Authors: Van Jones WE ARE WINNING! (translation: YOU ARE AWESOME!) Since December, we've been asking you to tell Congress to green the stimulus. More than 14,000 of you have done that, and the Congressfolks are getting the message. Two weeks ago, President Obama unveiled the economic recovery package he's been crafting with Congressional leaders. It has a ton of exciting green provisions. And last night the House got on board, passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) by a vote of 244-to-188! Next week it's the Senate's turn to vote on the recovery bill, and they need a little extra encouragement to fully support the Green Jobs Act (see below). Tell your Senators to get on board! Here are three things we think you'll be especially excited about in President Obama's economic recovery plan:
1. GREEN JOBS ACT: $500 Million In 2007, Green For All and our allies got the Green Jobs Act signed into law. The Act authorizes federal support for green-collar job-training programs. But last year, Congress failed to appropriate the money. Now, President Obama and the House want to invest $500 million in these programs. (YAY!) But the Senate wants to create a grant program at half that amount, and divide this smaller pie into smaller pieces - by directing the funds to train workers in various industries (not just green ones). (Boo!) With the support of the President and the House, full funding for the Green Jobs Act finally is within sight. But we need your help to move the Senate.Tell your Senators to fund the Green Jobs Act at $500 million.
2. WEATHERIZATION: $6.2 Billion President Obama's recovery package contains the largest weatherization investment in history, as well as funding for a number of other programs that will increase the energy efficiency of America's buildings. Upgrading our buildings so that they protect us better from the weather means we can spend less energy heating and cooling them. This is the single biggest thing we can do right now to stop global warming. Nothing in the country uses as much energy as our buildings - not even our transportation. And weatherizing won't just save lots of energy and reduce greenhouse gases - it will also create a ton of new green-collar jobs! 3. DOUBLING RENEWABLE ENERGY Efficiency is only part of the solution. We also need to replace the fossil fuels we're burning with renewable energy. The recovery plan is part of that, with plans to double our capacity to generate renewable energy in just three years. Another big job engine!This would NOT be happening without you, the folks in Green For All's community and network. And I don't just mean the e-mails you've sent to Congress about the stimulus. You have set the terms of the debate on energy and green-collar jobs over the past year. Since the beginning of the Presidential primary season, you have made sure that these issues were at the center of national politics. Now, they are at the center of the biