people to vote. "If local elected officials don’t make [climate] a priority, then show up at the ballot box to hold them accountable," she says. "That is where our power lies, and it’s past time we started using it."

E&E NEWS: Lawmakers, 'warrior women' oppose budget cuts

Lawmakers, 'warrior women' oppose budget cuts

by Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in E&E News


DSC_0284.jpgPictured above: Vien Truong, director of Green For All, calling on lawmakers, specifically women lawmakers to oppose Trump U.S. EPA budget cuts. 

Lawmakers joined a group of mothers today outside the Capitol to call on Congress to reject President Trump's proposed cuts to U.S. EPA's budget.

Climate activists with the groups Green For All, Moms Clean Air Force and Climate Parents joined Democratic Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán and Barbara Lee of California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington in urging lawmakers to protect vulnerable children and communities by fully funding the environmental agency.

Lee called the mothers "warrior women," praising them for taking on what she sees as the most pressing issue today. "Nothing is more important right now than the fight to save our environment," Lee said. "[You] are the resistance to this terrible Trump administration agenda, which is so detrimental to our planet."

The White House proposed to slash EPA's budget by 31 percent and sought a roughly 13 percent cut for the Interior Department in fiscal 2018. But Republican and Democratic appropriators in both chambers have said they were uncomfortable with some of the reductions.

The House Appropriations Committee in July approved a $31.4 billion spending bill for EPA, Interior and related agencies, giving them more than $800 million less than in fiscal 2017 but rejecting many of the administration's steeper cuts.

Gretchen Dahlkemper, director of Clean Air Moms Action, a community of more than 1 million parents across the country, said there is a vacuum of climate leadership in Congress that needs to be filled.

"We know as women, as mothers, it's critically important for us to come together and ensure we are protecting the health of our families and the safety of our communities," she said.

Barragán, a member of the House's United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, said global warming and environmental degradation are disproportionately affecting communities of color and marginalized people.

"To see women here today is so very important, because we need to make sure we're standing up for our communities, for our families, because this is a public health crisis," she said.

Dahlkemper said her group has scheduled a slew of meeting with lawmakers today, where she will urge them to take action on climate for the future of the country's children.


Moms Mobilize to Protect Funding for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2017
Contact: Nina Smith, 301-717-9006[email protected]
Inarú Melendez, 413-331-9530[email protected]

Green For All, Moms, Reps. Jayapal, Barragán, Lee, Jackson-Lee and Gabbard Lead Day of Action for Climate Justice


Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7th District), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44th District), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13th District), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2nd District), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18th District) joined moms and women from all walks of life for a press conference and day of action calling on Congress to get serious about protecting kids and communities by fully funding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Moms Mobilize launched in response to Trump’s proposed historic budget cuts to the EPA, which gut superfund toxic waste sites and undermine critical air and water protections. Members of Congress joined parents fiercely concerned about recent climate disasters including fires raging in the West, hurricanes flooding our communities, and diesel fumes and dirty power plants polluting our air. Together, they pledged their support for restoring critical funding to the EPA. Women, moms, parents and advocates delivered over 300,000 signatures to Congressional offices over the course of the day.

 “The Trump Administration has launched an all-out assault on the EPA and the communities it serves,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Families across the United States rely on EPA programs to prevent environmental degradation, protect public health, and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change. These safeguards are of particular importance to low-income communities and communities of color, who are more likely to live near pollution and more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It is up to every one of us to raise our voices and speak out against proposed cuts to the EPA. After all, the long-term health of our families depends upon a healthy planet.”

“It is incumbent on mothers to lead the charge, to speak out, and to force elected officials to put the needs of our planet, our people, and especially our children above partisan posturing and politics as usual,” added Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said, “Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration have made it their mission to beat the EPA down, but we’ve made it our mission to fight back with full force. I’m proud to fight alongside Green For All and Moms Clean Air Force to ensure a safer, better, cleaner future for our kids. We know that big polluters and climate change are hurting kids across the country, especially low-income children and children of color. Fourteen percent of black children have asthma compared to eight percent of their white counterparts. Fetal death rates in Flint, Michigan, increased by 58 percent following the water crisis. Moms always know, and women always know, what side of justice is the right one. It would do big polluters and Republicans in Congress some good to hear our voices, because when it comes to our kids, we won’t be silenced.”

 “Your zip code shouldn’t define the quality of the air you breath or water you drink,” said Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán. “People in my district are relying on the EPA to do its job. Whether it’s lead in our drinking water or carcinogens in our air, my district is facing an environmental public health crisis that’s a danger to people, especially our most vulnerable: our children and seniors. We need to stand up for our families and our communities, because we all deserve clean air and clean water.”

 "We should be putting all of our energy toward leveraging and mobilizing our technological resources to transition to an environmentally-friendly, low carbon economy and reduce the pollution that damages our health, air, and water, and disproportionately affects low-income communities,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Sadly, by arbitrarily slashing the budget of the EPA by one third, we are moving in the wrong direction.  We must dedicate necessary resources to protecting our communities, especially those that bear the brunt of our country's addiction to fossil fuel and climate change.”

“After experiencing the fury of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now, seeing the devastation in Puerto Rico, Congress and the Trump Administration can no longer deny our climate crisis. That’s why moms and women from all walks of life are coming together to demand that our leaders fully fund the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Vien Truong, CEO of Dream Corps and leader of Green For All. “We cannot wait until the next costly emergency to invest in the future and protections our families deserve. Without it, there will be more Flints, more Brandywines, more Houstons, more San Juans. We won’t let that happen. Not on our watch.”

“Simply put, Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are ruthlessly irresponsible. They would put the health of our children and the safety of our communities in serious jeopardy by gutting bedrock pollution protections that our families depend on. We can’t risk more asthma attacks, more toxic pollution, and more lead in our children’s drinking water. What’s more, recent hurricanes have reminded us how essential the agency is to the ongoing clean-up of hazardous sites in Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico. Now is not the time to cripple an agency so critical to our children’s well-being,” said Gretchen Dahlkemper, Director of Special Projects for Moms Clean Air Force, a community of more than 1 million moms and caregivers united in the fight against dangerous air pollution. 

Liz Martin Perera, Climate Policy Director, Federal Policy for Sierra Club, added, "As parents, it's our job to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our kids. It's the sacred duty of any President of this nation to do the same. The fact that the Trump administration is proposing deep cuts to the EPA--which is charged with keeping our air safe to breathe, our water safe to drink and our climate protected--is both reckless and negligent. When a President puts the profits of polluters ahead of the health and safety of American families, it's clear he's taking sides against our kids and their future. Trump preaches climate denial while Americans suffer from catastrophic extreme storms, and he undermines climate solutions our kids deserve, like 100% clean energy. Moms, dads and grandparents are standing strong against EPA cuts, and standing up for---with every fiber of our being--the right of our children to live in a democracy where political leaders will protect our children above all else."  

Since it’s launch, Moms Mobilize has garnered support from celebrities including Ashley Judd, Ellen Pompeo, Alfre Woodard, Angie Martinez; andAli Wong; CEOs like Bozoma Saint John, chief brand officer at Uber; advocates from Moms Clean Air Force, Climate Parents, Mothers Out Front; and thousands of moms around the country. Read their open letter here.


# # #

Green For All is a climate and economic justice organization working at the intersection of poverty and pollution to create an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All is an initiative of The Dream Corps. Click to here learn more about Mom’s Mobilize.

Green For All, Moms, Reps. Barragán, Gabbard, Lee, Jackson-Lee and Jayapal Lead Day of Action for Climate Justice

Green For All, Moms Clean Air Force, Climate Parents, advocates deliver over 300,000 signatures to Members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Read more

BUSTLE: An Open Letter To The Women Of Congress, From Climate Change Activists, Actors, & Average Moms

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and historic fires, federal agencies are struggling to keep up. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is pursing a 31 percent budget cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In response, over 100 women and mothers from all walks of life have come together to sign an open letter asking Congress to get serious about protecting kids and communities from poison, ending harmful pollution, and preventing the next climate disaster by fully funding the EPA.

Read more

GREENBIZ: Why Moms (and the rest of us) Must Fight for EPA's Future

By Vien Truong for

In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Americans have been compelled to face an indisputable fact: Climate change is real and it has set upon us. To continue oversimplifying it as strictly a matter of "global warming" is to deny the breadth and scope of its detrimental physical and economic impacts on the most vulnerable among us.

Read more

GREEN FOR ALL: Moms Mobilize mini-documentary series [Trailer]

Green For All's CEO, Vien Truong shares why this fight against poverty and pollution is so personal. Hear from moms across the country -- as she travels to meet with women who are mobilizing for clear air, clean water, and a future for their kids. Then join us to take action and sign our petition:


Meet Jaden: The kid fighting climate change with a comic book


Recently, Green For All traveled to New York to sit down with Jaden Anthony, the 11-year-old who was inspired to do something to help people in Flint and other parts of the country. Jaden introduced us to his project. Kid Brooklyn is a graphic novel series that follows Jaden & friends as they are given the power to save the planet from evil aliens (disguised as corporations) and environmental crises. 

Watch Jaden's Video

Read more

KQED Talks Climate Equity, Diversity in Tech with Vien Truong




Van Jones and Green For All Rally with CHISPA for Clean Buses for Nevada Students

August 23, 2017. Article published in NEVADA FORWARD. By Andrew Davey. 

“It is very hard to learn when you can not breathe.” That’s the message Green for All founder Van Jones had for Governor Brian Sandoval (R) last Saturday. He joined Chispa Nevada and over 100 grassroots community activists in Las Vegas to call on the State of Nevada to invest in cleaner school buses for Nevada students.


Volkswagen has agreed to pay a total of $19 billion to settle the criminal and civil cases involving its diesel emissions cheating scheme. Volkswagen claimed its vehicles were “clean diesel”, even though they were actually in violation of federal fuel economy standards.

Nevada will likely receive $24.8 million from the Volkswagen settlement over the next 10 years.

Read more

Making Sure Your Houston Relief Money Is Going to Black Folks Who Need It Most Isn't Easy

Reposted article published by The Root, contributor Charles D. Ellison.

People make their way out of a flooded Houston neighborhood Aug. 29, 2017, after it was inundated with rainwater following Hurricane Harvey. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Houston state Rep. Shawn Thierry’s majority-black district houses nearly 200,000 residents, the Houston Texans football stadium, and a massive population of folks who were already low-income and living from paycheck-to-paycheck.

They were all in the eye of the storm when Hurricane Harvey hit. 

“It’s really that bad,” Thierry, a single mom of a 4-year old, told The Root. “My house got hit, too; there’s mold everywhere. But I just really don’t have time to think about that; I’ve got to make sure my people are taken care of.”

But as millions upon millions of dollars roll in from a growing lineup of celebrities, athletes and a nation of sympathetic Americans eager to save #HoustonStrong, there’s no guarantee that much of that money will reach already economically battered Houstonians who need it most. 



Read more

The climate movement’s new battle cry

By Bill McKibben for Nation of Change

The knock on environmentalists is that they’ve been better at opposing than proposing.

Read more

Tour against hate makes stop in New Orleans

By James Sebastien for Louisiana Weekly

On August 17, New Orleans’ historic Saenger Theatre was visited by Van Jones’ WE RISE AGAINST HATE TOUR. The Crescent City was just one stop on this 14-city tour powered by Dream Corps’ Love Army (#LoveArmy) and in partnership with Roc Nation.

Read more

Analysis | The Energy 202: Trump's lack of nuclear knowledge is what's really scary

By Dino Grandoni for The Washington Post

A year-and-a-half ago, Donald Trump was thrown a question about the U.S. nuclear arsenal that he still hasn't answered very satisfactorily.

Read more

Can business leaders be culture healers?

Vien Truong, director of Green For All, is bringing equity, social justice and climate justice together to help build a prosperous and fair society.

This means healing the deepening divide between the "haves" and "have-nots" in the U.S. — and business leaders are in a position of responsibility to move the needle on these issues. The effective voice of businesses was evident when they joined forces to sign the "We're still in" pledge after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate. 

"We need businesses to be leaders more than ever before with the people they hire, the culture that they set, even how they influence states and governments, " said Truong during VERGE Hawaii 17. "We need businesses to step up as citizens." 

Read more

More Boldly Going: A Family Foundation Turns to Activism in Trump Era

By Tate Williams for Inside Philanthropy

The giving of the Roddenberry Foundation to date has projected a kind of sunny progressivism, channeling creator Gene Roddenberry's and Star Trek’s optimism about human potential for innovation, equality, and inclusivity. 

Read more

The power of community inclusion

Overcoming Our Toxic Legacy

This week, Green For All spoke with Heather Von St. James, an 11-year mesothelioma cancer survivor who has dedicated her life to fighting for a ban on asbestos. In 2006 her life was upended by an environmental toxin she was exposed to 30 years earlier. Now she has something to say to Trump, the families of Flint, and the country about pollution and the future we are fighting for.


“What I want to say to the families in Flint is to not give up, to keep fighting. They want us to be silent, they want us to give up and just accept things, but we can’t and we won’t. We will continue to fight for what it right, what is moral. The truth will win in the end.” - Heather Von St. James 

Read more

3 barriers holding equitable cities back

By Lauren Hepler for GreenBiz

In the grand scheme of pressing issues facing residents of U.S. cities — scarce affordable housing, high health care costs, anxiety about immigration status or racial tension, to name a few — warnings about the long-term consequences of climate change can, understandably, take a back seat.

Read more

Sierra Club (via Public) / Environmental Justice Organizations Request EJ Report for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Programs in Maryland

Annapolis, MD-- Green For All, Free Your Voice, GreenLatinos, Maryland Environmental Health Network, Chispa Maryland of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Dr. Sacoby Wilson and the Sierra Club delivered a letter to Maryland's Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Hughes and Maryland Energy Administration Director Beth Tung today requesting an environmental justice (EJ) analysis of the pollution reduction and economic development impacts of the RGGI program.

Read more

Sierra Club (via Public) / Environmental Groups Urge Support for Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Ahead of next week's vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Alaska Wilderness League, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Green Latinos, Green For All, Safe Climate Campaign, Environmental Working Group, Endangered Species Coalition, Earthworks, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Oil Change International, The Climate Reality Project, Clean Water Action, Climate Vote Hawks, and sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mcconnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, and House Speaker Ryan and House Minority Leader Pelosi urging support of the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. This letter follows a letter sent in March ahead of the House vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Read more

The unsustainable whiteness of green

By Nikhil Swaminathan for Grist

Aaron Mair’s story starts out all too familiar to people of color who have encountered any of the big green groups: He asked one for help dealing with an issue of critical importance to the health of his family and community — and was turned away.

Read more

EPA Cuts Are Way Too Extreme

By Climate Nexus for EcoWatch

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress said Thursday that the Trump administration's proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cuts are too harsh.

Read more


Exclusive Intimate Talks Combine Changemakers and Tastemakers


(New York, NY: June 12, 2017) Van Jones & Roc Nation are proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership and nationwide event tour: WE RISE Tour powered by #LoveArmy. WE RISE will bring an array of artists, athletes, thought leaders and local leaders to cities across the country this summer. Van Jones, a renowned activist, CNN commentator and two-time New York Times bestselling author will headline the tour promoted by Live Nation. 100% of net ticket proceeds will go to the Dream Corps initiatives and local charities.

Read more

Podcast: Vien Truong — An Environmental Hero for Our Times

By Aimee Allison for Democracy in Color


Read more

California Latinx Community Fights for their Future

By: Lauren Gaytan and Déjà Thomas

When planning commissions no longer listen to the citizens, citizens will make their voices heard. That is what community activists, like Raul Lopez, are doing in the fight for clean air and a healthy Oxnard, California in this video: Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.19.15 PM.png

(Image credit Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy)

Oxnard, California is a small farm-working community of color in Southern California that has mobilized their community to voice their concerns for their assets and dreams for the future, in the face of a proposed power plant, the Puente Power Project.

Read more

Fast Company: Green Jobs Are Still the Future of Work After Trump's Paris Accord Pullout

And the most innovative companies already know it.

Fast Company June 7, 2017


While President Trump stood in the White House Rose Garden last Thursday to announce America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, I was in Brussels at a green jobs conference. It was a stark contrast. Even as Trump announced that the world’s second-largest polluter would no longer commit to curbing carbon emissions, a choice he wrongly framed as good for the U.S. economy, I talked with European leaders about the promise of advancing a green economy and ways to avoid disastrous environmental policies that could undermine it.

Read more

Prince's secret energy investment could help solar startups under Trump

By Maria Gallucci for Mashable

The late, great Prince quietly funded solar energy startups before he died last year, and now that funding could help young clean-tech firms navigate the turbulent Trump era. 

Read more

Black Lives Matter raises $1,300 for Flint

By Brian Blair for Columbus Republic

Black Lives Matter of Columbus’ fund drive to help people in Michigan get their water pipes fixed stands at $1,300, according to organizers. A total of $500 of that was raised during a Saturday rally and march in downtown Columbus at City Hall and The Commons.

Read more

Politicians and Environmentalists React After Trump Pulls US From Paris Agreement

By Yessenia Funes for Colorlines RSS Feed

The president says he's open to negotiating the terms of the agreement, though world leaders assert it can not be renegotiated.

Read more

Paris Climate Accord: The Future Depends on Us


Green For All’s director, Vien Truong, is participating in the European Commission’s Green Week in Brussels, where she is meeting with top European leaders to discuss the promise of advancing a green economy and the importance of avoiding Trump’s disastrous environmental policies.

Read more

Green For All Statement on U.S.’ Potential Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Contact: Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected] 

Green For All Statement on U.S.’ Potential Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

OAKLAND, Calif.--Recent reports suggest that Donald Trump intends to back out of the Paris Climate agreement. This could reverse years of climate progress globally.

This week, Green For All’s director, Vien Truong, is participating in the European Commission’s Green Week in Brussels, where she is discussing the promise of advancing a green economy and the importance of avoiding Trump’s disastrous environmental policies with top European leaders.

Read more

Black Lives Matter hoping to help with water problems

By Brian Blair for Republic Online

Black Lives Matter of Columbus will join with other groups at a rally and march at 2 p.m. Saturday to raise its voice and money to help people in Flint, Michigan, get their tainted water problems resolved. 

Read more

Scientists Really Aren’t the Best Champions of Climate Science

Facts and data alone won’t inspire people to take action in the fight against global warming. So what will?

Read more

Flint Residents Still Suffering, Exposed to Contaminated Water

By D. Kevin McNeir for Voice & Viewpoint

Residents of Flint, Michigan have very little to celebrate, three years after the water crisis in the city made national headlines.

Read more

Green For All Statement On Trump’s Dirty Budget

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Contact: Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]

Green For All Statement On Trump’s Dirty Budget

OAKLAND, CA--Following the release of Trump’s budget launching an unprecedented attack on our children’s health, access to clean air and safe green spaces for families to play, work and grow, Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement: 

“In one budget, Donald Trump has managed to achieve what most polluter’s have strived for over the last 40 years -- the complete decimation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Green For All joins millions of Americans in calling on Congress to reject Trump’s dirty budget.

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VIDEO: The California Model: Make Polluters Pay

Reposted from

Even when climate change is a top priority for lawmakers, progress is challenging. It often comes down to money: We have plenty of expensive problems right now, so expensive problems down the road take a backseat.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, however, that climate change isn’t down the road, it’s right now — and addressing it can help solve other problems.

Read more

As Machines Take Jobs, Companies Need to Get Creative About Making New Ones

By Harvard Business Review

Jobs in retail, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture are highly vulnerable to technological change. 

Read more

True Climate Justice Puts Communities of Color First

By Audrea Lim for The Nation

Black and brown communities have long borne the brunt of our addiction to fossil fuels—and now they are leading the fight for a post-carbon economy.

Read more

The Resistance is Growing: Dispatches from Flint to Washington, DC

People all over the United States are fed up with attacks on our air, our water, and our future. At Green For All we are building a future to fight for Let me shed some light on our actions since our founder, Van Jones launched #FixThePipes for Flint on April 20th.

Why Flint now? Just look. A young mom in Flint took this video from her bathroom on April 15th:


Read more

Big Sean Joins Fight to Help Flint Water Crisis

By Lenore T. Adkins for Afro

Rapper Big Sean has joined a celebrity lineup helping to raise money for residents of Flint, Mich. still grappling with poisoned water.

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Van Jones Names Roc Nation As Exclusive Management

By Roc Nation 

NEW YORKMay 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned activist, CNN commentator and two-time New York Timesbestselling author, Van Jones, has joined Roc Nation as an exclusive management client.

Roc Nation will work with Van across all aspects of his career. The work will be about making change. It will be cause-oriented, it will be justice-oriented, and it will strive to uplift all people in innovative ways.

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NowThis: Here's why the Peoples Climate March is so important

Van Jones And Vien Truong of Green For All Discuss Why They March

Fast Company: The Flint Water Crisis Is Far From Over: They Still Need New Pipes

Fast Company April 27, 2017


Green For All wants to deliver $500,000 directly to Flint families and raise awareness of environmental injustice across the United States.

Three years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan, in search of a cheaper water supply, connected its system to the nearby Flint River. The switch was meant to be temporary; as such, officials neglected to treat the water flowing into the pipes to ensure it wouldn’t cause corrosion. Almost immediately, residents, 40% of whom live in poverty, took note of the strange taste and color of the water, but their complaints fell on deaf ears. By the time officials acknowledged that the water from the Flint River had corroded the pipes, high levels of lead had already seeped into the water supply of 100,000 people.

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Three Years Later, Water Specialist Says Broken Pipes, Not Lack of Water Treatment, Was Real Cause of the Flint Crisis

Although it’s been three years, the struggle for Flint, Mich., is far from over as the lead-tainted city is still in need of new water pipes.

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WaPo: Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050

Washington Post April 27, 2017


Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Thursday that calls on the U.S. to transition off fossil fuels by 2050, hoping to spur action on the state and local level, even as the Trump administration pushes for expanded coal, oil and natural gas production.

The 100×50 Act would impose new federal mandates requiring vehicles in the United States to release zero carbon emissions, while barring federal approval of oil and gas pipelines in the country, while also establishing an auction of “climate bonds” that would raise money to support renewable energy projects. The measure would also provide job training for low-income Americans and Americans of color, as well as those in coal communities, to work in the renewable energy sector.

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The Flint Water Crisis Is Far From Over: They Still Need New Pipes

By Ellie Anzilotti for Fast Company

Green For All wants to deliver $500,000 directly to Flint families and raise awareness of environmental injustice across the United States.

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3 State Reps Announce Congressional Caucus Dedicated to Environmental and Climate Justice

By Yessenia Fuentes for Colorlines

The task force aims to provide marginalized groups with a voice.

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Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050

By Juliet Eilperin for Washington Post

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Thursday that calls on the U.S. to transition off fossil fuels by 2050, hoping to spur action on the state and local level, even as the Trump administration pushes for expanded coal, oil and natural gas production.

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Merkley, Sanders goal: U.S. on all renewables by 2050


WASHINGTON - Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced landmark climate legislation Thursday that would transition the United States to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by no later than 2050.

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Common Joins Van Jones and ‘Green For All’ to #FixThePipes in Flint

It’s the three year anniversary of the poisonous pipes installation in Flint, Michigan and despite popular belief, the issue has not yet been completely resolved. Although the city of Flint reached a settlement with the State of Michigan, the plan does not provide all Flint families with clean water immediately. They are still waiting.

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Frontline Communities Seeking Solutions Unite for Peoples Climate March

By Keith Rushing for Huffington Post

Environmental justice groups will descend on Washington, D.C., this weekend from around the country to ramp up their fight against climate change. They will come together on April 29th for the Peoples Climate Movement march, walking from the U.S. Capitol to the White House and finally to the Washington Monument.

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With Our Health and Billions at Stake, Black People Need to Join the Clean-Energy Revolution Now

By D. Amari Jackson on Atlanta Black Star. 

Despite the Trump administration’s disdain for renewable energies and promotion of fossil fuels like coal, the current revolution in clean energy is showing no signs of slowing down. The Solar Foundation recently reported the number of solar jobs increased by an unprecedented 25 percent from 2015 to 2016 to produce a total of 260,077 workers nationwide. 

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Groups Gear Up For Major Climate March

President Trump and people concerned about climate change will observe the president's 100th day in office.  But not in the same way. 


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I Believe That We Will Win - Actions from Earth Day to May Day

We are in a fight for our future. This Saturday begins an historic Earth Week of Action to defend people on the frontlines of pollution -- from coal miners to Flint families -- and our Mother Earth which we depend on for life.


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Invest in Oregon by capping carbon (Opinion)

Posted in Oregon Live April 18, 2017

Maggie Tallmadge and Vien Truong

Oregon's state leaders are debating the very significant environmental policy of whether to cap the climate pollution coming from our biggest polluters. This decision is important for Oregonians and for the country as a whole. Why? Because this policy can clean up the air and generate proceeds to lift up communities facing poverty and pollution. On top of that, this can be a counterbalance to environmental rollbacks by the federal government.

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These Mothers Are Fighting Climate Change for Their Children

Reposted from Peoples Climate Movement on Medium

The Peoples Climate March is a march for climate, jobs and justice. It’s about intersectional movement building, intergenerational struggle, and the right to clean water, breathable air, and economic opportunity. These mothers demonstrate not only the breadth of our collective, but the wisdom of our cause. We all have much to learn from why they march.

Vien Truong, Green For All (Oakland, CA)

What does the Peoples Climate Movement mean to you?

The Peoples Climate Movement is a chance for people from all backgrounds to stand with communities living at the frontlines of some of the worst pollution in America for solutions that uplift the health, wealth, and security of everybody by leaving polluters no place to dump their waste.

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Green For All, State Innovation Exchange Launch Campaign To Revolutionize State Climate Policy

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2017

Contact: Nina Smith, [email protected], 301-717-9006

               Margaret Ann Morgan, [email protected], 601-551-1808

Green For All, State Innovation Exchange Launch Campaign To Revolutionize State Climate Policy

Groups Team Up to Push State Climate Policy that Prioritizes Communities of Color and Low-Income Communities Harmed First and Worst by Fossil Fuels

Oakland, Ca. -- Following Trump’s announcement this week that his administration plans to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, Green For All -- a non-profit co-founded by Van Jones and led by policy architect and innovator Vien Truong -- launched a campaign with the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) urging state legislators to advance state climate policy and pledge to prioritize funds to invest in communities of color and low-income communities that have been harmed first and worst by fossil fuels.

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The secret behind creating the largest fund in U.S. history for building a green economy


By Vien Truong 

[Reposted courtesy of State Innovation Exchange]

As the head of Green For All, I travel the country working with grassroots leaders and state electeds to craft policies that prioritize families and workers living in the most polluted cities in America.

My heart breaks every time I hear about another Flint or Standing Rock. I know what it’s like to live in a struggling and polluted community. In Oakland, California where I raise my 3-year old twin boys, air pollution is so bad that where we live is known as the “toxic triangle.” I see dilapidated homes, a food desert, homeless families and neglected schools on my way to work every day. It is because I see and live in the daily reality of what poverty and pollution looks like that I have continued to feel the urgency to fight for communities like mine all across the country. Will you join me?

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Statement on Trump Executive Order to Roll Back Clean Power Plan

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]

Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]

Statement on Trump Executive Order to Roll Back Clean Power Plan

OAKLAND, Calif.--Today, Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement in response to reports that Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back key parts of the Clean Power Plan:

“Today, we have taken a step back as a country. This administration continues to gut key protections that keep our families safe and our waters clean.

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Trump’s Executive Order Repeals Environmental Protections; Hurts People He Claims He Wants to Help

March 28, 2017

Repost from

Contact: Sharon Singh, [email protected] ; 202.499.9565; @spksingh

March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on April 29 to Resist Attacks and Bring Solutions to Elected Leaders

Washington, DC — In response to Trump administration’s latest executive order that begins to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and environmental protections, the Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) is demonstrating itself as a massive and wide-reaching movement in opposition to this dangerous step that puts people and the planet at grave risk. The PCM is a broad-based ground-breaking coalition of hundreds of faith-based, labor unions, indigenous, civil rights and environmental justice groups based around the country working together to build bold solutions that tackle climate change, rooted in economic and racial justice.

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America Didn't Vote to Change Clean Air Act to the Dirty Air Act

Watch Green For All Director of Partnerships, Kim Noble discuss the heroin epidemic, the drug war, and Trump's attacks on clean air and clean water on Thom Hartmann. kimhartmann.jpg

Frontline Communities Rally at EPA Headquarters In Washington to Defend Climate Progress

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]

Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]

Frontline Communities Rally at EPA Headquarters In Washington to Defend Climate Progress   

Responding to executive orders undermining climate protections, and proposed EPA budget cuts, leaders from frontline communities gathered to defend climate progress


WASHINGTON, DC--Today, Green For All and its labor and community partners organized an emergency lunchtime rally at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in opposition to Trump’s disastrous, anti-climate agenda that rolls back climate protection rules and guts clean air and water protections. Joined by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn), Jared Polis (D-Co), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), the protest also highlighted reports of proposed catastrophic budget cuts to the EPA and pushed back against attacks on EPA employees and the programmatic and scientific integrity of the work they do.

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Carbon pollution isn’t free: How Oregon can cap, trade, reinvest

Michelle Romero
Photos by Arkady Brown
Michelle Romero, deputy director of Green For All, speaks to Street Roots before testifying to the Oregon Legislature in support of a measure that would invest carbon market revenue in economically depressed communities. Lawmakers in Salem are considering five different bills with the same goal of significantly reducing Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Why I Reject Trump’s “Dirty Water Order”

Last Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order gutting protections for wetlands and drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans. But what really caught my attention was that on the same day, he signed another order to supposedly strengthen White House partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I saw this as Trump being Trump -- pretending he wants to help African American communities on the one hand, while with the stroke of his pen, doing some real damage on the other.

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Progressive Leaders Issue Joint Statement on Fighting President Trump and Conservatives’ Corporate, Billionaire-Driven Agenda

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contact: Margaret Ann Morgan, (601) 551-1808, [email protected]

Progressive Leaders Issue Joint Statement on Fighting President Trump and Conservatives’ Corporate, Billionaire-Driven Agenda

State legislators and allied groups will counter Trump’s address to Congress with #FightingForFamilies Week of Action 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, SiX Action joined several national policy and advocacy groups in releasing the following statement ahead of President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:

“In a matter of hours, President Trump will be delivering his address to Congress and laying out his vision for the country. We know that when it comes to the Trump administration, actions speak louder than words, so regardless of what we hear tonight, here is what we can expect over the coming weeks and months: more giveaways to corporate CEOs and the wealthiest 1%, more rollbacks of critical worker protections, and a repackaging of the same failed policies that depress wages and offer no actual path to the middle class for America’s working families. 

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African American Leaders Reject Trump’s “Dirty Water Order”

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]

             Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected] 

African American Leaders Reject Trump’s “Dirty Water Order”

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Today, as Trump signed an executive order gutting protections for wetlands and drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans, he signed another attempting to strengthen White House partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. African American leaders in the climate justice movement denounced his efforts to appeal to Black Americans while signing away their rights to clean water.

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A New Home for Green The Church

We want to share some exciting news: Green The Church has a new home! Green The Church is a national effort designed to tap into the power and purpose of the African  American faith community, to explore and expand the role of churches as centers for environmental and economic resilience.  The vision for Green The Church was birthed out of the Black Church experience by Rev. Ambrose Carroll.  A few years ago, Rev. Carroll, who was a Green For All Fellow, asked Green For All to help incubate the campaign, providing a temporary home where the vision could be cultivated and grow.

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Green For All: Pruitt’s Confirmation Ushers in Dark Era for America’s Health

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 17, 2017

Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]

Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]


Green For All: Pruitt’s Confirmation Ushers in Dark Era for America’s Health

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Today, Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement in response to news that the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency:

“Scott Pruitt’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate is a huge setback for low income communities and communities of color, who have a right to clean water and air that doesn’t make our kids sick. Pruitt’s confirmation is a tragic outcome for all Americans, but especially for frontline communities who have been subjected to the the nation’s most hazardous industrial pollution. His confirmation begins a dark new era for America's health that could take us back to the days of burning rivers.

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Marching for frontline families and spreading a message of love

As the nation was preparing to swear in the 45th president, I along with my colleagues were turning our attention towards the day after – the Women’s March on Washington. We spent the weeks leading up to the March inviting others to join our contingent to stand with the many women and families at the frontlines of the fight for equal rights and to say that we must fight different on climate change. We must put workers and families at the frontlines of pollution first. My organization Green For All put out a press statement in conjunction with the Women’s March. Several partners (Climate Parents, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Flint Rising, Green the Church, GreenLatinos, Interfaith Power & Light, Moms Clean Air Force, NextGen Climate, and the Power Shift Network) signed on to say they will put frontline families first over polluter profits. We also were marching to spread the message of the #LoveArmy in contrast to Trump’s message of hate – when it gets harder to love, love harder. 

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Green For All Decries Decision to Advance DAPL

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2017

Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922 [email protected]


Green For All Decries Decision to Advance DAPL

SAN FRANCISCO -- Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement in response to news that the Trump Administration has waived the environmental impact assessment, paving the way for the final step to construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline:

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Green for All Slams Trump’s Reckless DAPL & KXL Executive Orders

San Francisco, CA - Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement in response to news that President Trump has signed executive orders advancing construction on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines:

“Donald Trump’s executive orders are evidence that his administration sees people living at the frontlines of pollution and environmental devastation as unimportant.

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Green For All, Environmental Groups Join Women’s March to “Fight Climate Different” in the Age of Trump

For Immediate Release

Green For All, Environmental Groups Join Women’s March to “Fight Climate Different” in the Age of Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  In advance of the Women’s March on Washington, Green For All -- with Clean Air Prince George’s, Climate Parents, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Flint Rising, Green the Church, GreenLatinos, Interfaith Power & Light, Moms Clean Air Force, NextGen Climate, and the Power Shift Network -- are pledging to denounce attacks on the environment by prioritizing vulnerable communities living on the frontlines of poverty and pollution.

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Green For All Statement on Scott Pruitt's EPA Nomination

For Immediate Release: December 7, 2016
Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]
Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]

Green For All Statement on Scott Pruitt’s EPA Nomination

Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero released the following statement in response to news that President-elect Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the EPA:

“The importance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s role in ensuring that the rights of all communities to clean air and safe drinking water are protected, cannot be understated. The nomination of Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator -- someone who has consistently challenged EPA’s efforts to regulate toxins and keep families safe, while favoring fracking and big polluters -- is deeply disappointing.”


Green For All Applauds Key Climate Legislation in Illinois

For Immediate Release: December 7, 2016
Contact: Diane May, (317) 292-2922, [email protected]
Nina Smith, 301-717-9006, [email protected]

Green for All Applauds Key Climate Legislation in Illinois

Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero released the following statement in response to the signing of critical clean energy legislation by Illinois Governor Rauner:

We applaud Governor Rauner and state leaders in Illinois for enacting the Future Energy Jobs bill, which will expand the state’s usage of renewable energy to 25 percent. This bill is a critical step in setting Illinois on a path towards achieving a clean energy future for all by prioritizing investments in the communities who need it most. The Future Energy Jobs bill dedicates millions of dollars in state funds into expanding clean energy in Illinois and bringing good jobs to low-income communities most harmed by pollution.


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Green For All Calls for Stronger Pollution Cuts from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2016

Contact: Michele Setteducato, 732-614-3818, [email protected]

Green For All Calls for Stronger Pollution Cuts from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Today, the Northeast states involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative presented a scenario to cut greenhouse gases by either 2.5 percent or 3.5 percent annually starting in 2020.

Vien Truong, Director of Green For All released the following statement in response:

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Green For All Remarks on the Defeat of Washington’s Initiative 732

For Immediate Release: November 8, 2016

Contact: Michele Setteducato, 732-614-3818[email protected]
Green For All Remarks on the Defeat of Washington’s Initiative 732
Tonight, the people of Washington state voted down Initiative 732, the “revenue-neutral” carbon tax proposal on the ballot.

In response Vien Truong, Director of Green For All released the following statement:

“We must combat climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy. As we do so, it is pivotal to invest in a just transition. Initiative 732 rightfully aimed to put a price on carbon, but unjustly favored tax cuts for corporations over investments in clean energy and green job creation for struggling families and displaced workers. This defeat shows that Washingtonians recognized that I-732 is a false solution."
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Recap from the 2016 Green The Church Summit in Baltimore

Carroll Ministries, Interfaith Power & Light, U.S. Green Building Council, and Green For All engaged church leaders and congregations at Green The Church Summit

On October 25, 2016, one hundred African American faith leaders from around the country joined together for the third annual Green The Church Summit. The summit explored and expanded the role of churches as centers for environmental and economic resilience. The faith leaders at the Summit have helped black and brown communities that are often the most impacted by pollution from fossil fuel and waste facilities fight for clean water and air, as well as increasing health, wealth, and opportunity.

View photos from the Summit.

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Green For All Responds to Ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2016

Green For All Responds to Ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement

Today, President Obama announced a historic moment in the fight against climate change.  The world has crossed the threshold needed to bring the Paris Agreement into force on November 4th.

In response Vien Truong, Director of Green For All released the following statement:

“The ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement today is a historic step forward to fight climate change not only in the United States but around the world.”

“Communities of color are hit first and worst by the pollution from the fossil fuel industry around our country.  We must protect the health and safety of the millions of people on those frontlines as we implement this agreement worldwide. If we are to meet the Climate Agreement goals, we must invest deeply in the frontlines and ensure that all communities are protected from climate change devastation.”


Farmland and the Concrete Jungle

Growing up outside of the Atlanta city limits, surrounded by Georgia red clay and acres of green space, I was innocently oblivious to the effects of air pollution in my world. Summer vacations, however, were spent inside the city limits - East Point, GA to be exact. My aunt and uncle would have my brother and I excitedly pack our suitcases for a two-week 'staycation' in the city that was “too busy to hate.” As my uncle’s blue Volvo drove past miles of green pastures and eventually swiveled its way through the busy I-75 highway exchange, I observed the change in the “color of the air” and I noticed my hesitancy to now take the big, engulfing breaths that I enjoyed in my small town, on the humid summer nights filled with the sweet smell of honeysuckles and the intoxicating glow of lightning bugs.

In hindsight, I wonder if my trajectory would have been different had I grown up in an area that lacked access to one of the most fundamental rights seemingly guaranteed to all: clean air. Would I have grown up in an area exposed to harmful pollutants like sulfur dioxide and mercury? Would I have suffered from asthma and often been susceptible to life-threatening illnesses like cancer? Would my home have been more vulnerable to climate change-induced storms and floods? Would my neighborhood have had to bear the disproportionate brunt of the burden of decisions made by those who did not represent nor live in my neighborhood?

What are the costs when we do not account for the deadly effects of pollution in areas that disadvantaged populations call home? Often the risks and consequences are overlooked, leaving low-income, marginalized, indigenous people, and communities of color with a collective experience of disease and mistrust of those in charge of ensuring and creating equity in access to clean air.  These communities are now beginning to break ground and find a voice in repairing the damage created by dirty energy systems.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) presents an opportunity for voices in “frontline” communities to be heard.  Through the CPP, states are called to engage in conversations and concrete action surrounding the impact of carbon pollution as described by those most affected in the process. Directed implementation of funding acquired from polluters can restore the power and pride back into the hands of the residents who have suffered the effects of pollution. However, for the CPP to translate into positive empowerment and investment in the aforementioned frontline communities, citizens and elected officials must engage proactively with a focus on social equity.

While we all currently experience the effects of air pollution in varying degrees, it is important to note that frontline communities experience pollution in an extremely different manner. Communities of color routinely fail to meet EPA standards for air quality, often attributed to their close proximity to power and coal plants. Comparatively, children in these areas experience excessive visits to the emergency room with asthma attacks, with African American children dying at alarming rates as a result of these attacks. With insufficient resources and less job security, recovering from personal health disasters becomes nearly impossible. The damage done in these neighborhoods should influence and continue to drive the decisions associated with the funding recovered from polluter fines.

With an equitable implementation plan, CPP can serve as a catalyst to addressing these issues by empowering neighborhoods with the necessary knowledge and foundation to begin creating an alternative narrative and a shift in resources.

For more information about an equitable implementation of the Clean Power Plan, visit


Alexis Carter is a southern historian and a middle school social studies teacher in Georgia. She enjoys reading, researching, and rewriting the narrative.

Green For All Responds to House Voting to Support Flint Water Crisis

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2016

Contact: Michele Setteducato, [email protected]


Green For All Responds to House Voting to Support Flint Water Crisis

Averting a near shutdown of the federal government, the U.S. House finally reached consensus today on supporting Flint in their ongoing water and financial crisis -- resulting in a vote passing a multi-million dollar support package.

In response Vien Truong, Director of Green For All released the following statement:

“Today is an important step forward for Flint -- and more needs to be done.”

“It has been more than two years since Flint’s water was poisoned as the result of Gov. Rick Snyder’s reckless actions. We have left Flint residents to struggle alone through the horrors of lead poisoning and government neglect. Housing prices have plummeted to next to nothing, people are still bathing their children in bottled water, and tens of thousands of people have lost generations of wealth. On top of that, many families will be dealing with the health ramifications of lead poisoning on their children for decades to come.”

“When I was in Flint, I met with residents who were poisoned from the lead water, who were afraid to shower or bathe their children -- who were on disability from being poisoned, and still working to support their kids and organize their community to rebuild.”

“For too long, those in low income communities and communities of color have been hurt first and worst by unhealthy water and air. Today is a step in the right direction, but far more needs to be done in the weeks and months ahead to do right with the people of Flint.”

In March, Green For All organized a tour of Flint with Van Jones, Tom Steyer, and Mark Ruffalo with local residents. Read more about that here:



White House honors Oakland mom for work on climate change


East Bay mom up for White House honor for work on climate change

Updated 5:35 pm, Thursday, July 14, 2016

An East Bay woman is one of 10 people from across the country who will be recognized by the White House Friday for helping low-income and underserved communities prepare for and adapt to a changing climate.

Vien Truong of Oakland will be named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity for her work to end environmental racism and empower communities of color to join in the fight against climate change.

“Winning this award is a huge honor,” Truong said. “I do a lot of this work by keeping my nose to the ground and trying to do the right thing. It feels very validating that we are being recognized by the president as doing the right thing.”

Truong was drawn to her current line of work after moving to the United States from war-torn Vietnam with her family, only to have her parents end up working as strawberry pickers in pesticide-ridden fields in Oregon, then at sweatshops in one of Oakland’s poorest and most polluted communities — where Truong ultimately grew up as the youngest of 11 siblings.

“It’s not right for families to struggle as much as they do and still not have a decent living condition,” Truong said. “I wanted to commit my life to make a better future for people.”

Truong is the director of Green for All, an Oakland nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

She lives in the city and has twin 3-year-old sons.

Truong may be known best for past efforts of expediting California’s transition to electric vehicles through the Charge Ahead Initiative and developing strong environmental-technology workforce standards through the California Climate Credit. She also has developed more than a dozen state policies, created energy and workforce programs, and advised public investments for energy and community development programs.

One of Truong’s most notable accomplishments was contributing to the passing of SB535, which in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, redirected money paid by polluters to disadvantaged communities. In the past two years, that fund has directed more than $900 million to the poorest and most polluted communities in California, according to Green for All.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to honor individuals doing work to empower and inspire members of their communities.

White House officials selected award winners based on their work with low-income people in underserved communities.

Truong will be honored with nine others at the White House Friday, in a program that will feature remarks by Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality, and John Holdren, policy director for the White House Office of Science and Technology.

The event will be live-streamed on the White House website Friday at 11:30 a.m.

“It will be great,” Truong said. “We get to go to the White House. It’s been a dream of my mom’s for her entire life. I’m taking her and also bringing my niece to connect generations and show her what’s possible when you do great work.”

Read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.

White House Awards Vien Truong “Champion of Change for Climate Equity” Award



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

CONTACT: Daniel Wein | [email protected]



White House Awards Vien Truong “Champion of Change for Climate Equity” Award

Green For All Director honored by White House for her work to combat pollution and poverty


On Friday July 15th, Vien Truong will be honored with the White House Champions of Change for Climate Equity Award for her work to end environmental racism and empower communities of color to join the fight against climate change. Truong is the Director of Green For All, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

Truong grew up the youngest of 11 kids to a refugee family that fled from war torn Vietnam. Her parents worked in the pesticide ridden fields of Oregon picking strawberries. Later they worked at sweatshops, where she grew up in the heavily polluted region of Oakland, California, known as the “toxic triangle.” It is through these life experiences that Truong grew to understand the inequality and marginalization endured by disadvantaged communities.

“Winning this award is a great honor, and validates all the work we are doing to end environmental racism and prioritize solutions in frontline communities that are hit first and worst by pollution and climate change,” said Truong.

One of her landmark accomplishments is the passing of Senate Bill 535, a community reinvestment bill in California that created a polluters pay fund, which created the largest fund in history for low income communities to green up and to create economic revitalization for residents. In the last two years, it has directed over $900 million into the poorest and most polluted communities in California.

“I’m privileged to be leading Green For All to create national programs that will prioritize low income communities and communities of color in the crafting of policy across the country,” said Truong.

The award comes as Truong continues to lead in climate equity efforts in collaboration with a coalition called the Clean Power for All Collaborative, which is mobilizing to make sure that the EPA’s first national initiative to regulate greenhouse gases is used as an opportunity to clean up and reinvest in polluted communities.

Earthjustice: Green The Church, On A Mission of Faith For Sustainability

Photo courtesy Green for All

Rev. Ambrose Carroll, co-founder Green for All’s Green the Church movement, standing at the pulpit. The Green the Church movement is teaming up with spiritual leaders to engage churches and other houses of worship in the climate fight.

African American churches have been on the frontlines of the most important social movements of the last century. The movements begin at the pulpit, with preachers stirring their congregation to action via Sunday sermons that link spirituality and faith to a greater calling.

“The bible has a call for stewardship and a call to action—there’s a hook around sustainability,” says Julian McQueen, Green for All’s director of education and outreach.

Green for All’s Green the Church is commonly referred to as a movement, with founders McQueen and Rev. Ambrose Carroll saying it is bigger than just a program – it is a force on climate action.

“I come from a very social justice church atmosphere,” Carroll says. “For us, climate change is the civil rights issue of our day.”

When McQueen joined Green for All in 2008 on the organization’s 28th day of existence, he felt a calling to engage local community leaders and youth in protecting the environment. Now, serving as Green for All’s director of education and outreach, he has found success by creating Green for All’s All Fellowship program, which helps fellows develop skills to build community-generated solutions and organize in their cities. He’s also spearheaded the organization’s College Ambassadors Program, which supports the leadership development of students at historically black colleges and universities.

It was at Green for All some years later that he teamed up with Rev. Carroll, formerly a fellow, to pinpoint how they could move the African American church to engage in the climate fight.

In November 2014, the early stages of what is now known as Green the Church was born to grow sustainability programs and practices across the United States. To goal was to create a massive coalition of 1,000 faith partners across the country to share the need for conservation and preservation while seeking climate justice for disproportionately impacted communities.

“As we went to friends, brothers and sisters in the clergy and in the congregations, they wanted to show that this global issue was our issue,” says McQueen.

Carroll, a native of Oakland, California, is passionate about serving inner city communities and had been looking for a way to draw from his faith to spotlight global warming’s effects. He is working to engage with communities around how to reduce their carbon footprint and activate other tools to prevent environmental damage.  

Green the Church is close to having 400 churches in 28 states represented as of June 2016. It’s focusing its efforts on states engaged in work around both the Clean Power Plan, which sets a national limit on carbon pollution produced from power plants, and the “Polluters Pay Fund,” a campaign push by Green for All to make polluters pay to clean up their own toxic messes.

Gaining momentum to grow the houses of worship involved in the climate movement is not easy, but it is having a domino effect.

“It was so powerful,” says McQueen. “The call went out by word of mouth and made its way through the networks of churches and the response has been real.”

The national Green the Church program is a partnership between the grassroots organization’s parent, Green for All, in addition to churches and the U.S. Green Building Council. While not all churches and congregation properties have the resources to be LEED-certified, the council is sharing strategies on how to make places of worship, church centers and related facilities more sustainable.

Heading into its second year this fall, Green the Church is ramping up its engagement efforts so that churches have partners and allies within the state to support each other. The support and dissemination of information is all encompassing, with guidance and educational tools on how communities can take action on environmental issues.

“This is about building power,” Carroll says. “Our communities have bared the brunt of climate change and pollution enough. We want to see more churches green their facilities and share the word of sustainability. Decrease carbon emissions, raise green economy opportunities and flex the power of the African American church.”

In August 2015, Green the Church hosted its first three-day summit in Chicago at Trinity United Church of Christ, which is also President Obama’s home church. This summer, Green the Church is hosting faith-based trainings with clergy and leadership across the country. Among the topics is a candid discussion of how communities of color can best align and develop strategies to influence environmental solutions.

The group will descend upon the Baltimore, Maryland, region October 25 to 27 to host a summit with an expected 1,000 church leaders. The primary target for training has been church leadership—starting with pastor level leadership to reach the congregation from the top down.

“We want to make a real splash in the political fights by leading with moral calls to action to make polluters pay and invest in the communities most impacted by climate change,” says Carroll. “That’s my biggest hope—a push toward systemic change.”

In addition to being active in the Green the Church movement, Carroll is pushing back on a proposed coal terminal in Oakland. Carroll believes there is a need for organizations of all sizes from grassroots to grasstops (for example, large NGOs) to work together and go beyond the labels of environmentalist, conservationist and others to define their commitment to saving the planet.

“Are people thinking they’re environmentalists? No, they’re thinking of protecting their kids from a toxic site,” Carroll says. “We try to categorize and get everything to fit in these finite places, but it’s our job to talk about climate change and connect the dots to social justice.”

Both McQueen and Carroll are thought partners, armed with faith and passion for service to their communities with the hope of continuing to bridge a gap between the faith and environmental communities who want to create change.

They and the thousands they have signed on to the journey are guided by a moral imperative to protect the earth, but they do not define their relationship with the earth in the same ways as others.

“There’s a biblical text that talks about Elijah, and at one point in his ministry he was by himself. Elijah says, ‘It’s I and I alone and no one else is left.’ And God says, ‘You are not alone.’”

“That’s how we feel about doing this work,” says Carroll. “It’s about bringing people out of isolation.”

Read the full story here.

Democratic Platform Drafting Hearing: Vien Truong Remarks


Vien Truong gave remarks and answered questions on June 17th at the Democratic Platform Drafting Hearing of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Phoenix. 

Medium: This Mother’s Day, Let’s Celebrate Moms Fighting Injustice


Afeni Shakur, the civil rights activist and former Black Panther, successfully overcame drug addiction to become of the country’s most heralded mothers. Her strength and life story inspired the work of her son, Tupac Shakur. His song “Dear Mama” remains the unofficial hip hop anthem on Mother’s Day. The song still makes me tear up thinking about the struggles moms go through for their kids — the sacrifices my own mom made for us.

After Tupac’s death, Afeni continued shaping lives by running her son’s estate and helped to shape his legacy. She led investments to communities and charities through the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.

Twenty years after the death of her son, Afeni passed away this week.

On Mother’s Day, I’m celebrating Afeni and the mothers like her who are fighting injustices to improve the lives for their children and the next generation. Like the mothers of Flint.

I’m celebrating Desiree Dual, a mother and Flint resident that I met while touring the city with Green For All, the environmental justice non-profit that I lead. Desiree watched her children getting progressively sick from lead poisoning for months, and then one day stepped out of the shower to find blood coming out of her ears. Now, she’s spending her time organizing water deliveries for local residents and fighting for the resources for her pipes to be fixed as a member of Flint Rising — all while taking care of her sick children and her own health.

Melissa Mays along other Flint mothers

I’m also celebrating Melissa Mays, another Flint mother that founded an advocacy organization called “Water You Fighting For.” She told theHuffington Post that her resolve in fighting for justice in Flint is traced back to her status as a mother. “When you cross our babies, no. That’s not going to happen. Go with your gut,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what your background is. You can make a difference and make your voice heard. No one would be doing anything now if it wasn’t for a bunch of moms getting mad.”

My own mom was pregnant with me when escaping a war-torn Vietnam. We grew up in some of the poorest and most polluted communities in Oakland. When we finally settled down, it was in a neighborhood called “Murda Dubs” — appropriately named because it had some of the highest murders in the country during the mid-90s. Our neighbors were struggling to make ends meet for basic needs. The struggle of Flint’s mothers strikes painfully close to home.

I am now a mother of twin toddlers. We live in Oakland, in a community where residents are projected to live twelve years shorter than more affluent zip codes a few miles away. I grew up watching my parents struggle with many of the same environmental racism as Melissa and Desiree, and now I fight alongside them in Oakland.

Several years ago, my husband and I teamed up with other parents to found the Roses of Concrete School in East Oakland. The school was named after Tupac’s poem “The Rose That Grew from Concrete.” The song celebrates the tenacity of youth who reach for the sun despite growing up in a community with little resources.

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Provin nature’s laws wrong it learned how to walk without havin feet
Funny it seems but, by keepin its dreams
It, learned to breathe FRESH air
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
When no one else even cared
No one else even cared..
The rose that grew from concrete

As I reflect on my mom’s sacrifices, and try to have a modicum of Afeni’s tenacity and the strength of Flint’s mothers, I know that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s resolve to fight for our kids.

Let’s make sure that we are constantly celebrating the mothers that are carrying the water for this activism daily, and remember that we owe it to our kids to create a sustainable legacy.

The Million Person Project: Vien Truong

Short clip of Vien Truong's personal story of why she works on the environment. Vien is one of the most passionate and effective environmental justice leaders in the country. She is the Director of Green For All which is working to develop a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

To watch the full video go here:

The Nation: Lead Poisoning in Flint Is More Than a Health Crisis

Flint bottled water

By Zoë Carpenter

When Tony Palladeno Jr. started buying and refurbishing houses on the east side of Flint, Michigan, 25 years ago, they seemed like a good investment. The houses are on what he described as “primo land” near a community college and a park, and he figured there would always be a stream of student renters. He hoped the extra income would provide a cushion for his wife, who doesn’t have health insurance, in case of medical emergencies.

Instead, Palladeno’s houses have become a crushing financial burden. The trouble started in 2006, when Palladeno lost his job at the local newspaper, and fell behind on property taxes. Then the Great Recession walloped the city, hastening what had been a steady decline in manufacturing jobs. Property values plunged. They were finally starting to creep up again in some neighborhoods when lead poisoning in the city’s water—which began two years ago this week, when the city switched to the Flint river for its water source—became a national scandal.  All of the property in Flint combined is now worth some $500 million less than it was before the recession, according to NBC.

“We are seeing in real time how the racial wealth gap is created and perpetuated in contemporary America.” 

That’s left many residents trapped in homes they can’t sell. Not many people are eager to move into a city with poisoned water, and even if there were buyers, lenders won’t finance mortgages unless sellers can prove they have potable water. Few residents have the money to simply walk away. Some are even facing higher property taxes this year, because of the slight uptick in value before the extent of lead contamination was widely understood. 

Palladeno, who has lived in Flint his whole life, estimates he’s put well over $150,000 in his four rental properties and the house where he and his wife live. He reckons he’d be lucky to get $7,000 for any of them now. “We don’t have any hope to sell these houses for anything close to what we put into it,” Palladeno said in a telephone interview. At least two of the homes have elevated lead levels in the water. “We can’t even rent them, because if someone gets sick or dies we could be liable.”

To make their homes habitable, residents have to repair what the contaminated water destroyed: pipes, hot water heaters, dishwashers, and other appliances. The necessary repairs will cost at least $4,000 per house, on average—an impossible sum for many Flint residents, 42 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Even if every dollar of the pledged recovery money ($28 million from the state and $85 million from the federal government) were handed out to residents, it would leave them short. 

Even more devastating may be what the water crisis has done to residents’ wealth. Flint’s population, which is 57 percent black, is particularly vulnerable to downward swings in the housing market. Nationally, home equity accounts for a staggering 92 percent of black Americans’ net worth, according to the Center for Global Policy Solutions, while whites tend to have more diversified investments. Maya Rockeymore, the group’s president and CEO, says that Flint’s black population is likely to be similarly dependent on property values.

Though they didn’t have much to begin with, the corrosion and resulting lead poisoning “literally stripped what little wealth the people of Flint had in their properties,” Rockeymore says. And it dimmed any prospect of recovery from the housing crisis. “We are seeing in real time how the racial wealth gap is created and perpetuated in contemporary America,” she says. 

In February, Rockeymore and other experts on building wealth in communities of color sent a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, arguing that “in addition to damaging the health of Flint residents, we contend that your Administration’s actions have also undermined their potential for maximizing earnings and accumulating wealth over a lifetime, which has a direct impact on the social and economic viability of the communities in which they reside.” Their point was that a proportional response required more than fixing the city’s water infrastructure and providing healthcare to the people impacted by the lead poisoning and other contaminants. (Or prosecuting a few low-level officials.)  Among other things, the letter called on the governor to establish a fund to compensate residents for “long-term psychosocial and socioeconomic effects,” and for relieving homeowners of debt and tax liability on affected properties.

There is precedent for compensation funds, notably the $7 billion fund set up for 5,562 people who lost family members in the September 11 attacks. But Michigan’s political leaders have expressed little interest so far. “We were very responsive to the victims of 9/11, and yet we’re seeing a slower and indifferent response of the victims in the Flint crisis,” says Rockeymore. Race and class bias may account for the disproportionate reaction, she suggested, likening Flint to Hurricane Katrina.

Green For All, a nonprofit working to center people of color in the climate movement, recently proposed a way for Michigan to finance a compensation fund. Under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, the state could draft a plan for reducing carbon pollution that requires polluters to pay for their emissions, with that money going to a “Polluters Pay Fund” that would be invested in communities most impacted by environmental damage. Green For All will push for funds in a number of states, but chose to launch its campaign last week in Flint with a specific reference to the “huge amounts of wealth” local residents have lost because of the water crisis. 

The federal government and entities like the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac should help stabilize the housing market, too, said Aracely Panameño, the director of Latino Affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending, by encouraging lenders to allow Flint homeowners to refinance their mortgages and write off the cost of repairs. “No amount of money can take away the harm that the children have suffered, and the adults too.… Having said that, you compromise the opportunity they do have if they are locked into their property and unable to move out of the city for whatever reason,” she said.

While lawmakers dither, Tony Palladeno’s wife is making plans to leave him. Not because their marriage has fallen apart, but because her hair is still falling out and she’s sick. She’s going to take the dog up to the northern part of Michigan, where they have a small cabin on a river, a river that isn’t polluted. Palladeno isn’t sure yet what he’ll do. “I can’t just walk away from this,” he said. “I’ve got too much invested.”

EcoWatch: Panama Papers Prove America Has the Money to Transition to 100% Clean Energy


By Vien Truong

Last week, the IRS asked anyone who might be exposed in the Panama Papers to come forward before they get caught. And for good reason—America is a hotbed of tax evasion.

There’s an old myth that we can’t have a comfortable lifestyle—cars, homes, creature comforts—without sacrificing clean water and clean air, because it requires lots of energy and we don’t have the money to transition to cleaner energy sources.

panama_papers_750We have the money to transform America’s economy and moral reality—creating millions of jobs and ending our country’s dark history of allowing the health of whole communities to be sacrificed for fossil fuels.

Conservatives argue we can’t afford advancements. Liberals argue a transition is possible, but we need bridge fuels or “All of the Above” to fund a slow transition. The Panama Papers show we have the money to transition right now, but it’s being looted by the global elite.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the lives of people across the U.S. and the globe—fromheat waves to floods to hurricanes to droughts. Regardless of how you feel about that, it’s simply fact that the fossil fuel industry has systematically poisoned low income communities and communities of color across the globe, like the one I grew up in.

My family lived in some of the worst neighborhoods in Oakland, California. Like many others in my community, we struggled to make ends meet. As a child, it was normal for me to see families dealing with severe economic, mental and environmental problems. It wasn’t until I was able to travel and live in other parts of the U.S. that I understood it was not normal for families to live in cramped apartments festering with cockroaches; kids to attend schools that are surrounded with chain-linked fences that look like prisons; or breath air filled with toxins from nearby factories or expansive highways.

In the Gulf Coast, oil and gas refineries have lead to sky-high cancer rates, asthma rates and lowered life expectancies. Many families continue living by coal plants even though their kids can’t safely breathe outside because they can’t afford to move nor have other viable options. And we are seeing that weird rashes, cancers and chronic health issues have become the new normal for families living near gas fracking facilities.

The fossil fuel economy wreaks havoc wherever it exists. It’s past time for us to move beyond it.

But what do we hear time and time again? We can’t afford to get off fossil fuels. It’s just too expensive. Now, solar and battery technology are fast changing that tune—allowing rock-bottom prices that out-compete coal and gas across the country and incredible electric carswith ranges that rival their gas-guzzling competitors.

We have the money to fix it. The Panama Papers revealed just how far the ultra-rich will go to not pay taxes.

And let’s not glorify it. Not one has ever gotten rich without using goods and resources financed by everybody else—electricity, the internet, roads, air, water, land. These public resources are built up by low income communities and communities of color who pay their taxes year in and year out, because to do anything else would mean facing consequences.

Not these bad actors. They’ve been stealing access to our national wealth all to build up their personal wealth—and then using tax havens to build yet more. At least $150 billion dollars a year of American taxes aren’t paid by the ultra wealthy. And if you look at global estimates by the Tax Justice Network—the rich are likely hiding more than $21 trillion dollars of tax-free assets offshore.

Just a small portion of these robbed assets could transform America’s economy and put us on track to achieving 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050 and 50 percent clean energy by 2030.

We have the money to transform America’s economy and moral reality—creating millions of jobs and ending our country’s dark history of allowing the health of whole communities to be sacrificed for fossil fuels.

Let’s put this stain on America’s human rights record behind us. Let’s invest in the low-income communities and communities of color we’ve allowed to be poisoned for far too long. You can’t say we don’t have the money.

Vien Truong is the director of Green for All, a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equity at the center of environmental solutions.

Fortune: Prince Secretly Funded Solar Tech In Oakland


By Katie Fehrenbacher

Prince, at times, had a love-hate relationship with technology.

While beloved musician Prince was inspiring fans through his creativity, it turns out he had a secret life as a clean energy philanthropist.

According to Prince’s friend and longtime green advocate Van Jones, Prince was a major backer of Jones’s group Green For All, which has worked on installing solar panels on the roofs of buildings in Oakland. Jones tells SFGatethat “there are people who have solar panels right now on their houses in Oakland, California that don’t know Prince paid for them.”

Prince was found dead at the age of 57 last Thursday at his home at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Jones says Prince funded many other charitable organizations as well as the solar projects, and that Prince quietly worked behind the scenes on initiatives combatting gun violence and police brutality. According to Reverend Al Sharpton, he donated money to the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.

Prince also funded Yes We Code, a nonprofit organization encouraging urban youth to embrace careers in technology and computing. Prince helped launch the Yes We Code group after the Martin verdict.

The nonprofit’s website paid tribute to Prince through a short note:

#YesWeCode would like to honor Prince and thank him for his inspired vision for #YesWeCode. Prince’s commitment to ensuring young people of color have a voice in the tech sector continues to impact the lives of future visionaries creating the tech of tomorrow.

Prince, at times, had a love-hate relationship with technology. He was a pioneer of the early Web, and he was one of the first musicians to sell an album online. However, in recent years, Prince spent time removing much of his music from the Internet.

Last year, Prince moved all of his music over to steam exclusively online via the service Tidal, which is owned by fellow musician Jay Z. Prince said on Twitter at the time, “Essentially, streaming has offered labels the ability to pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists…” The year prior, Prince removed all of his music from YouTube.

Medium: It's Bigger than Flint, Communities of Color Aren’t For Sale

By Vien Truong

It feels fitting that in the run-up to Earth Day, a day meant to have us reflect on how we treat the earth and its delicate resources, the first criminal charges were filed in the ongoing Flint water crisis. One of the worst environmental racism cases in recent memory, three low and mid-level bureaucrats and scientists were charged with data manipulation and misleading the government that contributed to the poisoning of thousands of men, women and children. It’s a ray of hope for accountability in the never ending nightmare for the people of Flint.

But it’s also far from a closed case: people in Flint are still getting rashes and their homes are worth nothing. Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder took the news earlier this week to theatrically pose with the water and pledge to drink it for the month, despite many contaminants beyond lead continuing to leach into the water. Governor Snyder has repeatedly resisted calls to resign, while doing little to change the situation on the ground for Flint’s residents.

We should all be furious. Not just by how this crisis has been handled, but by the fact that it had been allowed to occur in the first place and for so long.

Last month, Green For All travelled to Flint to witness first-hand the water crisis with local residents, who are still living entirely on bottled water.

We first met Desiree Dual, who recounted the process of watching her children getting progressively sick for months, and then one day stepped out of the shower to find blood coming out of her ears. Now, she’s organizing water deliveries for local residents and fighting for the resources for her pipes to be fixed — all while taking care of her sick children and her own health.

Then we met Harold Harrington, business manager of the local plumbers and pipefitters union, United Association Local 370. Their union is working to replace pipes, all the while living with poisoned water and pipes themselves. Harold told us his home, which his family spent years paying for, is now worth nothing because of Gov. Snyder’s actions.

Harold Harrington touring news media around the local pipefitters union, which is working to replace Flint’s lead-contaminated pipes

Existing laws make it illegal to sell a home with known water quality issues. Flint residents are trapped in their homes, with poisonous water continuing to stream from their taps. And their homes are now worth nothing.

As Congressman Matt Cartwright so powerfully stated during Congressional hearings last month, this is a man-made disaster created by Snyder himself, who thought saving a buck was more important than the health and wealth of an entire city. And amidst all of this, the cost of handling the crisis is ultimately falling on the families of Flint — with their failing businesses, dropping home values, and rising medical bills.

Gov. Snyder’s experiment with putting toxic water through Flint’s pipes has corroded ever pipe in Flint, poisoned the water of 100,000 people, and wiped out the wealth of an entire city. This leaves only one path forward to getting Flint’s residents access to water again: Gov. Snyder must flix Flint’s pipes immediately, and he needs do it with local labor.

The state and federal governments haven’t yet stepped in to fix it, other than the band-aid of bottled-water pickup stations available to mobile residents. That’s not a solution.

Residents have set up their own systems for distributing clean bottled water and caring for disabled, elderly, and homebound residents — but this isn’t sustainable. either Many of those providing help, like Desiree Dual, are struggling with their own health issues from the water.

Every corroded pipe in Flint is Snyder’s responsibility; every child struggling at school in Flint because of lead poisoning deserves Snyder’s financial support to do better; and every family who has watched and been affected by this economic devastation deserves the investment in Flint’s infrastructure that is essential to recovery.

Flint is our line in the sand: people of color aren’t going to stay silent while our lives are sacrificed for the sake of “cost-cutting.”

We deserve investments in our communities after years of deliberate actions to poison our air, water, and land. As we move to fix this problem by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and investing in clean and renewable energy, the first investments in new infrastructure have to go to the communities who have been on the receiving end of our country’s worst political and corporate greed.

ThinkProgress: New Campaign Calls For Polluters ‘To Pay For What They Break’


By Alejandeo Davila Fragoso


Environmental pollution used to be an inconsequential act for industries and communities. Yet as science has evolved and explained the many effects of pollution, including climate change, the notion of having a free pass to pollute has ended.

The big question now is often not how or what is being affected by pollution, but who should pay for it. For Vien Truong, director of Green For All, the answer is simple: whoever creates the pollution should pay for it.

“We are calling for polluters to pay for what they break, to make polluters pay for what they do to our communities,” said Truong. To make that statement a reality, this week Green For All, a group focused on giving people of color a voice in the environmental movement, launched a national campaign for each state to create a Polluters Pay Fund. Truong said the funds would go to environmentally and economically disadvantaged communities via programs that communities develop.

We are calling for polluters to pay for what they break.

The way this would work, according to Green For All, is that as states draft plans to reduce their carbon, they would make polluters pay for the carbon allowances given under the Clean Power Plan, and then invest that money back into the communities hardest hit by their pollution. Essentially, it would be a carbon tax, an anathema concept for many politicians.

Green For All is doing its first push for the Polluters Pay campaign in Flint, Michigan, a city that’s been battling a lead poisoning crisis for several months. High chloride levels made the water excessively corrosive to Flint’s pipes, which polluted the water with lead. The chloride polluting the Flint River likely came from salts used to keep ice off the roads during the winter, and Flint did not apply corrosion inhibitor chemicals commonly used to mitigate such problems.

Two state and one city official so far have been charged over the water crisis, while various lawsuits are ongoing.

“Families in Flint are sick of paying to fix Governor Snyder’s mistakes,” Truong said. “This Earth Day, it’s time to talk about the people affected by pollution — starting with Flint. Fixing pipes is just the beginning. Justice is bringing back not only Flint’s water, but also Flint’s wealth.”

Green For All is inviting celebrities, community leaders, and organizations across the country to sign a petition and take part in a day of online action this Earth Day using #PollutersPay and #FixFlint on social media. The campaign has already been favored by actor Mark Ruffalo, though Green For All said more are likely to join in the coming weeks.

In the coming weeks, Green For All will be releasing toolkits in partnership with major environmental groups laying out recommendations for how states can implement their own polluters pay fund. There will also be a series of events across the country to educate stakeholders on this policy model.

This Polluters Pay campaign might seem grandiose due to its national scope. But it’s not unprecedented in the United States. In fact, it’s based on California’s Climate Investments Fund, a law that Truong designed and pushed for some five years ago. The Climate Investment Fund mandates that 25 percent of the state cap and trade funds are spent on disadvantaged communities.

The fund has helped people all over California in the last couple of years, and it’s growing fast.

“By the time we get to 2020 it’s going to be close to $12 billion,” said Truong. “It’s created the biggest fund in history for low-income families in any state.” And the benefits are already trickling down. In 2015, for instance, GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit, received $14.7 million in climate investment funding to install solar panels on low-income households.

“We expect to put solar on the homes of 1,600 low-income families across the state through 2016 with these funds,” Julian Foley, Grid Alternatives director of communications, told ThinkProgress via email, “and in the process provide 150,000 hours of job training and 400 paid work opportunities. These systems will provide families over $38 million in energy cost savings over their anticipated 25-year lifetimes.”

The California experience could be a sign that so-called polluters pay funds could multiply across the nation. After all, California is a pioneer in progressive laws and programs that other states then pick up. Yet, creating a polluters pay fund puts communities against polluters, which are often wealthy businesses or corporations that oppose more stringent laws in the first place. What’s more, Green For All proposes the Clean Power Plan, a court-challenged rule that calls for reductions in carbon emissions from the electricity sector, to be used as a vessel for the fund.

The plan, now under a Supreme Court stay, has been opposed by many lawmakers and multiple states. However, the rule also enjoys its share of support and some states are moving forward with it. Truong said a polluters pay fund attached to the plan could bring communities to rally around the controversial rule.

“Right now when you say Clean Power Plan people close their eyes and fall asleep,” she said. But if the plan means tangible benefits, Truong said, “people are going to race to support it because, you know what, it’s going to fund the things that they want to see.”

Truong is convinced on the opportunity, despite the bad reputation carbon taxes have among many lawmakers. “What we saw in California is that even the Republicans began supporting the program because they like ribbon-cutting as much as anybody,” she said.

Michael E. Kraft, professor emeritus of political science and public and environmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, said pushing for any form of a carbon tax is daunting. “The political divisions and incivility that often characterize debates over climate change make it quite difficult to succeed in arguing for a carbon tax,” he told ThinkProgress, “even for a fee and dividend system … where all of the taxes are returned to the public.”

Still, he said public opinion surveys that show that the public is strongly in favor of many actions to address environmental problems like climate change. And Green For All — along with the organizations partnering with it — is determined to make the campaign a success.

“It is a challenge to get corporations to pay their fair share of taxes to environmental justice, that is very true,” said Jessica Juarez Scruggs, deputy director of policy at National People’s Action. “But it’s about building power in our communities so that we can force corporations to pay their fair share, you know, that’s what we need to do.”

Green for All, Flint Residents: Absence of Governor Snyder in List of Flint Charges is Criminal

Statement from Vien Truong, Director of Green for All:

“What is happening in Flint is criminal, but the person ultimately responsible is Governor Rick Snyder, who made the call to poison Flint’s residents for the sake of Michigan’s budget. This isn’t a closed case, people in Flint are still getting rashes and homes are worth nothing until Governor Snyder fixes every pipe in town. While we applaud the move towards criminal charges, what’s needed is the money to rebuild and fix Flint.”

Statement from Tony Palladeno, local Flint resident:

"People should go to jail for what's happened in Flint -- but that doesn't change the fact that we need our pipes fixed today. Our homes are worth nothing, businesses have closed. Governor Snyder is responsible, as the person in charge, and he needs to fix every pipe in Flint, with local labor, to rebuild our city."

Statement from Melissa Mays, Flint Resident and Founder of ‘Water You Fighting For’:

"I'm organizing water deliveries while dealing with health issues from the water crisis. I'm happy to see criminal charges, but Governor Snyder should be on the list. He needs to pay for what he has done -- to rebuild our lives and our economy, and to fix every pipe in Flint."

Green for All is organizing a national day of action for Governor Snyder to Fix Flint on Friday, Earth Day. More information will be released on that day of action later this afternoon. The action is part of a national Make #PollutersPay campaign.

See the petition for Governor Snyder to fix Flint here: MakePollutersPay.Us

Hewlett: Q&A with Vien Truong: Once a refugee, now fighter of poverty and pollution


Earth Day, on April 22, is a moment for us to reflect on how we’re protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the species that share our habitats, and the spectacular landscapes we cherish. In honor of Earth Day 2016, the Hewlett Foundation is showcasing seven grantees who are working to help make the planet more sustainable. We’re rolling out a weeklong Q&A series with up-and-coming leaders who are passionate about the environment.

Kicking off the series, we spoke with Vien Truong, director of Green For All, a national initiative to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

How did you become involved with the environment cause?

When I was growing up, my family lived in some of the worst neighborhoods in Oakland, California. We were refugees from Vietnam and my parents didn’t speak any English.  We struggled to make ends meet. As a child, it was normal for me to see families dealing with severe economic, mental and social problems.

It wasn’t until I was able to travel and live in other parts of the United States that I understood it was not normal for families to live in cramped apartments festering with cockroaches; kids to attend schools that are surrounded with chain-linked fences that look like prisons; neighborhoods to have regular drive by shootings. When I began understanding that these conditions were abnormal, I decided to dedicate my life to alleviating poverty and building the beloved communities that Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned.  

As I continued working on anti-poverty solutions, I became more sensitive to environmental concerns like droughts, polluted air, and lack of reliable clean drinking water. Fighting for poverty felt like an immediate need – there are families out there suffering and starving. It was hard, however, to silence the nagging thoughts that we were burning up our planet and that environmental issues also need our attention.

When I learned that one can work to solve environmental problems and economic justice – I was hooked. I joined Green For All in 2008 to lead their state policy work. It was a great time to join the green jobs movement and we were able to pass a number of policies in a few years.

Can you describe a recent effort that you are proud of working on? 

Green For All decided to support the residents in Flint, Michigan, who have been struggling with a toxic water crisis. We reached out to local organizers to ask whether we can help them in getting their stories out to a national audience. At the time, major media outlets were beginning to move on to the next news cycle. News that did cover Flint did not give residents a more central role in their stories.

We wanted to lend our access to media, artists, influencers and policymakers to support Flint residents. By doing so, we were able to direct major media outlets to listen to their stories, struggles and needs. It was a proud moment for our team to stand in solidarity with the local Flint leaders and to make sure that resources were directed to them from around the country. We are now working to ensure no other city experience the tragedies that befell Flint.

What is one message you would most want to tell world leaders?

For too long, the traditional wisdom has been that the problems of poverty and pollution are so big they can’t be handled together.  We now know that these issues are so connected we can’t solve either of them unless we think about them together. Solutions like California’s SB 535 model, legislation passed in 2012 which caps the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, charges polluters for the damage they cause, and directs hundreds of millions of dollars to disadvantaged communities most impacted by climate change, is a great example of the possibility of tackling both issues simultaneously.

We can build on this model nationally through the Clean Power Plan or through state policies. By regulating polluters and investing in low-income communities, we can begin to clean up our air and improve the quality of life for all citizens while reducing the costs of living.

What sustains you?  

I’m increasingly aware of the number of nonprofit leaders who are burned out and leave the field. Given that reality, I’ve made a conscious decision to find time to rejuvenate myself by spending time with my loved ones -- family and friends. Most recently, I’ve also started exploring classes on the weekends – these classes range from learning how to do handstands to Muay Thai. It’s been a lot of fun.  

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Green For All Praises Secretary Clinton's Environmental Justice Platform, Calls for Further Action to Make Polluters Pay

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Green For All Praises Secretary Clinton's Environmental Justice Platform, Calls for Further Action to Make Polluters Pay

This afternoon, Secretary Hillary Clinton released her plan on environmental and climate justice. 

In response, Green For All Director Vien Truong released the following statement:

"Secretary Clinton's environmental and climate justice plan is an important step forward for low-income communities and communities of color impacted by pollution, and for our national discussion on environmental racism. We applaud this effort and encourage further ideas that would make polluters pay for the reinvestment and rebuilding of communities who have suffered the worst of pollution and environmental racism.
"From Flint to the Gulf Coast and from Governor Snyder to Shell Oil, we need to make sure that polluters pay, not families."


Green For All is a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equity at the center of environmental solutions. By creating and implementing equitable solutions to some our most pressing issues today – poverty and pollution – Green For All works to ensure that every American citizen has access to strong, resilient, and healthy communities.

Mark Ruffalo, Van Jones, Green For All Launch Campaign Demanding Governor Snyder Fix Flint

March 17, 2016

Daniel Wein, [email protected]

Mark Ruffalo, Van Jones, Green For All Launch Campaign Demanding Governor Snyder Fix Flint

New Campaign Calls on Governor Snyder to Fix the Pipes with Flint Labor, Establish Comprehensive Health Services, and Repay Residents for Poisoned Water

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Mark Ruffalo is joining Van Jones and Green For All Director Vien Truong to call on Governor Rick Snyder to fix the pipes in Flint, Michigan. The campaign - in coordination with Flint Rising, a coalition of local Flint organizations - launches the morning that Governor Rick Snyder is slated to testify before Congress on the Flint water crisis he created by switching Flint to a toxic water source to save money. 

See the just-launched petition here:

The campaign launches with a petition from Ruffalo, Jones, Truong and Green For All demanding Gov. Snyder fix the pipes immediately with local labor, establish an extensive health network for residents, and repay residents for poisoned water.

Mark Ruffalo, Van Jones, Tom Steyer and Green For All Director Vien Truong travelled to Flint just last week to meet with local residents and hear first-hand their stories and urgent needs around the water crisis, which has wiped out the home values of tens of thousands of residents along with corroding their pipes and leaving them without access to safe water.

“What is happening in Flint is a national disaster created and perpetuated by Governor Rick Snyder,” said Mark Ruffalo, Founder of Water Defense. “People can’t live forever on bottled water, and the time has come for Governor Snyder to step up and fix every pipe in Flint. Water is a fundamental human right, and we will fight until that right is restored in Flint.”

“Governor Snyder is responsible for this mess, and we demand that his administration step in immediately to fix it,” said Van Jones, Dream Corps President and CNN commentator. “People have saved their whole lives to buy homes that now have no value in Flint, and nearly 100,000 people have lost access to water. It’s inexcusable for these communities to be neglected a moment longer.”

“We are fed up with corporations and politicians like Gov. Snyder sacrificing the lives of low-income communities and communities of color for profits,” said Vien Truong, Director of Green For All. “This is a national disaster that has robbed families of their health, their life savings, and even the lives of their expected children. The time has come for Governor Snyder to fix the pipes, and do it with local labor. Our communities refuse to be bullied into silence.”

The Guardian: Mark Ruffalo calls Flint's water crisis a 'national emergency' in recent visit

March 7, 2016

Earlier on Monday, organizers from Green for All – a national initiative launched to highlight environmental issues in low-income communities – ferried Ruffalo, Steyer, and residents around Flint on a bus to highlight chief demands from local activists: water bill reimbursements, a full replacement of lead service lines in the city, and infrastructure investments to address long-term financial impacts in wake of the crisis.

Black Enterprise: Activist Van Jones Joins Artists For Bus Tour Leading Crisis Response In Flint

March 7, 2016

Author, activist and founder of Green For All, Van Jones, will join a group of participants of the Support For Flint’s Future Bus Tour that include actor and founder of Water Defense Mark Ruffalo; environmental justice activist and Director of Green For All Vien Truong; and businessman, philanthropist and founder of NextGen Climate Tom Steyer.

Detroit News: Mark Ruffalo says Flint is a national disaster

March 7, 2016

Oscar-nominated actor and water activist Mark Ruffalo listened to residents vent frustration over the city’s lead-tainted water system Monday, then expressed his own outrage. Ruffalo and Van Jones, a CNN political commentator, were joined by a group of activists in the basement of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church near the city’s downtown on Monday to discuss the needs of the people of Flint in dealing with the city’s municipal water supply disaster. 

San Francisco Chronicle: West Oakland deserves better than dirty coal

March 7, 2016

Coal is a dying industry, and it shouldn’t be allowed to take the people of West Oakland down with it. Instead of tying its future to a doomed and dirty fuel source, Oakland should demand a shipping terminal that won’t be tied for decades to a failing industry. Demand jobs and opportunity that don’t come with asthma attacks and heart disease. Demand access to the clean-energy economy that is sweeping America by powering Oakland with more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030.

Mark Ruffalo Joins Green for All, NextGen Climate, Local Flint Residents to Call for Solutions to Ongoing Water Crisis

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Daniel Wein, [email protected]


Mark Ruffalo Joins Green for All, NextGen Climate, Local Flint Residents to Call for Solutions to Ongoing Water Crisis


FLINT, Mich. -- Today, actor Mark Ruffalo, Green for All Founder Van Jones, NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer and Green For All Director Vien Truong came together to stand in solidarity with the organizers responding to the Flint water crisis and fighting for long-term solutions for Flint. The “Support For Flint’s Future” bus tour -- one day after the Democratic Debate in Flint -- was organized by Green for All to support the people and organizations that have been on the forefront of addressing and responding to the crisis.


See photos here:

See video from today here:


The tour was formed to support and highlight three key demands from local group Flint Rising:

  1. Reimbursements for residents that have been forced to continue paying for contaminated water;

  2. New pipes that deliver clean drinking water, with the jobs going to local residents; and

  3. Long-term infrastructure investments in Flint to counter the brutal financial impact of the crisis.

At St. Michael’s Church, Flint Rising organizers Art Reyes, Nakiya Wakes, Desiree Duell and United Association Local 370’s Harold Harrington joined national leaders to outline the water crisis’ dangerous impact on residents’ health and call for lasting solutions. The trip also featured site visits to Hurley Medical Center with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who first sounded the alarm to dangerously high lead levels in local children and founded; a briefing on water testing from Water Defense at a stop overlooking the Flint River; and a meeting with Harold Harrington, the business manager of the local plumbers’ and pipefitters’ union.

“Our kids are sick, we can’t bathe at home, and we need more sustainable solutions than bottled water,” said Nakiya Wakes. “This is our community and our home. We need investments in Flint, and we need them now. ”

“What is happening in Flint right now is a disaster, and the time has come for President Obama to officially designate the water crisis as such,” said Mark Ruffalo, Actor and Founder of Water Defense. “The United Nations has already declared access to clean water indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It’s incumbent upon all of us to bear witness to the damage done in Flint and communities like it from environmental racism. This means addressing the underlying issues that allowed for the Flint Water Crisis to take place, and empowering the groups trying to build a long-term future for their city.”

“It goes against the very nature of American democracy to subject citizens to the mistreatment that the residents of Flint have borne the brunt of for years,” said Van Jones, former green jobs advisor to President Obama and founder of Green For All. “The time has come for President Obama to declare what has happened in Flint a federal disaster, and meet it with the federal resources the problem requires. Situations like Flint don’t develop overnight; they are the result of long-standing neglect from all parts of our society. Addressing these issues starts with lifting up local community leaders and addressing their demands.”

“We’re here today because we believe that access to clean, safe water is a basic human right, and that right has been denied to families in Flint,” said NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer. “From Flint to Ohio to my home state of California, too many Americans are being denied clean water and left without a voice and without a seat at the table. We have to fix this, we have to fight for clean water and demand justice for every single American.”

“The time has come for President Obama to formally  declare the Flint water crisis a federal disaster,” said Vien Truong, Director of Green For All. “Flint has experienced the worst of America in this crisis. People have lost their kids, their livelihoods, and their drinking water. Flint now deserves the best America has to offer, which means federal resources that put Flint back to work fixing the pipes and addressing this public health emergency. With the right investments, Flint’s future is bright.”


# # #

Green For All works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Our goal is to make sure people of color have a place and a voice in the climate movement. That our neighborhoods are strong, resilient, and healthy. That as the clean energy economy grows, it brings jobs and opportunity to our communities. More at

NextGen Climate is focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics. Founded by businessperson and philanthropist Tom Steyer in 2013, NextGen Climate acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans.

MLive: Mark Ruffalo, activists to tour Flint in support of city in water crisis

March 2, 2016

"The mission behind this bus tour, and Green For All, is to provide a megaphone for the community leaders and organizations working to address the crisis in Flint," said Truong. "We now need to turn the focus to the future of Flint, and what the community needs to sustainably and equitably rebuild itself into a prosperous city."

Green For All Joins with Activists, Artists to Announce the SUPPORT FOR FLINT’S FUTURE Bus Tour

For Immediate Release


Daniel Wein – [email protected]


Green For All Joins with Activists, Artists to Announce the SUPPORT FOR FLINT’S FUTURE Bus Tour

Mark Ruffalo, Van Jones, Vien Truong, Tom Steyer & others join for a bus tour to highlight community organizations and individuals leading crisis response in Flint

March 2, 2016 – Oakland, CA – The morning after the Democratic Presidential Debate will draw the nation’s attention to Flint, Green For All will assemble a diverse group of activists and artists to join the Support For Flint’s Future Bus Tour. The tour will begin on Monday, March 7th at 9 a.m. EST, making several site visits across Flint to call attention, bear witness and share solutions to the ongoing Flint Water Crisis.

Read more

Flint: Elevating Solutions to Stop the Vicious Cycle of Environmental Racism

Flint is not the first poisoned American city. But we have the know-how to make it the last.

By now, the cycle of how environmental racism repeats itself is well-established: a natural or manmade disaster wreaks havoc on a disadvantaged city, leaving thousands of displaced residents. An already crumbling infrastructure ruptures due to generations of neglect, leaving those most vulnerable and unable to flee or relocate to bear the brunt of the consequences.

Read more

Amidst Flint Crisis, Environmental Leader Vien Truong Points to California For A Long-Term Public Policy Solution

February 9, 2016 - As the water crisis in Flint continues to escalate, Vien Truong, an environmental champion and clean energy expert, is challenging Michigan and other states to an unusual call to arms: use pollution - or more accurately, the government mandated tax on it - to help end poverty in low-income communities like Flint. Vien Truong has devoted her career to helping low income communities of color breath easier. After a landmark victory in California, in which she helped to move one quarter of every dollar the government collects for a pollution tax to be reinvested in vulnerable communities, she’s looking at replicating that success across the country.

Read more

Statement on Supreme Court's Stay of Clean Power Plan

In response to the Supreme Court's stay of the Clean Power Plan, Green For All Director Vien Truong made the following statement:

"While we share in the disappointment that the Clean Power Plan's implementation will be delayed, we're nonetheless confident that precedence and public opinion is strongly on our side. Green For All's work to build an equitable and sustainable future is important and will move forward independent of the Clean Power Plan's implementation timeline."

"The millions of individuals living in disadvantaged communities bearing the brunt of climate change cannot wait for action. The Supreme Court's actions only serves to underscore the critical need for community leaders and their allies to work together on crafting equitable climate solutions now."

The Progressive: Building Things to Solve Problems: An Interview with Van Jones

February 3, 2016 

Green for All has helped to create more than 10,000 jobs for low-income people and people of color in green industries. I like to build things that solve problems and have had a very exciting career doing it. 

Vien Truong - California Climate Leadership | Bioneers

To make real progress on climate change, we need a true collaborative movement, reaching across race, class and ethnic divisions. In California, where 73% of those under 18 years old are people of color, Vien Truong walks us through practical examples and models of what success looks like - and what it's going to take to build this movement.

Vien Truong at the National Forum on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Communities of Color

Vien Truing (Green For All National Director) speaks at the National Forum on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Communities of Color on September 29th, 2015.

Natural Resources Defense Council Climate Polls

Vien Truong, National Director for Green For All, discusses climate polls in communities of color. 


Listen here


Themes and Findings from a Survey of African-Americans on Climate and Clean Energy

Majorities of African Americans express concern about air pollution and global warming, and are confident that fighting these problems by increasing the use of clean energy will both create jobs and lower energy costs. Taken together, the results indicate that African-Americans constitute a strong base of support actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Download report


Findings from a National Survey of African Americans on Energy Issues

Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz, & Associates (FM3) and Marketing Resources International Inc.recently completed a national telephone survey and four focus groups among African-Americans to assess opinions on energy issues. 

Download the report


Poll Shows African Americans Strongly Back Climate Action

Two-thirds of African Americans believe global warming is a serious problem, they want action more than the population at large and they overwhelmingly support the Clean Power Plan to address the growing climate crisis, a major new poll released today shows.

Read more


Get on the fast track to greening your church! Join Green the Church and our friends from the US Green Building Council for this interactive workshop. Come ready to pool ideas on how you can transform your church.

Read more

Black Church Matters: A Community Conversation

On November 17th, come join the Green the Church community as we explore the role of the church in social change movements at Black Church Matters: A Community Conversation.

Read more

National Forum on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Communities of Color


Watch the video! On September 29th, 2015, national, congressional, community, and faith leaders gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to advance the Clean Power Plan for the health, wealth, and opportunity of low-income communities and people of color. Speakers included Vien Truong (Green For All), Van Jones (Dream Corps & Green For All), Keya Chatterjee (US Climate Action Network), Congressman Keith Ellison, Elianne Ramos (Speak Hispanic Communications), Congressman Raul Grijalva, and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III (Trinity United Church of Christ).

Read more

HuffPo Live: President Releases Strict Climate Change Proposal

Vien Truong, Green For All National Director, joins HuffPo Live to discuss the historic Clean Power Plan unveiled by the Obama administration to tackle global warming.

Leaders of Color Applaud the Clean Power Plan

Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The plan includes important provisions that will benefit low-income Americans and communities of color, which are hit hardest by pollution and climate change.



Read more

Clean Power To The People: Twelve Climate Champions Who Are Leading The Way


The clean energy economy is booming. And policies like President Obama’s Clean Power Plan are opening the door to better health, wealth, and opportunity all across America.

These twelve champions are instrumental to the climate change fight. These leaders are making sure communities of color benefit from the clean energy economy--from breathing healthier air to accessing better jobs.













Green The Church National Summit in Chicago

Join faith leaders, green innovators, and hundreds of church members for three days of worship, community-building, discussion, and action August 19-21, 2015. 

Read more

Green the Church Summit


Green The Church Summit - Inspiration and Action!

Green The Church held our first major gathering during the Fall of 2014.

The first ever Green The church Summit was held on November 11th & 12th at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, CA. The Summit gathered some of the nations most prominent clergy leaders like Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Rev. Dr. Tyson. Lord Gray, a religious scholar and environmental activist.

The Summit kicked off with a praise and worship service that attuned people’s hearts and minds with vibrant song and urged their spirits to commit to becoming a part of Green The Church. Rev. Richardson culminated the evening by reemphasizing that amidst many things, churches primary roles are to make a difference in their communities, helping out wherever they are needed and by whatever means necessary.

Summit3-300x200.jpgThis call to action then carried us into the morning of Wednesday, November 12th, where we held a Clergy Leaders Breakfast with expert panelists who shared resources and support to help church leaders take action in a real way. The morning session featured solar companies, energy efficiency experts, food justice activists and more.

Join us this summer! National Green The Church Summit in Chicago

Chicago, August 19-20: The National Green The Church Summit will include two days of worship, discussion, and action. We'll share resources for helping your church and community save money and energy by going green. You'll learn about important clean air protections that are under threat, and what churches can do to save them. And you'll have a chance to join forces with folks from different denominations around the country who are committed to serving as good stewards of God's creation. 



Today, a coalition of groups fired back at a National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) report misrepresenting the impacts of the Clean Power Plan.

Read more

"A New Sound: Green For All"

The dirty-energy economy has brought pollution and poverty to too many. But a clean-energy economy can bring opportunity, health, and wealth to struggling communities. Clean-energy jobs such as weatherizing homes, installing solar panels, and manufacturing wind turbines will put people to work in their own communities.

A new green economy will provide opportunity to people who have been left out of the old economy. That is the promise of Green For All.

Watch the video. Take Action. Share A New Sound with your friends and family.

A new green economy will provide opportunity to people who have been left out of the old economy. That is the promise of Green For All.

Hip-Hop is Going Green...for All

Hip-Hop superstars, including: Wyclef Jean, Common, Drake,, Anthony Mackie, Wiz Khalifa and Dead Prez share a special message about going green.

Green Jobs for Kansas City

Kansas City, like many American towns is burdened by pollution from coal-fired power plants, unemployment, and poverty. Faced with bitterly cold winters and scorching summers, the city's residents struggle to keep up with steep energy bills.

The Cost of Delay

Coal plants are poisoning our kids. We can stop them.

As a parent, you can't breathe for your child. It makes you feel helpless.

Pollution from coal plants causes asthma, heart disease, birth defects and early death. And people of color are hit hardest. One in six African 

Read more

Power Moves

Power Moves is a campaign to help young people take action and make their voice heard in the Political process. Check out the video and ‘Zine which help tell the story of what youth can do when they build power! Sign the Power Vote pledge and figure out your Power Move!

Check out the 'Zine here.


Spare the Air and your Wallet: How to bring the Eco-Pass to your Campus

The eco pass is a win-win for students’ wallets and our environment, saving us both kinds of green. The best part? It’s not hard to bring the eco-pass to your campus or workplace.

Students at De Anza Community College in California pioneered the way for other students by bringing the eco-pass to their campus last Fall, making public transportation almost free for students. And they took the time to share their secrets with us…

Download the report








Mercury & Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Toolkit

Poison from coal-fired power plants is killing our kids. We’re suffering from preventable heart disease and asthma attacks. And we’re spending billions of dollars on hospital visits and missed days at work and school. Polluters are trying to delay new clean air rules that will create jobs and protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. This tool kit has all you need to engage your community in the conversation and to take action for cleaner, safer air for all.

Get the tool kit here.


The Block Rockers Blog and Toolkit

blockrocker-300x150.jpg1. “What the bleep is the Green economy?” video: This video is an educational and motivational look at what a green economy means, and how you can be a part of it. We look at different areas like energy efficiency, water infrastructure, urban agriculture among others. Use it to hold a conversation with your friends and find out how you can be a part of the solution. 

2. Community Gardens: How To: Build a real green room, a garden, right on your block! With this guide you’ll learn exactly how you can take a little room, a few friends, and some dedication and turn it into a real live garden for the whole community to enjoy. Dig in the dirt and let it grow! Download Community Gardens: How To »

3. The Block Rocker toolkit is a set of tools and resources that is easy to use and designed to help you engage your freinds, family and neighbors in solutions for your community. After checking out the tools below, head over to the Block Rockers blog!

This blog is dedicated to the people that make the movement for an inclusive green economy, who battle for sustainable, flourishing and thriving communities and have fun doing it! Check out Block Rockers blog to meet the people who are really gettin’ down! Are you a Block Rocker, do you know a block rocker?

4. Bridging the Economic and Climate Gap: a Workshop: Ever feel like the economy is not working for you and your folks? Well, this workshop will help illustrate the reality of the economic and climate gaps and how they are related. Use this guide (with discussion questions and sample answers) to organize a workshop for your friends, family, and neighbors.  Download Bridging the Economic and Climate Gap: a Workshop »

5. Green Your Dorm: Ah yes, the dorm room…home away from home for so many! But is your dorm room a green room? Make sure it is with these ideas on how to live the college life as green as possible. Download Green Your Dorm »

6. Host a Green House Party: Use this guide to lead a casual conversation about solutions fro your community. You never know what solutions you might come up with. Download Host a Green House Party »

7. The New Wave Workshop: One of the few things we all share is water! What’s happening in your community around water issues? This is a highly participatory workshop designed for a diverse set of participants explores our relationship to water, as well as the causes and consequences of the current water crisis, and to collectively generate an action plan to ensure fresh water is available for generations to come. Download The New Wave Workshop »


Healthy Food For All: Planting Seeds of Change

A healthy and sustainable food system restores our soil, water and wildlife, and fights global warming by relying less on fossil fuels. An equitable food system can be a source of empowering work opportunities. Finally, better access to healthy food means better health for our communities.

Find out more and take action in your community.

Clean Water For All: Protecting Life’s Resource

Clean-Water.jpegThis colorful, educational water brochure can be used for organizing, trainings, workshops or tabling. You can use it to inform people about our water cycle and inspire them to take personal and collective action.

Download the Print-and-Fold version to pass out. Print it double sided, in color, ideally in size 11×17. Fold it twice: once horizontally across the middle, and once vertically down the center. It is designed to fold into a brochure with Clean Water For All on the front page, the Activity in the middle when it is opened, and the Quick Facts on the back. The inside unfolds into a full-length poster of our water cycle.

Download the Facilitator’s Guide for more suggestions on how to use the brochure, a list of action steps, and facilitator notes for a group activity.

Check out the accompanying workshop “The New Wave: Greening our Water Infrastructure” »

And while you’re at it:
Plant a Rain Garden!

This is a great way to beautify your neighborhood and take some of the burden off your water treatment system. A rain garden slows runoff from big rainstorms so that the sewage system is not overloaded. The deep-rooted plants also act as a natural initial filtration system.

Model for Your Community: Spotlight on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative

Check out this unique model that aims to address the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Philadelphia’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative proposes a viable solution to both unequal food access and economic underdevelopment in our communities. How can you replicate this model in your own community?

Download the report


Roots of Success Environmental Literacy Curriculum


This versatile, easy to use multi-disciplinary curriculum uses innovative, non-traditional learning approaches to increase people’s understanding of environmental issues and the green economy, while simultaneously strengthening their academic and labor market skills. No other curriculum on the market provides all of this in one, accessible, affordable package. It is being used in job training programs, high schools, community colleges, universities, re-entry programs, prisons, and jails in 32 states in the US and in Puerto Rico to prepare youth and adults for good green jobs and to advocate for environmental and public health improvements in their communities. It is available in English and Spanish. Download the Roots of Success Brochure to pass out. Also download the One-page Curriculum Description for more details on the curriculum.

To teach the curriculum, instructors need to be trained and licensed. This entails attending a one-day Train-the-Instructor training where instructors are introduced to the curriculum and licensed to use Roots of Success teaching materials. Instructors leave the training with an Instructor’s Manualand multimedia DVD, which includes all of the videos and visuals needed to teach the course in both English and Spanish. When teaching Roots of Success, programs must provide each student with a Student Workbook, which includes all of the handouts, exercises, activities, quizzes, and resource materials needed for the course.

For more information visit

VIDEO: What the (bleep) is the Green Economy?

This 13-minute educational video is great for introducing the different ways in which we can create green cities that create jobs and make our communities healthier.

Join us in spreading the word about the opportunities that a green economy creates for all of us, by using this video and the accompanying Facilitator’s Guide for house parties, organizing, trainings, workshops and screenings.

The New Wave: Greening our Water Infrastructure – A Workshop Guide

Check out this new workshop from Green For All, “The New Wave: Greening our Water Infrastructure”, great for classrooms and community groups. This is a highly participatory workshop designed for a diverse set of participants to explore our relationship to water, as well as the causes and consequences of the current water crisis, and to collectively generate a comprehensive action plan to ensure fresh water is available for generations to come.

Topics include:

  • Climate Change and Water Scarcity,
  • Water: The Molecule of Life,
  • Water Waste,
  • The Water Cycle,
  • Urbanization and Concrete,
  • Water Pollution,
  • Natural Solutions, and
  • Green Cities – The Wave of the Future.

Download the report



Host a Green Economy House Party

Hosting a green house party is a great way to bring together friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers in a comfortable environment to talk about the green movement and raise awareness.

Download the report


Bridging the Economic and Climate Gap: A Workshop by Green For All

This workshop will help illustrate the reality of the climate and economic gaps and how they are related. Use this guide (with discussion questions and sample answers) to organize a workshop for your friends, family, and neighbors. You’ll inspire excitement and provide information about the role of green-collar jobs in bridging these gaps!

 Download Report


Community Gardens: How To

Community garden projects are springing up all over the country, especially in urban areas, as the benefits of these projects are becoming widely recognized. With the helpful tips inside this guide, start a Community Garden in your neighborhood today!

Download the report



Polluters Lose, Communities Win


By Maritza Martinez

What if you could not only vote for who your representatives are, but also how they legislate? In Brazil and the United Kingdom, you can. And the idea is catching on in cities across the U.S.—including New York, Chicago, and Buffalo. These cities are beginning to incorporate participatory budgeting into some aspects of city management. Participatory budgeting allows community members to make real decisions about how money is spent in their city. In participatory budgeting, residents identify spending priorities, develop specific spending proposals, vote on which proposals to fund, and work with the city to implement the top proposals.

The result? A chance to feed two birds with one seed—by making sure that funds generated by cracking down on polluters help create healthier, more vibrant communities. Take a look at Buffalo, New York, where the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York recently led the charge for accountability by polluters Tonawanda Coke Corporation—and won.  Tonawanda Coke was found guilty of violating federal clean air regulations.  Its environmental manager was also found guilty of hiding plant deficiencies from U.S. regulators. Part of the settlement from these cases—up to $50 million—could be allotted for projects designed to improve life for local residents.

Green For All Fellow Natasha Soto, an organizer with the Clean Air Coalition, helped initiate a participatory budgeting process to decide how to use the funds from the fines to improve the community that was affected by the company’s violations. After assemblies, hundreds of calls, and establishment of polling places throughout the area, nearly 600 residents voted for the projects they thought were most important.

The project that received the most votes would work with manufacturers to reduce toxic chemicals use and improve energy and water efficiency.  Other top projects include the development of a health institute, buying and developing land for energy generation, growing a tree farm, and conducting a health study on the effects of air pollution on the community.

A judge will now decide the fine the company will have to pay. A portion of the fine could be allocated to fund health-related community-led projects. The complete list of projects was sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. The Clean Air Coalition and its members delivered a strong message that they want healthier communities—and they have great ideas on how to make that happen.


Building a healthier, more prosperous Pittsburgh through energy efficiency


Tim Carryer has always loved the outdoors—he’s spent time traveling in Alaska, and scuba diving off the coast of Massachusetts. The pollution and environmental degradation he saw while spending time in nature always disturbed him. But he never really thought of himself as an environmental advocate, until recently.

Carryer had worked for years as a high-end remodeler. He saw first hand how much waste occurred in the industry, and wondered if he could do something about it. Around that time, Pennsylvania rolled out its statewide workforce training program, focused on weatherization and energy efficiency. Though the program was nationally recognized, those who underwent the program faced one issue: there was no demand for workers with this skill set, leaving many out of work.

Carryer, a born entrepreneur, saw an opportunity. He started his own company, Carryer Construction, specializing in deep efficiency upgrades taking a whole-house approach. He also founded Green Over Green, a hub for home energy performance businesses and professionals. In 2010, he set up Diagnostic Energy Auditors of Western Pennsylvania (DEAWP), which connects members with training as well as industry and community opportunities. The goal is to build a regional network of businesses and organizations in the home performance industry to create business collaborations and facilitate long-term success.

Despite his work with these important groups, Carryer began to feel increasingly concerned that the industry was not fulfilling the promise of green jobs. Even with his efforts, no amount of training will create green jobs without market demand – the industry had a marketing challenge. In an effort to change that, he took part in a roundtable that brought together dozens of stakeholders in the energy efficiency sector, including nonprofits, policymakers, and funders, with the goal of identifying ways to cultivate demand and create real jobs.

This was where Carryer met Andrew Butcher, co-founder and CEO of GTECH Strategies (Growth Through Energy and Community Health). He realized that he and Butcher shared the same goal, but Butcher’s vision was even broader than his own. Butcher raised money for a marketing program based on community outreach and was building a network within each community, playing matchmaker by connecting neighborhood to available resources that addressed their needs.

Carryer recognized the power of GTECH’s mission and strategy. When he heard they were looking for an Energy Director, he jumped at the opportunity. Carryer, 66, now spends his time working to fight pollution and spur the green economy in Pittsburgh.

As Energy Director for GTECH, he is leading the Reenergize Pittsburgh initiative. The effort taps into GTECH’s strong network of small businesses, nonprofits, utilities and weatherization contractors to identify and address neighborhood energy needs. The goal is to create green job opportunities for local workers while bringing energy, health and cost benefits to Pittsburgh residents.

The organization works from the ground up, identifying and recruiting energy ambassadors from sixteen Pittsburgh neighborhoods to help identify what each community needs. GTECH works with churches and community organizations to build demand for and deliver energy efficiency. Then GTECH draws on its coalition members of building analysts, weatherization experts, and utilities to implement energy-saving measures in single-family homes. The initiative aims to slash carbon pollution in Pittsburgh by 200 metric tons during its first-year pilot, and grow into a long-term program. Carryer is aiming to drop neighborhood energy use by at least 20 percent and, if possible, up to 40 percent.

But it’s not just an environmental initiative. The Alleghany County Health Department has shown interest in the health benefits of energy efficiency upgrades, which can help decrease asthma triggers such as moisture, dust, and drafts.

Today, his favorite part about working with GTECH Strategies is building a strong network through fixing buildings and joining training programs that focus not just on weatherization, but on marketing energy efficiency. His hope is for the network to perform high-quality work that builds trust and that reaches at least one-third of Pittsburgh’s homes.

He believes Pittsburgh should serve as a model for other cities in spurring energy efficiency. The region is already ahead of the game, he says, because it has transitioned from a jobless coal town to inclusive city with booming economic development. His vision of Pittsburgh is a city with green career ladders for disadvantaged residents, a thriving energy efficiency sector, and healthy, prosperous communities. And with GTECH, he’s working to create it—one neighborhood at a time.

How to Transform a Community? It Starts With a Personal Connection

Written by: Maritessa Bravo Ares

Rain or shine, Jennifer McPike moves swiftly from door to door with a clipboard in hand in some of San Francisco’s underserved and neglected neighborhoods.  As an Environment Now Crew Leader, she and her team are on a mission. Their goal is to reach out to as many San Francisco residents as they can to teach them about the city’s Zero Waste Campaign, an effort to reduce waste heading to landfills while increasing access to recycling and composting.  Jennifer’s job is more than just making sure she and her crew target every home on her list.  It’s about transforming a community – one home, one business, and one person at a time.

A program of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Environment Now is an innovative green jobs training program that provides residents with leadership development and career pathways.  The program helps participants develop skills in communication, computer literacy, and customer service in order to be effective environmental advocates and peer educators.  Using their new skills, the participants conduct environmental outreach activities, making contact with homes and businesses throughout the city.  They educate residents and business owners on a variety of topics including energy efficiency, zero waste, recycling, toxics reduction and food security.  The effort is a win on many levels.  Residents are empowered to be better stewards of their environment. Businesses can also save money by changing their behaviors—and it all adds up to get the city closer to achieving its environmental goals.

Jennifer has been working with Environment Now since December 2009. In May 2012 she began her new role as crew leader, where she trains and coaches crew members on how to conduct door-to-door outreach, communicate with business owners, and compile data.  She and her crew teach residents how to compost and recycle, help monitor bins, and answer any questions the residents or small business owners may have.  You can also see Jennifer and her crew at various community events, where they highlight the programs and services the Department of the Environment has to offer.  She says her favorite part of the job is helping the community.  One success came recently, when she helped the owner of an auto body shop take steps to drastically cut his business’s waste, increase recycling, and use a smaller garbage can.  These changes alone are saving the business owner a couple hundred dollars each month on his garbage bill.

Like Jennifer, who has lived in San Francisco for more than 25 years, many Environment Now program participants come from or have deep ties to some of the city’s most underserved areas.  Because of their familiarity with these neighborhoods, they are uniquely positioned to make a difference with traditionally hard-to-reach audiences and boost community participation in the city’s environmental initiatives.  But changing someone’s behavior – whether it’s the way people sort their recycling or how they conserve energy – isn’t always easy.  Jennifer seems to have a magic touch.  What’s the secret to her success?  “People just want to be heard.  Listening to someone also helps open the door for you to share your story.  It’s the personal connection that changes mindsets,” she explains.

Indeed, it’s that personal connection that has helped the program reach a wide audience.  Collectively, participants have reached over 75,000 residents and businesses with the city’s environmental initiatives, making San Francisco a better place to live and our environment a whole lot healthier. More than 1,100 businesses have taken advantage of free business audits in energy efficiency and lighting offered by the program.  Additionally, in the past year, the program has helped 2,000 businesses and 1,300 apartment buildings with their composting and recycling needs.

Beyond the homes reached or businesses helped, there are other intangible ways in which the Environment Now program has been a success.  For some of the crew members, shifting to the environmental field was a completely new area.  With the help of the program coordinators, Jennifer and other team members became experts on the city’s initiatives, developed the skills needed to communicate with the public and craft messaging that resonates with different audiences.  The confidence to connect and speak with anyone and everyone is now a part of who she is.  The program has also given people an opportunity to pursue meaningful work.

“I like working here because it gives me a sense that I’m doing something with myself. Environment Now has given me a chance to take part in working and being included back in my community and talking to my neighbors and peers about how to keep and achieve a sustainable, healthy and safe environment for everyone. While doing that it has given me structure and great office skills that I can take to another job”

Ebony Reid, an Environment Now program participant.

The Environment Now team is made up of San Franciscans from a wide range of backgrounds and spoken languages, with a variety of work and life experiences, all sharing a passion for protecting the environment.  Since 2009, almost 65 people have completed the two-year program equipped with knowledge and transferrable skills they can use throughout their lives.

For more information on the Environment Now program, please visit the San Francisco Department of the Environment webpage at

Working for Environmental Justice in Minnesota


By Karen Monahan, Green For All Fellow and Environmental Justice Organizer at Sierra Club

Environmental Justice issues are linked to many other injustices. Polluting industries are more likely to be located in communities of color and low-income communities. Folks who are impacted by these pollution sites often suffer from many illnesses, including asthma. Asthma is the number one reason students miss school. Link that to test scores and drop out rates. Many of these same folks do not have healthcare. Folks still have to eat and have shelter regardless of whether or not they have an education. When one doesn’t have the proper training or education to make a living wage, it leads to low-income jobs (if they are available), social services (which are being cut) or maybe a life of crime, which can lead to incarceration or even death. Environmental Justice is one way to tackle a variety of injustice issues.

For far too long we have been working on tackling pollution plants case-by-case, permit-by-permit. We are working with the Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) to try to remedy this problem, by addressing the big picture pollution issues that affect Minneapolis. We are working toward relationship building with the MPCA and the community. We are asking for quarterly meetings with the organization as a way to understand the issues our community faces and find ways to tackle those issues. We are also asking for a real environmental justice policy, where decision-makers have to look at vulnerable communities and the cumulative affects of pollution when making decisions that will impact our health and land. We also want more people of color on decision-making boards. We want folks who live in our communities and understand environmental justice issues to be part of the decision process when it comes to permits for polluting industries.

We’re fighting to protect our neighborhoods from pollution from a garbage incinerator. The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) incinerator is asking for a 20 percent increase in how much garbage can be burned in our communities. We already deal with a heavy burden on our health from pollution. Our children cannot continue to bear the brunt of pollution while others cash in at our expense. We need to invest in more recycling and compost. This is cleaner, safer and would provide more jobs for our community. Garbage incinerators are not clean renewable energy as they claim. We have more choices then burn or landfill, recycle and compost is an option.

This work inspires me because I see the link between so many of the issues our community faces. I also believe it is my calling to do my small part to make the world a better place. I carry the words of Dr. King in my heart as I do this work: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The injustices I am working to eliminate are symptoms of a deeper issue. We need a shift in consciousness to see our deep connection to each other and the earth. When we have that shift we realize it is in our best interest to not hurt another person or the amazing resources our mother earth provides. We live with the illusion of separateness, versus seeing our true connection to everything and everyone.

You can help by joining our effort to create zero waste in our community. Just go to our Facebook page and hit “Like.” On the page, you can get more information about the HERC burner, stay updated on events, and help inform others about the environmental justice issues we face. We can do this—but only if we stand together and show solidarity.

Leaders, Innovators, and Job Creators: Kareem Dale


In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Kareem Dale was working in Houston as a project manager for a construction company. It was a good job, but he sometimes wondered if there was something else out there—something more gratifying.

Then Hurricane Katrina hit. News reports about the devastation in New Orleans struck him deeply, and he knew he needed to do something to help. So he packed his bags, quit his job, and headed to Louisiana to see what he could do.

“My first reaction was, ‘what can I do?’” he says. “Then I got there. I saw the level of destruction.”

In the wreckage of New Orleans, he discovered a huge demand for people like him, who knew the construction business and could help as residents rebuilt their homes. He quickly realized that he could not only do good by helping survivors of the disaster—he could also do well by working as a project manager in a buzzing market.

It was a turning point that eventually led him to where he is today—at the helm of a thriving business that is helping both people and the planet. After leaving New Orleans, Dale, now 32 years old, founded The Gaia Group, Inc., a company that provides energy efficiency and weatherization services. Under his leadership, The Gaia Group has helped thousands of low-income Houston residents upgrade their homes and save on their energy bills.

He initially became interested in the industry, he said, because of its tremendous economic potential. “I was looking at the construction market, and I saw things trending toward green building. That eventually led me to energy efficiency.”

While he was in New Orleans, a friend of his suggested he start using his building crews to do weatherization work—which was in high demand. So he dove into the field, learning everything he could about how to build and fix homes to make them save energy. And then he decided to bring his idea back home.

He spent nine months working with a partner on a feasibility study to see how well a full-time energy efficiency business might do in Houston. “We picked apart everything. And we realized ‘We’ve got something here.’”

Just as they were finishing their business plan, the Recovery Act was signed into law. The result? The City of Houston had funds to make much-needed upgrades to low-income homes—upgrades that would slash carbon pollution from wasted energy, and help struggling residents save on their utility bills.

It also meant that the fledgling Gaia Group was inundated with business right from the start. Since then, the company has partnered with the City of Houston, non-profits and local public utilities to perform energy audits for vulnerable residents, like senior citizens and low-income families.

And it’s made a difference. Dale says one of the best feelings is when an elderly or low-income resident calls back after upgrades are finished to thank him and let him know how much they’re saving on their energy bills. The Gaia Group aims for a 30 percent reduction in kilowatt hours for each household they work on—and that translates into lower energy bills. For someone on a fixed income, it can mean the difference between buying groceries and going without.

The savings also have a ripple effect on the local economy, Dale points out. “Once the work is done, it pays back so quickly, it’s ridiculous. That money goes right back into the economy,” he explains. “If you’re suddenly paying $60 instead of $100 on your energy bill, you can spend that extra $40 on food or clothing. You can use it to buy something you couldn’t buy before.”

But it’s not just about saving on utility bills. In Houston’s climate, poor insulation and wasted energy can create unhealthy and uncomfortable living conditions. The Gaia Group’s employees will often find elderly residents draping blankets over the windows in an attempt to keep the heat out. Proper weatherization helps keep them cool—and safe from heat-related illness, as well as pollen and air pollution.

For Dale, who studied biology and public health at Morehouse College, making people’s homes healthier is deeply rewarding. That’s also why he places so much emphasis on treating customers well. In addition to facing poor living conditions, he says, low-income folks often don’t receive the service and professionalism they deserve. He’s out to change that. “I want my company’s legacy to be in the homes and hearts of the people we serve.”

Now, Dale is working to expand the benefits of energy efficiency even more. He’s started a pilot program that brings weatherization and upgrades to faith-based organizations. So far, The Gaia Group has worked on three Houston churches, with plans to do more. Dale uses the partnership as an opportunity to educate congregations about energy savings—and as a way to bring more workers into the field. His vision is to recruit church members who show an interest in weatherization, and connect them with job training programs that will help them get the skills they need to find an energy efficiency job.

Dale loves what he does—and he hasn’t stopped looking ahead. His next goal is to help serve as a champion for the industry, by advocating for more city programs and public-private partnerships that will bring energy savings to even more people—and help fight climate change in the process.

“It’s an amazing time to be in this industry,” he says.

I AM the green economy – GTECH Strategies



Written by: Kaori Tsukada, Program Associate

When Andrew Butcher saw vacant lots, he also saw the potential to make them the heart of a community revitalization strategy. Vacant lots are empty parcels of land that pose a number of challenges – the appearance of disuse can attract illegal dumping, decrease property values in the surrounding area, and lead to general disrepair as well as significant costs for both neighbors and the municipality. In urban areas that house disadvantaged populations, lack of resources can lead to more vacant lots and blight designation.

Andrew, 32, first came to Pittsburgh from Boulder, Colorado as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was pursuing his degree in public policy and management with a focus on community development. In 2006, Andrew and friends began building partnerships with community-based organizations, public agencies, small businesses, and other non-profits. Through these partnerships, the team began to trial innovative methods reclaim vacant lots in an effort to transition blighted lands into green spaces.

Fields of sunflowers began popping up throughout Pittsburgh. Sunflowers naturally absorb toxins that build up in the soil, and the seeds can be used to create biofuel. But beyond the practical uses, sunflowers introduced beauty and a shared space where there had only been empty land and waste before. This visual transformation may be the most powerful feature of this strategy – it not only spurred a change in the perception of a neighborhood, but invited interest and more opportunities for partnerships. Building on this initiative, Andrew and friends incorporated GTECH Strategies in 2007, one month before he graduated.

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health, and the best way to do it is from the bottom-up. GTECH Strategies currently runs two ambassadors programs – the ReClaim program, and the ReEnergize program built with support from Green For All. Over 40 ambassadors have trained with GTECH Strategies since 2007. First they go through a one-year training period to learn about environmental issues and develop skills to continue building community initiatives around sustainability. The ambassadors are selected by neighborhood and among a cohort of individuals who have already shown initiative in community or green endeavors.

The two programs were built on a core principle that GTECH Strategies has found crucial when building a broader and more inclusive network; communicating across completely different sectors, all of which use different language to point to the same thing, or think of the same issue in entirely different ways.

Andrew says that it takes a village to reclaim a vacant lot, or to create a job. GTECH Strategies is so successful because their green initiatives are not exclusively for environmental benefits, but also develop into opportunities around employment and answering community needs. Repurposing vacant lots halts the decline of property values and attracts interest. Energy efficiency leads to more money in the pockets of residents and less carbon in the atmosphere. Installing even small tracts of solar panels makes clean energy available to residents, and local electricity generation. All of these initiatives create local jobs, and communication is what cements key partnerships around these initiatives.

In the past six years, GTECH has transformed Pittsburgh in many ways. Right now GTECH directly employs 13 staff in addition to 23 ambassadors. In addition, GTECH also supported the development of 400 jobs since 2007 through partnerships and programs. These partnerships have also led to over 350 vacant lots converted, close to 200,000 lbs of mitigated carbon. Energy savings through the new ReEnergize program will soon follow through accessible energy efficiency upgrades.

As GTECH Strategies moves forward into its growth phase, it is starting to tackle a number of issues. As with all organizations on a growth trajectory, access to capital is a constant issue. GTECH is also developing new methods of evaluation that demonstrate their impact clearly.

A number of external factors could also make GTECH’s job easier. In the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy financing, repayment mechanisms such as on-bill repayment (paying back the cost of an efficiency upgrade through a surcharge on the utility bill) and PACE (paying back the cost of an efficiency upgrade through property tax) would open up options and access to more residents. Part of ReEnergize’s policy committee is also developing an initiative around including information on energy efficiency upgrades in real estate Multiple Listing Services to inform prospective homebuyers. In order to expand their work with vacant lots, Andrew is a proponent for developing a public authority called a land bank, which has authority over all publicly owned and controlled land. A land bank is a managing authority around acquiring, holding, and transferring property title for empty plots of land. This would make access to and repurposing of vacant lots much easier for the community.

GTECH Strategies’ initiatives are based on a vision of creating opportunities in ways that continue to inspire and resonate with other people to take action in ways that they haven’t thought about before. Seeing a previously vacant lot now filled with sunflowers sparks interest and shifts perspectives in a way that inspires further action. Creating that change is what empowers communities.

Fresh Start & Fresh Vegetables


By Maritza Martinez

Green For All Fellow Hakim Cunningham feels that “service work is one of the highest calling a man can undertake in his lifetime.”  He is the director of organizing at the Boston Workers Alliance, a community organization led by unemployed and underemployed workers fighting for employment rights.

Boston Workers Alliance addresses one of the nation’s most grim federal government statistics – one out of every six black men has served time behind bars. The organization provides judgment-free services to help members understand their rights and navigate the process for keeping their criminal histories from inhibiting the job search process. Over the past six years, Hakim has personally helped more than 2,400 people overcome their criminal records through leadership development and political and economic education. He helps the formerly incarcerated get a fresh start, find employment and build their skills.

Hakim also builds community gardens where folks who are struggling financially can access fresh produce. Across the country, too many families still have to choose between fresh produce or paying their bills. .As restrictions on public assistance increase, Hakim has developed a way for people to feed themselves and their families.

“All we have is us,” he explains. “We cannot rely on others to help resolve our problems.” Hakim provides opportunities for youth and adults to learn about resilience, gain new skills, and grow their own healthy food.  Someone might begin with a small pot of basil on his windowsill,and then, before too long he becomes a regular volunteer at the garden. Engaging the community in urban agriculture and skill development is critical to Hakim’s vision for creating more resilient communities.

Last summer, Hakim worked with thirty eager young people through a partnership with the Boston Youth Environmental Network.  During a six-week internship with clean energy companies and non-profit organizations in Boston, he taught the youth about the opportunities available in the green economy through The Roots of Success environmental education curriculum. Watch testimonials from students who participated in the 2012 Roots of Success Clean Energy Internship.

Investing in youth, families, and those who’ve gone through the criminal justice system are all part of rebuilding strong communities. Hakim is making it his life’s work to build the change he wants to see in his community and the world.

“What we really need is funding and donations to further the work,” he says.”This work is done out of love, but we incur a financial debt trying to do it.”

To find out how you can contribute to Hakim’s work visit:

Nate Dais: I AM the Green Economy


By Kaori Tsukada

Nate Dais never imagined that he’d be designing and constructing park trails—or that he’d enjoy it so much. A few years ago, he was working at a job that didn’t pay enough, and when the economic downturn came, he hit a wall; there were no jobs available. With no way out, he did what he had to do to make ends meet. When he heard about a training program his cousin was doing, it opened a door. Dais knew he wanted to transform his life.

Dais took a number of tests and was admitted to the Breaking the Chains of Poverty Program run by the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s Pittsburgh Chapter, in partnership with GTECH Strategies, the United Steelworkers, and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. He received training five days a week during the paid six-week intensive pre-apprenticeship program. On top of the training, nearly every day different speakers gave presentations about roof gardens, solar-powered buildings, and the job potential of the green economy. He earned certifications for remediation skills and graduated with an OSHA 30 training card, proving his ability to recognize and reduce hazards at work.

Dais now works for the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, constructing trails on Emerald View Park. The Park covers the entirety of Mount Washington, whose coal seams fueled Pittsburgh development into coal country in the 19th century. When the coal ran out, it drained the city of jobs and left the mountainside barren and ugly. Mount Washington Community Development Corporation is taking this once devastated mountain, reforesting parts, and creating trails in others. In the process, it is bringing jobs back to local residents.

Emerald View Park is still covered with the foundations of old houses and buildings built during the coal era. Part of Dais’s job is to clear away the debris, leaving the foundations safe to walk through. He uses flags to plot out new trails. Once the path is marked, he and his crew come through with hand tools, breaking down big boulders with picks, and defining a path through the forest. Water used to run down the mountain directly with no clear path. Now Dais’s trail continues over a guided stream, a crossing built over it with wood the crew carried in on foot. When he first started, Dais was disappointed that he was just maintaining old trails. Now that he is working on developing new trails, he’s hooked.

Even though Dais loves his job, he knows that his position will last only as long as there is funding, so he’s also saving up to start his own business. His plan is to create a car wash and lawn-mowing service so that his customers can complete two chores with one call. He intends to put his strong work ethic and dedication toward his one-year-old son into his business. In 20 years, he hopes to supervise a team around his budding business and expand into other regions.

Dais hopes that local and state government will continue to encourage programs like Breaking the Chains of Poverty. Many of his crew members used to be in jail, or are on probation. Now, they arrive at the jobsite on time and work with dedication. From his own experience, Dais knows that getting paid to do work like this stimulates the mind and gives people opportunities to improve their lives. Trails also draw local residents. Joggers and hikers enjoying the trails often drop by while the crew is working, stopping to say thanks and showing appreciation for their hard work. Programs that create pathways out of poverty benefit society as a whole.


New Mexico Man Finds Hope in Water Conservation Career

Disponible en español. Available in Spanish

Amery Romero’s family has lived in Truchas, New Mexico for generations. Since the 1600s, they’ve farmed and raised cattle in the area. But over the past few decades, more and more of Truchas’ residents have streamed out of the town, leaving to work at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, or heading to Santa Fe in search of jobs.

And life in Truchas has gotten tougher. Today, there are almost no real opportunities to make a living in the town. And prospects aren’t much better even when you leave. At 23 years old, Romero has watched many of his neighbors turn to the one way they know how to make a living: Selling drugs.

“Nobody wants a life where you barely get by,” he explains. “Selling drugs is the only promising career. Or you’re going to be so stressed out from the facts of life that you’re going to escape with using drugs.”

It is a painful reality in Truchas and other small rural towns in the region. “You see a lot of people running head-on into this problem,” he says. “You can’t just say ‘you’ve got to get your life right, you’ve got to go to school.’ For people like us, going to school is harder. We have to get jobs.”

But Romero has fought to find another way. A few years ago, he signed up with Santa Fe YouthWorks, an organization that has spent the past decade expanding opportunities for low-income youth. Through the program, Romero joined a crew charged with restoring the Santa Fe River through clean up and erosion control.

Determined to claw his way out of poverty, he woke up at six each morning so he could hitchhike 60 miles into Santa Fe to work.

As a result of his experience on the river crew, Romero became more and more interested in water conservation issues. That led him to the Santa Fe Water Conservation District, where he works today. As an intern with the District, his focus is on promoting water conservation by educating community members about rebates they can receive for installing rain barrels or water-efficient appliances like clothes washers.

Now, he hopes to find a long-term career in water conservation. The deeper he dives into the field, the more promise he sees in green jobs—not just in water, but in energy efficiency and solar and wind power.

But Romero is also honest about his motivation. He wasn’t initially drawn to the sector because he wanted to protect the environment. He was just determined to find a way to make a decent living, and his research led him again and again to green industries.

“I kept turning over rocks, and everywhere I looked, people were focused on the environment,” he explains.

He credits Youth Works with supporting him on his journey and opening up doors in the green economy. But he recognizes that there are many more young people like him who don’t have the same kind of opportunities.

“There are a lot of kids in my position who come from poor towns, but they don’t have a lot of mentors. When people leave and succeed, usually they don’t look back. They close the door behind them.”

Romero wants to change that. He hopes to enroll in a program that will allow him to get an associate’s degree in environmental technologies, and pursue a career in water conservation. But as he plans for his future, he is keeping one eye on the community he came from, and on finding ways to help others escape poverty.

“What I’m really passionate about is my people,” he says. “I’m passionate about helping them out of their struggle.”

The Beautiful Life


By Maritza Martinez

Disponible en español. Available in Spanish.

There’s a lot of talk about community resilience, but what does it really mean?  How can we make sure our communities are ready to survive—not only in the face of disasters wrought by climate change, but during economic downturns and whatever else may come our way?

Green For All Fellow Naomi Davis has a solution that she calls “green village-building.” She defines it, at least in part, as having a walk-able community, with everything we need within one mile of where we live.  This vision does not include big box stores—she wants to make sure the money we spend in our communities stays in our communities. “Neighbor-owned businesses are the Holy Grail. Without them, all we have is a colony. You just exist for someone else’s wealth,” she explains.

This past weekend, Naomi, the founder of Blacks in Green (BIG), presented her model at the Green Festival in Chicago.  She described the conservation lifestyle that she calls “The Beautiful Life.” It’s based on the idea that going back to a simpler lifestyle, like the one our parents lived, is the way to alleviate many of the problems that afflict our communities. During her parents’ time, she explains, “Everything they ate, they grew. Everything they wore, they made. And wealth was having a skill, not pieces of paper.”

She uses performing arts to share the principle and teach others about The Beautiful Life. And that’s just what she did at Green Festival—using a stage show to teach participants about crowdfunding.

Recently, Naomi teamed up with Michael William Cunningham, author of The Jobs Act: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses and Startups to build  This is not just another crowdfunding site. It provides support to entrepreneurs every step of the way to make sure they are successful. Participants are raising money for gardens, new businesses, solar generators, and much more. Meanwhile, BIG has also launched BIG Black Crowdfunding Clubs to support crowd-raisers as they launch and manage their campaigns.  These clubs are being piloted in Chicago and will soon be across the country.

You can join Naomi in living The Beautiful Life, and be part of the movement to build resilient communities by supporting projects on Download the campaign packet, and like them on Facebook. Let’s ensure that all of our communities have enough resources to survive.

Food Shift: Reducing Waste, Strengthening Communities


By Maritza Martinez

After spending four months in Southeast Asia, Dana Frasz returned to the U.S., a country where more than one in five children don’t know where their next meal will come from. Yet she watched as institutions from colleges to restaurants to farms throw perfectly good food into our landfills. It was a jarring contrast after seeing so much poverty and hunger overseas. Seeing leftover food poured into the trash in her college dining hall sparked Frasz into action.

While at Sarah Lawrence College, Frasz started a food recovery program to reduce waste and provide food to the hungry.  By her senior year, forty-five students had joined the effort. Each day the team packaged and transported extra food from the dining halls and local businesses to Part of the Solution, an organization in the Bronx that feeds the hungry.

After she graduated, Frasz spent three years working at Ashoka, a network of social entrepreneurs, where she supported social innovation and discovered how to create sustainable systemic change.  Despite national efforts to alleviate hunger and food waste, from her perspective the problem was only getting worse. She knew the field was in need of some innovation. So she set forth to create a food rescue organization, Food Shift.  Food Shift goes beyond traditional food recovery and food assistance to create income-generating solutions that feed the hungry and create jobs.

Frasz envisions the creation of a food recovery service sector as an extension of our current waste management system, and as an opportunity to create jobs in the green economy.  Businesses have to pay for trash pickup and food recovery could significantly decrease their costs in that area.  Food Shift aims to provide a high-quality professional service that would collect and redistribute food at a fraction of the cost of sanitation services.

In addition to this innovative food rescue model, Frasz and her team at Food Shift are developing other revenue-generating models.  They are exploring the creation of value-added products and the creation of a market in West Oakland using surplus food.  They currently donate food to St. Vincent de Paul and have a program with Oakland Unified School District to recover food from the schools and provide meals to students and their families.

You can stay informed about Frasz and Food Shift’s great work by following them on Twitterliking their Facebook pagesigning up for their newsletter and/or donating!

Huffington Post: Want to Win the Climate Fight? Engage Communities of Color


By Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Van Jones

As we celebrate Earth Day, it's a good time to remember that pollution and climate change aren't just environmental issues. They're justice issues.

Worldwide, people of color shoulder a heavier burden from toxic water, contaminated air, and dwindling natural resources. The same is true in America.

For example, African Americans living in Los Angeles are twice as likely to die in a heat wave than other city residents. As a result of climate change, urban heat waves are on the rise and the risk is growing. In cities across the country, poverty and inequality have created a perfect storm that traps black families in neighborhoods with few trees, little shade, and lack of access to air conditioning or cars that allow them to escape when severe weather hits.

It's not just the record heat. When disasters strike, no matter where, people with the fewest resources have a harder time preparing, escaping, and recovering. Just look at what happened with Hurricane Katrina or how the BP oil spill dramatically impacted Gulf Coast's Vietnamese-American community. When Superstorm Sandy hit, it wreaked havoc on New York's poor neighborhoods, including causing pervasive respiratory illness among low-income residents whose homes were struck by mold.

The pollution that's driving climate change also disproportionately affects communities of color. In fact, 78 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a toxic-spewing coal plant, which helps explain why one out of six black kids suffers from asthma -- compared with a national average of one in ten.

According to Hector Sanchez, chair of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, more than 80 percent of Latinos live in counties that violate at least one federal air-pollution law and Latino children are two and half times more likely to develop asthma than non-Latinos.

Given that communities of color pay the heaviest toll, it's not surprising that they consistently demonstrate the highest level of support for protecting clean air and fighting climate change. A 2014 Green For All poll showed that 68 percent of minority voters favor immediate action to address climate change. Last month, a Benenson Strategy Group poll showed that a whopping 85 percent of African Americans support global commitments on climate--the largest percentage of any demographic group. Climate change will likely be a major issue for our nation's 17.8 million black voters in the 2016 presidential election.

People of color need to play a larger role in the decision-making on climate and clean air. A recent report by the group Green 2.0 shows that "Despite increasing racial diversity in the United States, the racial composition in environmental organizations and agencies has not broken the 12% to 16% "green ceiling" that has been in place for decades."

We need equal protection from the worst environmental problems. We also need equal access to the best opportunities in the clean energy economy--including jobs in solar, wind, and energy efficiency. These kinds of jobs are growing--and they tend to pay more while requiring less formal education, which is a recipe for escaping poverty.

There are millions of black voters who are ready to act on climate; they just need access to the right opportunity. And once they're in the ring, big polluters won't stand a chance. Polluters know this--that's why they have begun a misinformation campaign claiming that clean energy hurts African American families.

The path forward is clear--and people of color are already leading the way.

In fact, they are largely responsible for one of the country's most cutting-edge--and wildly successful--efforts to slash pollution and poverty: California's cap and trade bill, which makes polluters pay for their climate garbage, and then directs the funds to hard-hit neighborhoods. A coalition of black, Latino, and Asian community groups rallied to advance the legislation in 2012, and it raised $262 million for disadvantaged communities in its first year alone. By 2020, the law will keep a projected 78 million metric tons of carbon pollution out of the air--the equivalent of taking one out of every fifteen cars in America off the road. And it never would have happened without the genius of the state's communities of color.

Climate solutions and pollution safeguards are about so much more than protecting the environment. They're about creating work, health and wealth. They're about righting the ship in neighborhoods that have suffered from decades of racism, divestment, oppression and poverty.

That's why groups like Green For All and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) are working to connect more of our folks to the climate policy and clean energy decisions that affect our future. Because the more engaged we are, the better America's solutions to climate change will be.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents the East Bay and serves on the Budget and Appropriations Committees. Van Jones served as President Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and is the founder of Green For All.

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Diana Teran: I AM the green economy


 Photo credit: Tim Fuller, photographer

Written by: Kaori Tsukada

Disponible en español. Available in Spanish.

La Tauna Tortillas
Tucson, Arizona

Diana’s son was four years old when he started to suffer from severe migraines, eczema, and poor health. For five years, doctors struggled to diagnose and treat his condition, which they finally found was due to extreme sensitivity to preservatives and additives in his food.

Diana and her family immediately cut processed foods from their diet and switched to natural foods and whole grains. They saw visible improvement in her son’s health. Only one thing bothered her family about their diet; the lack of tortillas, their traditional staple food. Not one to let this limit her, Diana spent six months developing the perfect whole wheat tortilla with olive oil and that homemade taste they craved. She started bringing the tortillas to her lunches at work, and to potlucks. Eventually, friends began to specifically request that she bring her tortillas to get-togethers.

Then her husband lost his job, and economic difficulties set in. Just as they were faced with foreclosure and unable to make ends meet, one of her friends suggested that she start making tortillas – not just for family and friends, but for everyone in the community. Working with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Diana and her husband put their first batch of commercial whole wheat tortillas on the stand at their local farmers market in June 2010.

Things took off from there. Now La Tauna Tortillas employs six including herself and her husband. She sells 300 12-packs of tortillas a day. The demand for her tortillas is growing so fast that they will soon have to invest in a wider oven and dough press to keep up. Her son, now 15, is bright, healthy, and at the top of his class in math.

Diana never expected to be working in the food industry before she woke up to the fact that unhealthy food is so prevalent. The Tucson-born entrepreneur grew up in a farming community in Mexico, where all their food was natural and whole because there was no other way to eat. When she came back to Tucson for college, all the food around her was so easy and fast that she got used to it. As her awareness of our eating choices and healthy food has grown, her priorities have shifted to making these healthy choices, and helping others make them too.

And that’s what Diana loves most about her job – it’s an opportunity to educate her customers and community members on the importance of eating healthier, and that they don’t have to sacrifice taste. For customers who come in to buy her white flour tortillas, she offers them a little burrito with a whole wheat tortilla and vegan beans. She finds that this almost always converts them to the whole wheat tortillas.

Diana is working on other initiatives, too. She’s speaking with the local board of education about bringing healthier food to school lunches. She finds that even the kids are getting tired of so-called “kid’s food” like chicken nuggets, and she knows that there are healthier options. Diana is also trying to go more local – she’s working with San Xavier Cooperative Farm, run by a group of O’odham Native Americans toward using their organic, non-GMO corn in her tortillas. She hopes that they can cultivate a large enough crop to keep her company supplied year round.

Diana is passionate about her work and her community’s health. As with most small businesses, she has trouble getting the small loans that she needs to buy the equipment necessary to expand her business. Right now their equipment’s capacity is their greatest limiting factor. Her dough press can only press one tortilla at a time. Her dough divider can only divide one ball of dough at a time.

Banks are wary of making these small loans. On top of that, Diana and her family are often deemed unworthy of lending, a legacy of their past financial difficulties during her husband’s unemployment. She is starting to look into crowdfunding and other sources that have a larger community base to fund the equipment they need. Her aim is to stay the kind of business that touches each product by hand so that the people eating her tortillas know that they weren’t turned out by machines, but with love by real people. You can order some for yourself online at La Tauna Tortillas.

WDC Solar President D.C. Solar Company Focuses on Training Local Workers for Clean Energy Careers


Disponible en español. Available in Spanish.

Have you ever come to a point in life when you realized that you needed to make a change? That’s what happened to Mark Davis. He was running a successful information company in Washington, D.C., when he started to think about the environment and the importance of clean energy. So in 2009, he started a new company dedicated to solar power: WDC Solar. He got into the clean energy industry because he felt it was the right thing to do.

The power of clean energy to help people became very clear in 2010, after the earthquake in Haiti. WDC Solar had been helping to develop and conduct solar job training with Potomac Job Corps and the ARCH training center in Washington, D.C., which provide job training and other career resources to residents of the Anacostia community. Following the Haiti earthquake, WDC Solar worked with ARCH trainees to put together “solar suitcases” with portable electrical systems that could be used to power orphanages, hospitals, and other critical facilities in the wake of the disaster.

Even more than that, Davis is proud that he’s been able to help community members find employment after completing their training programs.

Thanks to a grant from Health and Human Services and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, WDC Solar is opening a solar manufacturing facility in the neighborhood. It will be the only African American-owned solar panel manufacturer in the nation, and will create 100-125 high quality jobs for local residents, who face one of the highest rates of unemployment in the area.

Davis recently won a contract from the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) and is currently opening a new office at the WDC Solar warehouse where they train workers to install solar panels on low-income family housing in D.C. Participants have already earned valuable experience—they’ve helped install solar panels on twenty homes in less than two months. They have also installed several systems on commercial buildings.

Training local workers is a big priority for Davis—and a big challenge. Obtaining funding for training programs is extremely difficult, so much so that he’s funded many training programs with his own money, training dozens of people over the years. He hopes to train many more residents of the community, which is predominantly African American.

“Without some type of federally-funded training, we’re going to be left behind,” he says. “Training is very expensive. We’re going to be left out and unemployed, and we’re going to have people who don’t look like us coming into our neighborhoods with these jobs. We’re going to be on the outside looking in and trying to figure out what happened.”

Davis continues to be a strong advocate for federal investments in job training programs, and hopes he can secure funding to train future program participants.

Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth


In Howard County, Maryland, the READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) program is changing lives while keeping local water clean and healthy. The organization works to create good green jobs for youth while reducing stormwater runoff and improving watershed health. READY trains young adults in the design and installation of green stormwater systems. Crew members install rain gardens on institutional properties including schools, congregational grounds, and large properties held by non-profit organizations.

The concept for READY originated in a community of congregations and organizations known as PATH (People Acting Together in Howard). During a strategy session, members identified two common issues affecting them all: the need for environmental stewardship, and the lack of jobs for young adults in the area.

The group approached officials in Howard County, Maryland with the concept of linking youth employment to the work required under Howard County’s stormwater permit. The idea received strong backing from the County Executive and the program kicked off its first year in May of 2012. The program is administered and managed by the Alliance for the Cheseapeake Bay, a nonprofit organization that for nearly 40 years has been dedicated to protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, streams, and surrounding communities.

READY began with a crew of 31 participants in its first year. They underwent an intensive education program, where they learned about stormwater management and other conservation issues. The trainings led to widespread behavioral changes among participants; even those who didn’t pursue environmental careers are better prepared to be stewards of the environment.

Today, staff members are extending the breadth of the program in its second and subsequent years to form a more generalized conservation corps capable of addressing a variety of green infrastructure needs, including installation, operations and maintenance, education within the community, auditing, and landscape cultivation.

Lou Etgen, Associate Director of Programs with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, describes READY’s first year in operations as highly successful, with plenty of opportunity to grow. READY’s detailed report of its first year reveals that the biggest challenges to the program are logistical hurdles, such as managing scattered sites, finding locations in which to store materials and equipment, and securing access to heavy machinery that can speed up larger projects. Finding sites to install green infrastructure was not a challenge for READY in the first year; indeed, 2013 starts with an open backlog of several dozen customers. READY’s partnerships with faith-based groups, schools, non-profit entities, and homeowner associations allowed the program to install GI improvements at no cost to the participating private entities.

READY is one of a number of programs delivering the triple bottom line benefits that green infrastructure investments promise. READY’s work demonstrates successful private/ public/ nonprofit partnerships that protect the environment, increase access to economic opportunities, and improve the social conditions of disadvantaged groups. The organization is cultivating a new generation of environmental stewards that come from communities most affected by environmental and economic crises. These programs are using green infrastructure work to create on-ramps to career opportunities in a variety of professions. They are also performing a critical task that creates real opportunity rather than dead-end, low-quality employment.

Coming Alive for Our People and Our Planet


When Green For All Fellow Ashara Ekundayo moved to the Bay Area from Denver in 2010, she brought her passion for creative place-making, a track record of community organizing, and an expertise in execution. Three years later, she is serving as a catalyst and connector through her work as Co-Founder and Director of External Affairs at Hub Oakland.

Hub Oakland is a social enterprise that is equal parts inspiring workspace, entrepreneurial incubator and a community of socially-minded people.  As a membership-based business, they cultivate, support and connect social entrepreneurs and purpose-driven people as they pioneer solutions for a sustainable and equitable world. Hub Oakland actively challenges the entrepreneurial status quo by operating at the intersection of money and meaning.

These are the types of spaces we need to continue to build the green economy and develop solutions that will transform impacted communities. Ashara works with her Hub Oakland team to execute a triple bottom-line platform that honors people, our planet, and the profit margin, while also cultivating opportunities to be generous with one another through a shareable gift economy. “Hub Oakland is not only a start-up business endeavor. Being a founder has provided me with a platform to explore all of the facets of myself including educator, artist, tech enthusiast, burgeoning food blogger and public speaker” explains Ashara. Just like the mixed-use space of the Hub Oakland, Ashara’s talents go beyond entrepreneurship.  She is an artivist, a curator and a food blogger as well.  Check out her Greens and Grits food blog.

Ashara weaves together the artistic, political, entrepreneurial threads of her work as Gallery Curator at Omi Arts, which will be located at the permanent home for Hub Oakland and is slated to open in Fall 2013. Ashara explains the seamless connection between the gallery’s name and the sustainability mission of the Hub Oakland “Omi, meaning ‘water’ in the Yoruba language of West Africa, is essential to the survival of all life in our collective eco-system.  Making sure that the uses of arts and culture as tools for problem-solving in my work assures me that our business will be sustainable.”

Right now, the Hub Oakland is raising funds for their new 16,000 square foot space in Uptown Oakland through a Kickstarter campaign. Their campaign Come Alive with Us will ensure that their new office space is sustainable and funded by the people, for the people. As an integral part of their Kickstarter, backers can support others by sponsoring workspace for community members who would not otherwise be able to afford membership.  Ashara describes the work of the Hub Oakland as “forging pathways to fund each other’s dreams while spurring economic equity in Oakland.”

Whether you live in the Bay Area or just support the development of creative spaces for solving problems that plague our communities and our planet, I hope you will join Ashara and her team by investing in innovation and coming alive with the Hub Oakland.  You can also hear Ashara talk about their Kickstarter journey next Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at our Crowdfunding Roundtable.

I AM the Green Economy: Generation Water


When Generation Water’s CEO Marcus Castain started the organization, his goal was to develop the next generation of leaders for the green economy who can combine technical best practices and business skills to solve complex sustainability challenges.  Five years later, Generation Water has employed and trained more than 250 youth and adults, installed 125 rain gardens, and conducted over 240 water audits and irrigation surveys for clients in the Los Angeles area including the Department of Water, Los Angeles Unified School District, the Metropolitan Water District, and the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, among others.

Generation Water is one of seven organizations profiled in our recent report, Staying Green and Growing Jobs: Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance as Career Pathway Stepping Stones. Each of the organizations is helping eradicate poverty and create a sustainable future by  linking members from disadvantaged communities to opportunities in the green sector.

Castain created Generation Water in 2009 with the goal of  providing employment opportunities for students to do hands-on environmental work. In 2010, Generation Water was awarded the State of California’s $2.5 million Green Innovation Challenge and since then, has worked with water agencies, large landscape property managers, and homeowners to save them water, time, and money.

Generation Water prepares young adults for careers in water use efficiency, sustainable landscaping, and habitat restoration.  This begins with recruiting college-educated students to work on irrigation system assessments in parks and public schools; sustainable landscaping installation on private property; and landscape restoration through the removal of invasive plant species.

Generation Water has effectively combined hands-on experience, classroom education, and the use of technology to provide community members with experience that fits their professional development aspirations.  By offering a wide array of work, Generation Water allows participants to select which type of work they want to do, depending on their interest in physical labor or analytical, technology-based work.

Like many organizations in the field, finding contracting opportunities is one of Generation Water’s biggest challenges.  As a social enterprise, Generation Water faces stiff competition from private contractors.  Castain does, however, see increased opportunities for the organization in the near future, especially in the outdoor landscape water efficiency sector where the work requires specialization and efficient water systems installation techniques.  Castain is a strong advocate for bringing labor and business interests to the table to discuss workforce needs and to identify ways to collaborate on maximizing opportunities for a new workforce.

Generation Water is one of a number of cutting edge programs that are delivering triple bottom line benefits from green infrastructure investment.  The organization’s work is an example of a successful private/ public/ nonprofit partnership that protects the environment, increases access to economic opportunities, and improves the social conditions of disadvantaged groups.  The organization is cultivating a new generation of environmental stewards that come from communities most impacted by environmental and economic crises.  These programs tap into water operations and maintenance work to create on-ramps to a variety of high-quality careers.  Generation Water has shown it’s possible to perform a critical task, like managing water problems in Los Angeles, while creating real, long-term, high-quality career choices for disadvanted residents.

Transforming the World, One Cup of Juice at a Time


Written by Maritza Martinez, Fellowship Program Manager

Last year, all eyes were on Occupy Oakland as protestors exposed economic injustice and challenged the status quo across the country.  Though the issues they brought to light are still relevant, they are no longer in the global spotlight. But the movement has continued in many ways and the inspiration it provided lives on in the work of many around the world.

Green For All Fellow, Ashel Eldridge was inspired by the energy of Occupy and this, coupled with his day-to-day work with youth in the Bay Area, led him to realize that good health is a prerequisite for participation in activism. He wanted to find a way to help heal activists and other members of the community and ensure their good health. And he decided natural, healthy juice was the way to do it.

Ashel launched SOS Juice to provide free juice to the community. SOS stands for System Out of our System.  As a hip hop artist and member of Earth Amplified, Ashel created community events that combined music and hip hop culture while introducing “live juice” to participants. And it worked.

With the support of Green For All’s Fellows Fund Micro-grant, SOS Juice is developing a cooperative business model that combines healthy fresh juice, youth employment and composting.  Ashel recognized that employment can also be a barrier to health and participation in the green economy. In fact, when youth are able to get jobs, they are usually employed at fast food establishments that supply unhealthy, processed foods to their communities. In response, Ashel set out to create an alternative for youth employment where young people could be surrounded by healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. Youth not only receive healthy juice and a job, but they become models for sustainable living in their communities.

Ashel has big dreams for this business. He wants to see SOS Juice become a national franchise, making fresh healthy options available in every neighborhood, as ubiquitous as fast food is today. But he needs all of us to get involved.

He will be launching solar-powered juice truck here in the Bay Area this year to pilot the idea and strengthen the model.  He is looking for financial support in the form of investments and donations.  Click here to find out how you can be part of this transformative experience.


Young eco-entrepreneurs solve water problems with rain barrels


Written by: Maritza Martinez, Fellowship Program Manager

KI EcoCenter youth entrepreneurs and Green For All Fellow Imhotep Adisa with their rain barrel prototype

In many communities around the world, people are struggling for basic access to clean water. Here in the United States, many of us see water as an unlimited resource that we take for granted. But the truth is that much of our country’s water infrastructure is decaying, including in places like Indianapolis, where both unemployment and sewage overflow plague communities. But today, intergenerational entrepreneurship is creating solutions to both problems.

Green For All Fellow Imhotep Adisa, founder of the Kheprw Institute (KI), works with neighborhood youth to develop green businesses in Indianapolis.  He runs an accelerator for youth-led enterprises.  One example of how the KI EcoCenter trains young entrepreneurs is the aquaponics program they created in 2012. The program is completely designed and operated by Indianapolis youth. The system is designed to grow Tilapia and vegetables to provide nutritious food. They will begin harvesting starting in Spring 2013, They also offer tours for school groups to educate more youth from the community about green entrepreneurship. The aquaponics system serves as a demonstration project for young entrepreneurs to learn, experiment, and get inspired.

Recently, Imhotep and the KI youth launched Express Yourself Rain Barrels, with the support of Green For All’s Fellows Fund Micro-grant. In addition to helping keep stormwater out of the cities overstressed sewers, the rain barrels create entrepreneurial opportunities for community members who aren’t able to work in regular 9-to-5 jobs.  Express Yourself Rain Barrels is a fulfillment center that stores, markets and distributes rain barrels created by local entrepreneurs. The company is youth-led: They designed the prototype for the barrels, as well as the company website. And because being green doesn’t have to cramp your style, the rain barrels are even decorated with art created by young people.  Check out the site and support this youth-led green business. Express Yourself Rain Barrels is also open to working with organizations to sell rain barrels as a fundraiser for their cause.


Job Training Program Turns Young Woman into Entrepreneur


Twenty-four year-old Aisha never anticipated that she’d be leading her own environmental remediation company. Though she’d always been interested in environmental issues, she was largely unaware of the fact that many residents in her hometown of Baltimore faced serious health risks from living in homes and buildings contaminated with toxic substances like asbestos, mold, and lead.

Then she enrolled in Baltimore Civic Works’ Green Career Pathways program. Dorsey wasn’t the typical Civic Works participant. The program focuses on training folks who were chronically unemployed or faced barriers to employment—like ex-offenders. She was neither. Ambitious and successful, she’d been president of her high school and editor of the school newspaper. But she saw tremendous potential in the green economy—and Civic Works offered a clear path to get there. She was studying at Baltimore City Community College when she heard about the program. It offered hands-on experience that she couldn’t find elsewhere—so she decided to enroll.

She graduated from the Civic Works’ B’More Green Brownfields program in 2011, receiving multiple certifications for environmental remediation work—cleaning up contaminated sites to make them safe, and to make sure that toxics are disposed of properly and don’t end up in our air and water. After leaving the program, she spent time in the field doing environmental remediation. She quickly realized that many of the existing companies in the field didn’t take the kind of precautions she’d been trained were necessary. She saw a need for a new kind of company—one that made worker and client safety its top priority.

So, in 2012 Dorsey launched Lifeline Environmental, LLC, dedicated to helping homeowners and businesses deal with dangerous substances like asbestos, mold, and lead.

“These are very overwhelming issues,” Dorsey explains. “Some people have asbestos all over their basement. You can’t tackle it by yourself. You need certified, competent people to help.”

She finds great satisfaction in helping make her hometown of Baltimore healthier.

“You can see the relief on people’s faces when we finish a job,” she says. “To live with asbestos, mold, or lead is definitely a health issue. People get sick. It’s not like you’re just going get a cold. You’re at risk for cancer. It’s something that needs to be handled.”

One of the best parts of starting the business, according to Dorsey, was the opportunity to give back to her community—not just by making buildings safer, but by giving Baltimore something it really needs: Jobs.

After launching Lifeline Environmental, Dorsey went back to B’More Green and hired six graduates of the same program she’d finished. She knew they would be well-trained, and prepared to focus on safety, a priority for her company. And she knew first-hand just how much dedication was needed to finish the training.

“Everybody in the program works very hard. You’re there from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some people go to other jobs at the end of the day.”

The program provided something else, too—something Dorsey drew on when she decided to start her own business: Confidence. When she went back to B’More Green as an employer, she was inspired and impressed by the number of trainees who were confident in their new skills and eager to get to work.  “Some people who can’t find work may just need a larger skill set. Baltimore Civic Works invests in them and trusts them, she explains. “You leave that program on a high note.”

For Dorsey, there’s no question about the value and need for more job training programs. “Traditional education may leave some people behind,” she says. “If we have more opportunities for people to grow and find their way, you’ll see it help the community. It creates economic growth.”


Huffington Post: Black Churches Are Going Green


By Rev. Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll, Co-founder of Green The Church and works with Green For All

As a child growing up in California, my parents would joke that we were from Hollywood. Our family was from Holly, Louisiana -- and Holly was down in the woods.

Thirty miles from Shreveport, Holly was where a cadre of ex-slaves purchased 100 acres of land in 1878 and planted their fields. They also planted the St. Mark Baptist Church, which is still serving black families more than a century later. These farmers -- my ancestors -- heeded the call of men like Booker T. Washington, who urged them to stay in the South, work hard, pay their taxes, and vote. Years later, despite their hard work and belief in the American dream, most of the families lost their farms to ruthless racists and the stock-market crash of 1929. The brutality of these two powerful forces pushed the family from land ownership to a new status of sharecroppers. 

But deep connection to land and spirit were always a part of our family story -- just like it is a part of the story of almost every black family in America. It's this legacy of good stewardship of the planet that drove me to help start Green The Church. In partnership with Green For All, the Green The Church initiative taps into the power of the Black church as a force for social change, while bringing the benefits of the green economy directly to congregants.

Today, Green The Church has taken on a new urgency.

We're watching climate change unfold before our eyes -- bringing severe droughts, erratic weather, superstorms and disasters. And while climate change threatens people everywhere, communities of color are on the front lines.

Consider this: African Americans living in Los Angeles are nearly twice as likely to die in a heat wave, thanks to lack of access to air conditioning, shade and cars. And when disasters strike, it's people with the fewest resources who have a harder time preparing, escaping and recovering. Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy drove that point home.

Black communities aren't just hit first and worst by climate change; we also stand to gain enormously from solutions to global warming.

The Green The Church initiative aims to bring the benefits of sustainability directly to our communities. We've joined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council to help our buildings save energy and generate clean power.

Green The Church partners like Reverend Otis Moss of Trinity United in Chicago are already leading on this issue. Reverend Moss' church is powered by the sun -- and even produces enough solar energy to power the home of an elderly neighbor. Meanwhile, the congregation is helping keep pollution from dirty-coal plants out of the air and doing its part to combat climate change.

It's not just about helping churches save energy (and money). Green The Church taps into the unmatched power of the African-American church as a moral leader and a force for social change -- one with the potential to bring millions of new people into the climate movement. Polls show that African Americans consistently demonstrate the highest level of commitment to climate solutions. We need to harness that commitment -- and engaging the church is one of the best ways we can do it.

That's why Green For All is working to bring 1,000 black churches into Green The Church this year. Black churches -- and the millions of voters they represent -- could make the difference in whether we win or lose on climate.

Black churches are going green. It's exciting, but it shouldn't be surprising. Caring for the land and our neighbors is part of a legacy and responsibility that African-American families have upheld for decades -- in Holly, Louisiana, and in towns just like it all over America.

For more information about Green The Church--and to find out how to sign your church up, visit here.

Rev. Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll is co-founder of Green The Church and works with Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy. Reverend Carroll currently serves as Senior Pastor at the Church by The Side of The Road in Berkeley, California.

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EurWeb: Nations Most Influential Black Church Leaders Assemble for Climate Change Imperative

freenthechurch.jpgOakland – Some of the most influential African American church leaders in the country are joining forces with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green For All to launch Green The Church, an effort to reach 1,000 black churches and address the disproportionate impacts of climate change and pollution on communities of color.

Watch the Video  ~A Green For All Initiative ~ ‘Every now and again an idea comes along that is too powerful to ignore…’

At a telephone press conference on Thursday, March 12, pastors from across the country  joined Green For All Founder Van Jones and U.S. Green Building Council Senior Vice President of Community Advancement Kimberly Lewis to talk about why climate change and sustainability are a priority for African American congregations.

Speakers include Reverend Otis Moss, senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, the Chicago church attended by President Obama; Reverend Amos Brown, who sits on the boards of both the NAACP and the National Council of Churches; Ambrose Carroll, who founded Green The Church; and Bishop J.W. Macklin, who is Second Assistant Presiding Bishop at the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country. Together, these leaders represent millions of black congregants and voters.

This is the first time nationally recognized African American church leaders have come together across denominations to talk about the threat that climate change poses to their communities.

The Green The Church initiative aims to bring the benefits of sustainability directly to black communities by partnering with the U.S. Green Building Council on clean energy and energy savings. It will also tap into the power of the African American church as a moral leader and a force for social change—one with the potential to bring millions of new people into the climate movement.

The initiative demonstrates what polls already show: that people of color are concerned about climate change and ready to act. It also comes at a time when polluters are increasingly trying to turn minority leaders against clean energy.

“When it comes to climate change and pollution, people of color are hit first and worst. Our communities also stand to gain enormously from investments in solutions like clean energy. The Black church is a formidable force. It could help determine whether we win or lose on climate,” -Reverend Ambrose Carroll, Green the Church Founder.


PR Newser: Black Churches Partner With Environmental Organizations To Combat Climate Change

African American church leaders have partnered with the nonprofit Green For All and the US Green Building Council to combat climate change. The “Green the Church” campaign seeks to include 1,000 churches, representing congregants that total in the millions.

“The black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines as they did in Selma, Alabama, fifty years ago this week. Likewise this must be true in the fight against climate change,” said Green the Church founder Ambrose Carroll.

The clip above outlines the direct ways in which climate change affects the Black community, from the health issues that arise from environmental degradation to the food issues that develop on a broader scale.

Not only that, but the churches are looking to save money by using sustainable energy and support the green economy. Moreover, they’re hoping that this way of thinking will trickle down to parishioners, who would certainly welcome the chance to lower energy bills and other climate-related expenses.

Even before this press release landed in our inbox, the Green the Church Summit took place, bringing together church leaders to talk about this issue in Oakland, CA.

Black churches are a key way to reach African-American audiences with messages of all kind. They also serve critical roles in organizing African Americans behind a cause, event or other manner of campaign. Tapping into this trusted resource is a brilliant way to communicate with the Black community.

Moreover, a quick search of “climate change” will find that lots of groups — religious denominations, various industries, even FEMA — are now urging concern over climate change because of the unique ways that it will impact people based on where they live, where they work, or what they do in day-to-day life. This is one strategy that environmental activists are using to target important demographics to spread their message of urgency.

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Madame Noir: Black Pastors Go Green? Church Leaders Team Up to Fight Climate Change

eco-friendly-378x400.jpgWho wants to praise the Lord while suffocating in greenhouse gases and other pollutants? Not I — and certainly not the nation’s top church leaders. A thousand Black churches across the U.S. are teaming up with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green for All to combat climate change.

They call it the “Green the Church” movement.

When the Black church has got your back, you’re going places. “No major movement in this nation has been successful without power and leadership of black church,” said Ambrose Carroll, founder of Green The Church. And he’s right. From the civil war to the anti-lynching campaigns and the civil rights movement,success would have been elusive without Black church leadership.

“The black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines as they did in Selma, Alabama,,” Caroll added. “Likewise this must be true in the fight against climate change.”

The alliance will work on energy efficiency projects, urban farming initiatives and renewable energy. A lot of progress, Caroll said, can be made at the churches themselves. “We as a people may not own a lot of real estate in this nation, but we do own church buildings. All those buildings can be retrofitted for more efficiency energy use,” Carroll added.

Black churches and “go green” enthusiasts might seem like an unlikely pairing, but they do share one goal: Creating an inclusive, prosperous, stable society for everyone.

Bishop J.W. Macklin of Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ gives us insight as to why he’s joining the Green the Church movement:

“The question that must be asked is ‘who is our neighbor?’ We have to identify our neighbor as the one who shouts for us, who needs us. Right now communities affected most are those who are being hit by climate change. They’re calling for our help.”

Some congregants are already benefiting from the fight against climate change. Reverend Otis Moss of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ noted that he was able to provide free solar power to an elderly member of the church.

“We were saved by the Son and now we’re powered by the sun,” Moss said.

Click to read original article here.

Listen & Watch: Black Leaders Take on Climate Change

The nation’s leading African American pastors are coming together with the U.S. Green Building Council to commit to tackling climate change and pollution as part of Green For All’s new campaign, Green The Church.



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Green The Church: Black Churches are Going Green

African American churches are coming together to tackle climate change and pollution. Green For All's new initiative, Green The Church, aims to reach 1,000 black churches.



JET Magazine: Black Ministers Team Up to “Green the Church”

10697298_584596058329505_4439725544941147265_o-610x250.jpgIt’s time for an ecology theology.

That’s the message of several influential African American church leaders who’ve joined environmental and civil rights activist Van Jones to preach the “green” gospel. Believing that fighting for climate change and protecting the environment is simply a part of good, Christian stewardship over the earth, these men and women of the cloth are looking to reach more than a thousand black churches through their “Green the Church” campaign.

During a press call on Wednesday, they discussed how African Americans are often left out on the discussion of the environment, yet Blacks are deeply affected – both in health and wealth – when it comes to our environment.

“We need equal protection from the worst of the pollution-based economy,” Jones said.

Jones, one of the founders of nonprofit Green For All and the former White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said blacks are “hit first and worst by everything” when it comes to the effects of climate change and pollution – from devastating super storms like Hurricane Katrina to being more susceptible of dying from heat stroke in smog-filled cities like Los Angeles. He also said 68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles downwind of a coal plant.

“That might be why 1-in-6 African American kids have asthma,” he said.

But it’s not just pollution that’s Jones and the pastors from “Green the Church” want to address. They also want more access to “green” jobs for African Americans, citing that green jobs in the energy sector – even those that don’t require a college education – pay 13 percent better than what’s typically available.

“A green economy can get us more work, better wealth and better health,” Jones said.

The ministers involved with Green the Church come from across denominations. Their goal, according to a release put out by the group, is to “bring the benefits of sustainability directly to Black communities by partnering with the U.S. Green Building Council on clean energy and energy savings.” Organizers want to “tap” into the prophetic power of the African American church and its historical role as being a “moral leader” and “a force for social change.”

“No major movement in this nation has been successful without the power and the leadership of the Black church,” said Green the Church founder Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll. “The Black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines, as they did in Selma.”

Rev. Carroll said we must do the same now with climate change.

“According to the book of Genesis we are stewards of the earth,” she said. “Today, let’s join in together and let’s green the Black Church.”

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Huffington Post: Green the Church Seeks to Mobilize Black Churches on Climate Change


Leaders of the "Green The Church" movement launched a new effort this week to help 1,000 African-American congregations take action on climate change.

Green The Church, its organizers said, "aims to bring the benefits of sustainability directly to black communities." It includes a partnership between Green For All, the California-based environment and social justice organization, and the U.S. Green Building Council, which will work with churches on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. It also seeks to "tap into the power of the African-American church as a moral leader and a force for social change," through education and outreach to millions of black church-goers across the country.

"The black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines, as they did on 'Bloody Sunday' in Selma 50 years ago," the Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, a California-based pastor who founded Green The Church, said in a call with reporters Thursday. "So they must with climate change."

Carroll said a lot of progress, such as efficiency retrofits and urban farming initiatives, can be made at the churches themselves. "We may not own a lot of real estate, but we do own church buildings," he said.

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, the senior pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, said his church has already purchased 27 acres of land on which to build a new urban farm, housing, and health, education, and wellness centers. "It will be green from the ground up," he said, adding that they want to promote the message that it's "not only, 'Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud,' but, 'Say it loud, I'm green and I'm proud.'"

Green For All said it found in recent polling that three-quarters of minority voters expressed an interest in climate change and wanted to know more about it. Sixty-eight percent said they thought climate change threatens their communities.

"We get hit first and worst by everything negative in the pollution-based economy," said Van Jones, the founder of Green For All and a current CNN contributor. Green The Church will advocate for "equal protection from the worst, and access to the best."

The group released this video to promote the effort:

Click to read original article.


ADVISORY: Top African American Church Leaders Tackle Climate Change

Some of the most influential African American church leaders in the country are joining forces with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green For All to launch Green The Church, an effort to reach 1,000 black churches and address the disproportionate impacts of climate change and pollution on communities of color.


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Green The Church Launch

On Thursday March 12th, some of the most influential African American church leaders in the country joined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green For All to launch Green The Church. You can listen to this inspiring tele-conference right here.

The press teleconference featured a number of prominent clergy leaders and Green For All partners including:

  • Van Jones, Green For All Founder
  • Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Green the Church co-Founder
  • Kimberly Lewis, Senior VP of Community Advancement, U.S. Green Building Council
  • Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, Senior Pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Bishop J.W. Macklin, Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ, Hayward, CA
  • Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, Pastor at Third Baptist Church of San Francisco


(The first meeting of San Francisco clergy for Green The Church.)

Listen to the recording below.

Huffington Post: Celebrating Black Leadership on the Environment

Huffington Post Green For All

By Adrianna Quintero, Director of Constituency Engagement, NRDC

Black History Month calls for a celebration of the visionary environmental leadership of black individuals and communities, as well as an examination of the many environmental injustices faced by people of color in our country. Whether we acknowledge it or not, the extreme weather events of last year and early 2015 do not visit economic, psychological and health-related damage upon all Americans equally. We have seen for decades how racism, poverty and other forms of marginalization negatively impact our experience of environmental issues such as pollution and extreme weather.

When a superstorm like Hurricane Sandy hits, it does its worst damage to families who lack access to health insurance, rent homes, are un- or under-insured, and generally already overburdened. From winter storms that bring higher heating costs and disrupted services, to summer heat waves that are felt more harshly in urban centers where, research shows, 52% of black Americans are more likely than whites to live in "urban heat islands" (dense neighborhoods without access to cooling green space), and can be twice as likely to die during a heat wave.

Given this reality, the current discourse around climate resilience--helping communities "bounce back" from environmental disasters--must be bold and equitable. As Green for All's 2014 Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Communitiesreport explained so eloquently, "vulnerable Americans need bolder, more integrated strategies to help them 'leap forward' and find a way to gain ground--not just go back to the margins." Climate adaptation measures must be conceived as opportunities to build communities and breathe life into neighborhoods through economic diversification, political empowerment, expanded green space, and better access to healthcare and other resources.

Across the country, visionary black leaders (too many to name here) are promoting innovative solutions that foster environmental and communal well-being simultaneously. From legendary leaders like Dr. Robert Bullard, the "father of environmental justice", who has spent a lifetime working to bring both academic and public awareness to environmental injustice across the country, from toxic dumping to transportation routing to economic planning; to innovators like Will Allen, the son of a sharecropper and a former NBA player, who has taken community farming to a new level. NRDC recognized Will's achievements in 2009 for his work as founder of Growing Power in 1993 to "inspire communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound," thereby improving food security while greening the environment and providing paths to employment. These individuals are among scores of others we must celebrate and look to, not only during Black History Month, but every day of the year: thought leaders who understand that our community deserves better and that fighting pollution can improve health, opportunity and equity in our country.

A clean and healthy environment is not a luxury but a right and our moral obligation to fulfill for our children. Children of all colors need a safe and healthy world in which to "live, work and play." According to polling by the Yale Project on Climate Communication, 89 percent of African-American voters somewhat or strongly support regulating carbon pollution, the primary driver of climate change. This staggering level of awareness reflects the experience of black communities, who saw the rates of childhood asthma increase 50% between 2001 and 2009. It also points to an opportunity to bring black leadership to bear on this critical issue, as policy makers seek bold yet nuanced approaches to greening neighborhoods while resisting gentrification. Thanks to President Obama's Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency is ramping up efforts to fight carbon pollution and the public health risks that come with it.

We in the climate movement must draw inspiration and direction from the history and trails blazed by the leaders who came before us. We must draw from the power and insight from the growing calls for justice and equity like the powerful Black Lives Matter movement to shape just policy across all domains and build our environmental strategies to allow each and every life to flourish. As we reflect on the gains and the daunting challenges faced by the environmental justice community, I am inspired by one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

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Press Release Archive

Read press releases from Green For All's archive.


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Happy MLK Day from Green For All Founder and Chairman Van Jones

Listen to Van's message of encouragement this MLK Day as we continue our fight to create a green economy Dr. King would be proud of! 



Oakland Green The Church Summit


Green The Church Summit - Inspiration and Action!

Green The Church held our first major gathering during the Fall of 2014.

The first ever Green The church Summit was held on November 11th & 12th at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, CA. The Summit gathered some of the nations most prominent clergy leaders like Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Rev. Dr. Tyson. Lord Gray, a religious scholar and environmental activist.

The Summit kicked off with a praise and worship service that attuned people’s hearts and minds with vibrant song and urged their spirits to commit to becoming a part of Green The Church. Rev. Richardson culminated the evening by reemphasizing that amidst many things, churches primary roles are to make a difference in their communities, helping out wherever they are needed and by whatever means necessary.

Summit3-300x200.jpgThis call to action then carried us into the morning of Wednesday, November 12th, where we held a Clergy Leaders Breakfast with expert panelists who shared resources and support to help church leaders take action in a real way. The morning session featured solar companies, energy efficiency experts, food justice activists and more.

Water Works! Investing Together for a Stronger America

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Green The Church - Providence Baptist Church, Bayview CA

Green The Church - Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland CA

Green The Church - A Green For All initiative

Online Micro-Survey: City Services, Health & Costs Are Top Concerns in Communities Facing Climate Change Impacts

Residents from eight cities around the country answered an online survey question in August to make their concerns and needs known when it comes to impacts of global warming such as more extreme storms, heat, sea level rise, flooding, drought, and wildfires. The survey was promoted via Facebook to communities of color in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Tucson and Los Angeles.

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Progress Illinois

EPA Holds ‘Clean Power’ Hearings; Poll Finds Climate Change To Be A Hot Topic For Minority Voters.

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Climate Change in Communities of Color on NewsOne

Nikki Silvestri and Dorien Paul joined Roland Martin Wednesday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss how changes in our climate are impacting the health and well being of the African American community. 

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Climate Change & Communities of Color Key Poll Findings and Top Lines

The concern that environmental changes are threatening our way of life is a key issue among minority voters in established and emerging battleground states. A recent survey of minority voters looked at how these communities understand climate change and environmental issues.

Download the report.


June 2014 - INsight Newsletter

Climate Action Plan Anniversary: Green For All Praises Nationwide Climate Efforts

Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Climate Action Plan Anniversary: Green For All Praises Nationwide Climate Efforts Actions help fortify communities most vulnerable to climate change disasters

WASHINGTON – One year ago today, President Obama unveiled a plan for combatting climate change. Since then, the country took many steps to protect communities from the health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.

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Keep It Fresh Awards & Panel Inspire Climate Action


CONTACT: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Green Community Leaders Inspire Climate Action at “Keep It Fresh” Awards Ceremony & Panel Green For All and Going Green Living Bling Event Speaks to Colorado’s Communities of Color

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Clean Water Strong Communities

Mother Nature - Official Music Video

May 2014 - INsight Newsletter

Carbon Safeguards a Win for Communities of Color, Low-income Americans


Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Obama Administration Proposed Limits on Climate Pollution from Existing Coal Plants Carbon Safeguards a Win for Communities of Color, Low-income Americans

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Green For All Applauds “My Brother’s Keeper” Report, Calls on Americans to Become Mentors for Young Men of Color

Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the “My Brother’s Keeper” Task Force released a report detailing their initial recommendations to President Obama on how to help young men of color overcome barriers to opportunity and achievement. The President also called on Americans to become long-term mentors at

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Climate Justice Now: Community Forum Brings New Vision to Climate Discussion

Rep. Keith Ellison & Environmental Leaders Connect Climate Action to Economic Prosperity for Minnesota’s Communities of Color

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.— Today, environmental champions brought a new perspective to the climate conversation during Green For All (GFA) and Sierra Club Environmental Justice campaign’s Climate Justice Now: Community Forum.

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April 2014 - INsight Newsletter

National Climate Assessment Finds What We Know to Be True – Climate Change is Real

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the White House will release the third National Climate Assessment (NCA), a federal analysis that documents the damage climate change is causing to communities and businesses across the country as well as ways to mitigate or adapt to it. The assessment is expected to guide President Obama's environmental agenda.

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Preparing DC Communities of Color for Climate Disasters

Green For All Highlights Resiliency Strategies at Earth Day Event

WASHINGTON, D.C.— This Earth Day, Green For All’s new Executive Director Nikki Silvestri is revealing strategies that will help communities of color thrive in the face of climate change, strengthening their ability to leap forward economically and environmentally.

Press Release Contacts:
Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

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Earth Day 2014: Green For All Pauses to Reflect, Prepare & Celebrate


Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 1970, the world celebrated its first Earth Day. Now, more than forty years later, Green For All is taking this time to reflect on the current climate, prepare our communities to thrive in the face of climate change, and celebrate our green energy leaders.

Statement of Green For All Executive Director Nikki Silvestri

“This Earth Day, we’re pausing to reflect, prepare and celebrate. When we look around, we can’t deny that the problems facing our planet are daunting. Big polluters are still getting away with poisoning our air and water. Worldwide, we’re seeing a spike in storms, drought, and disasters—and poor folks and communities of color continue to get hit first and worst by climate change.

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MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes – Sun Block

March 2014 - INsight Newsletter

Clean Water, Strong Communities White Paper

This white paper focuses on one of the most promising strategies water utilities can use to develop broad public support: Embracing triple-bottom-line outcomes that deliver community benefits like jobs, business opportunities, green space, safer and more beautiful streets, and other local amenities. Selected policies and programs designed to catalyze community and economic development allow water utilities to show the public that they provide efficient and environmentally beneficial infrastructure that fosters local economic and social improvements.

Download paper



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BET - Commentary: How Being Black and Green Is in Our DNA

Written by Nikki Silvestri, Executive Director of Green For All
Cross-posted on Read original post here.

Introducing Green For All’s new executive director Nikki Silvestri.

It’s not often that a life-changing revelation arrives via email. But that’s what happened to me in February when I received the results of a genetic test I ordered to track my ancestry. When I opened the message, I discovered that, based on my DNA, my forbears likely came from Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, as well as Ireland and Great Britain. I was stunned by the power of this revelation. Like most Black Americans, my family has never known the geography of where we came from—our ancient history was lost to slavery.


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MPower Toolkit

The MPower Toolkit is intended for all stakeholders involved in efficiency programs, including efficiency program administrators, state and local leaders, utilities, energy consultants, and financial partners. Although MPower is specifically designed to address challenges that face the affordable multifamily sector, the core model is useful for all building types. In addition, the toolkit’s chapters are broken out into segments that highlight information and innovations that many efficiency programs are incorporating into their own models. The toolkit is a resource for all practitioners involved in implementing MPower and also serves to assist practitioners of other established efficiency programs. 

Click here to access the MPower Toolkit


MSNBC’s Disrupt With Karen Finney – Pipe Up

February 2014 - INsight Newsletter

Green For All Applauds President Obama’s Efforts to Increase Opportunities and Improve the Livelihood of Young Men of Color

Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to yesterday’s announcement of “My Brother’s Keeper,” President Obama’s new initiative to help young men of color overcome barriers to opportunity and achievement, Green for All Executive Director Nikki Silvestri issued the following statement:

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Huffington Post - We Are the Environment

Written by Nikki Silvestri, Executive Director, Green For All
Cross-posted on Huffington Post. Read original post here.

When I was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles, I would spend summer afternoons in the backyard of my grandmother's home in South L.A., on Harvard and Martin Luther King Boulevard. I remember picking fresh berries off the bushes in her garden, and waiting for her to wash them and stir them with some sugar for me. My first contact with the environment was through those berries -- through food -- and it was magic. Food was something my grandmother and mother nourished me with. It came straight from the earth, from soil. It represented love. And as a result, the first way I interacted with the natural world was through love. But it wasn't all that simple. As a small child, I also developed asthma, probably as a result of the airport and oil fields near my home. I was hospitalized for the first time with an asthma attack when I was six years old. It was hard, not being able to double dutch or play tag during recess -- my inhaler followed me everywhere.

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Green for All Applauds Obama’s Climate Resilience Fund


Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Calls for Measures to Further Fortify Communities of Color

WASHINGTON—Today, President Obama unveiled new actions the Administration is taking in response to the crippling drought out west as well as proposed a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund” to prepare communities for the environmental disasters ahead.

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Huffington Post: Leap Forward: Why We Need to Think Bigger on Climate Resilience


Written by Jeremy Hays, Chief Strategist for State and Local Initiatives of Green For All

In 1995, a severe heat wave struck Chicago, killing more than 700 people. The disaster hit some neighborhoods much harder than others. For the most part, its devastation closely traced the city’s economic and ethnic segregation. More people died in places like Englewood, a South Side neighborhood with a history of poverty and crime, and a largely African-American population; yet some neighborhoods with this same demographic fared remarkably well. Just adjacent to Englewood, the Auburn Gresham community — also poor and black — weathered the disaster far better than many of the city’s wealthy white communities.

The difference? Auburn Gresham’s strong social ties kept residents alive. As Eric Klinenberg explains in his excellent New Yorker piece, residents survived in large part because they knew each other. During the heat wave, neighbors checked on neighbors. They knocked on doors. They knew who was alone, who was elderly, who was most at risk.

As we grapple with how to best prepare for climate change, there’s a valuable lesson in Chicago’s heat wave. We’ve been hearing more and more about community resilience — from the President’s creation of a task force on the issue, to his executive order directing agencies to help prepare Americans for the effects of climate change. These measures couldn’t be more important. We badly need investments in infrastructure and in emergency response systems that will mitigate damage from coming disasters. But these measures alone don’t get us where we need to be.

So far, the conversation on climate resilience has been too narrow. It often overlooks some of the key components that have proven to make the difference in how a community survives a heat wave, a flood, a fire, or a hurricane.

Reliable infrastructure and good disaster response plans are crucial. But truly resilient communities — the ones that weather storms, economic downturn, and disasters best — also embody many of the following four key components:

1. Have Strong Social Capital
The neighborhood ties that helped Auburn Gresham survive Chicago’s heat wave are so important that, as Klinenberg noted, they equal the impact of having an air conditioner in every home. That effect is too big to ignore. Resilience strategies need to recognize that social ties are a survival mechanism — and support activities that build them.

2. Can Use Existing Assets to Cope with Calamity
During Hurricane Sandy, members of Green City Force, a service corps that prepares low-income youth for sustainable careers, played a new and crucial role in helping residents of Brooklyn’s Red Hook area survive. Corps members gathered and distributed food to elderly residents who otherwise would have been cut off from help. It worked because the members of Green City Force knew the neighborhood well, they were already organized, and their members had an ethic of service and stewardship toward their community that propelled them to action. Smart resilience strategies will invest in the kind of organizations that are already embedded and connected with local residents — from community groups and non-profits to churches.

3. Are More Self-Sufficient
If communities develop local sources of food, they’re safer when droughts or disasters drive up food prices. If they have their own power — like solar panels on a school — they aren’t as vulnerable in the face of blackouts. If they’re familiar with their neighbors and have established gathering spaces, they can still communicate when cell phone networks get clogged. If they have prosperous local businesses, they’re better prepared to ride out storms in the global economy.

4. Have a Voice in the Decisions That Affect Them
If a community has a history of engaging with government or working together to secure resources — if neighbors have successfully petitioned the city to fix potholes or install gutters — they’ll not only be more prepared before a storm hits, they’ll be in a better position to get the resources they need after the storm. The most effective resilience strategies will support local leadership.

Climate resilience plans that focus just on disaster preparation, but ignore these components, do a disservice to us all. And it’s not just about mitigating the damage from storms — it’s also about creating the kind of long-term stability that strengthens our nation as a whole. We need to think bigger and be bolder so that our community resilience strategies reflect our nation’s core values and capabilities.

Think Bigger, Be Bolder
When our leaders talk about helping Americans survive disasters, they haven’t been thinking big enough. Surviving is a baseline. American communities have always endeavored to survive and thrive, despite the challenges or setbacks.

When our leaders talk about “bouncing back” they haven’t been thinking big enough. Bouncing back is a dubious goal for folks living on the edge. If you’re struggling to feed your kids or pay the rent before a storm strikes, it’s not enough to return to business as usual. Vulnerable Americans need to find a way to gain ground — not just go back to the margins. After all, the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina began to unfold long before the storm hit — the seeds of disaster were planted decades earlier, when the area’s poor communities were abandoned.

Our climate response plans have to think bigger about the problems — and the opportunities. Our best community resilience strategies will:

Recognize that disasters hit low-income communities and people of color first and worst.

When it comes to storms and severe weather, those with the fewest resources have a harder time preparing, escaping and recovering. Nationally, African-Americans, who are more likely to live in coastal areas, are at greater risk for displacement from flooding and sea level rise. They’re also more vulnerable to heat-related deaths, which are expected to increase by 90 percent. Meanwhile, climbing food costs, crime and illness from climate change are all expected to hit people of color and the poor hardest. Climate resilience strategies — and investments — must address this gap.

Put these communities in the driver’s seat.

No one knows how to weather storms better than folks who’ve already been pushed to the edge. Neighborhoods like Auburn Gresham have endured decades of divestment and blight. The same communities hit hardest by extreme weather have survived years of toxic pollution, redlining and abandonment. In an under-resourced area, it’s not uncommon to borrow a cup of sugar from next door, or lean on a neighbor to watch your kid. The history of social ties that have kept these neighborhoods alive through decades of hardship have already laid a strong foundation for climate resilience. Good resilience plans will be developed in partnership with vulnerable communities. Strong outreach and civic engagement will uncover ways to build upon the social entrepreneurship that’s already buzzing within these areas — to unleash the “hustle” that has helped residents survive and thrive for decades.

Think bigger. Stay focused on leaping forward, not just bouncing back.

Resilience investments should leave local economies stronger, more inclusive, and healthier than before. We have no choice now, but to fight climate change and get Americans ready for the disasters to come. But if we’re smart about it, we can address economic inequality at the same time. Investing in clean energy, efficient infrastructure, and climate-readiness can create jobs and business opportunities in the communities that need them most. The kind of jobs that help fight carbon pollution, like manufacturing solar panels, tend to pay more (13 percent higher than the median wage) while requiring less formal education.

That’s a recipe for escaping poverty. In the long run, the economic stability these jobs create will do more than just about anything to fortify communities on the front lines.

A “leap forward” strategy won’t just help the most vulnerable among us — it will help everyone. The extreme devastation we see when disasters strike poor, under-resourced communities is more expensive to clean up. It drags down our economy, and it exacerbates suffering among families who are already struggling. It’s in everyone’s interest to prevent damage on that scale.

America’s leadership will be tested more and more in the years to come — not just by climate change, but by an increasingly globalized economy. Our nation’s number one resource is its people. We simply can’t afford to have so many members of our team sidelined by hardship — or overlooked by shortsighted planning processes. We need to craft resilience strategies that unleash the genius within our communities.

By thinking bigger about resilience — by creating prosperity in partnership with communities, and by clearing the way for the hardest-hit among us to build a healthier, safer, more equitable future — we position ourselves to do more than just bounce back from hard times. We set ourselves up to leap forward, together as a nation, into the future of our own choosing.

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Huffington Post - Leap Forward: Why We Need to Think Bigger on Climate Resilience

Written by Jeremy Hays, Chief Strategist for State and Local Initiatives of Green For All
Cross-posted on Huffington Post. Read original post here.

In 1995, a severe heat wave struck Chicago, killing more than 700 people. The disaster hit some neighborhoods much harder than others. For the most part, its devastation closely traced the city's economic and ethnic segregation. More people died in places like Englewood, a South Side neighborhood with a history of poverty and crime, and a largely African-American population; yet some neighborhoods with this same demographic fared remarkably well. Just adjacent to Englewood, the Auburn Gresham community -- also poor and black -- weathered the disaster far better than many of the city's wealthy white communities.

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January 2014 - INsight Newsletter

The Hunger Games Continue: Farm Bill Brings Drastic Food Stamp Cuts, Limited Improvements to Fix Broken Food System

February 4, 2014

Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate passed the long-awaited 2014 Farm Bill, which issued a devastating $8.5 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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State of the Union: Green For All Applauds President’s Vision of ‘Opportunity for All’


Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Climate Efforts Offer a Powerful Tool to Create Jobs, Economic Stability for Vulnerable Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his State of the Union address this evening, President Obama laid out an inspiring vision and shared his clear commitment to creating “opportunity for all” with initiatives that will expand the middle class and help put more Americans back to work. The President’s proposals to increase the federal minimum wage and expand opportunities in clean energy are great steps in helping close the nation’s growing economic divide. Most importantly, the president recognized that “the best measure of opportunity is access to a good job.”

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Green Leaders Look to State of the Union for Action on Climate, Creating Opportunities for All


Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

Climate Resilience Efforts Can Help Address Growing Economic Divide

OAKLAND, Calif. – As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday, green leaders call on the president to take further steps toward achieving his commitment to smart climate response strategies that simultaneously address America’s growing economic divide through creating opportunities for all.

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Huffington Post - How Information is Changing the World: This Week in Seeding the Change

Written by Ari Nessel, Founder and President, The Pollination Project

Cross-posted on Huffington Post. Read original post here.

Every day of the week, The Pollination Project ( provides $1,000 in seed funding to an individual who is working to make the world -- or just their own community -- a better, more peaceful and more sustainable place. Here are the extraordinary people and ideas changing the world this week:

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November 2013 - INsight Newsletter

Forbes - How E-Waste Is Creating Jobs For People With Criminal Records In Los Angeles

Written by Sarah McKinney, Forbes Contributor

Cross-posted on Forbes. Read original post here.

It’s no secret that the prison system in America is broken, but the statistics are pretty shocking. The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population, and 23% of the world’s prison population – that equals roughly 1 in 100 adults that are in prison. The problem is complicated and hits on hotbed issues like gun control, racism, the war on drugs, sentencing laws, overcrowding, privatization of public services, and prison profits supporting politicians and political agendas that keep us all, metaphorically speaking, locked in. 

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Tri County Sentry - Are We Plugged In?

Written by Charlene Muhammad, CBM Contributor 

Cross-posted on Tri County Sentry. Read original post here.

Like many Black Californians, Chearon Raye faces a dilemma when the time comes to make a purchase as substantial as a new automobile. 

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Huffington Post - How Michelle Obama's Critics Undercut Progress

Written by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All

Cross-posted on Huffington Post. Read original post here.

Becoming a mother last year fundamentally shifted the way I think about leadership and how we create a more just and healthy world. I've realized that one of the biggest barriers to our progress is shame. It's what keeps us feeling isolated and prevents us from realizing that we share the same struggles, and the same hopes. And it's especially evident among women (like me) who are fighting to balance our careers with the demands of parenting. 

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Raising Capital from the Community: Alternative Capital Development through Crowdfunding

Small businesses often struggle to find the capital they need get going or to go to scale. Raising capital from traditional investors can be particularly difficult for innovative green businesses that are concerned as much about people and planet as they are about profit. Minority-owned firms face additional, well-documented obstacles accessing capital from conventional sources. But new trends and recent legal developments are creating opportunities for small businesses to raise capital directly from the communities they serve. Green For All has created this report to serve as a resource for entrepreneurs interested in exploring crowdfunding as way to grow businesses that make their communities and our country stronger, healthier, and more inclusive.

Download the report


Oakland Local - How Green is the Hood Part Two: Bringing Solar and Energy Efficiency to Oakland's Affordable Housing

Written by Eric K Arnold and New America Media
Cross-posted on Oakland Local. Read original post here.

…Energy efficiency is particularly critical in affordable housing developments, says Jeremy Hays, Chief Strategist for State and Local Initiatives at Green For All, a sustainability advocacy group with offices in Oakland and Washington, D.C. According to Hays, apartment buildings built before 1970 use 55 percent more energy than those built after 1990, while low-income residents spend 400 percent more of their monthly income on utility bills than the average American. Furthermore, affordable housing owners—a segment which includes public housing agencies and non-profit real estate developers—are constrained by rising utility bills; energy consumption in the US has steadily increased nearly every year since 1985, a trend which shows no signs of reversing. 

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BET - Commentary: When Bouncing Back Isn't Enough

Written by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All

Cross-posted on Read original post here.

The one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy last month spurred renewed conversation about making communities more resilient in the face of extreme weather and disasters. President Obama moved the conversation from talk to action by signing an executive order requiring all federally funded projects to address the impact of global warming, and creating a task force of state and local leaders who will help shape climate resilience efforts. 

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E&E - Pair of Dems try again on 'green infrastructure' stormwater bill

Written by Annie Snider, E&E reporter

Cross-posted on E&E. Read original post here.

With U.S. EPA's work on a national stormwater regulation stalled, a pair of congressional Democrats are trying again to move a bill aimed at spurring innovative solutions to one of the country's largest water pollution problems. 

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The Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2013 Would Build Community Resilience, Create Green Jobs


Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – Today, Green For All praises Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Edwards (D-MD) for introducing the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2013. 

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The Hill: Attacks on EPA are attacks on health, safety


Written by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All

For me, clean air isn’t an abstract concept. I grew up in a polluted town and struggled with childhood asthma. I know what it means to be forced to breathe dirty air.

That’s why it’s so important to me that the Environmental Protection Agency is able to do its job and protect Americans from air pollution—including carbon from power plants.

Coal-fired power plants pump out toxic pollution, with serious health consequences: An estimated 12,000 emergency room visits for asthma, 20,000 heart attacks, and 13,000 premature deaths are linked to America’s dirty, outdated coal plants. They don’t just cost lives, they cost dollars: our country loses nearly $100 billion a year to these preventable health problems…

Read original post here.


The Hill - Attacks on EPA are attacks on health, safety

Written by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All

Cross-posted on The Hill. Read original post here.

For me, clean air isn’t an abstract concept. I grew up in a polluted town and struggled with childhood asthma. I know what it means to be forced to breathe dirty air. 

Read more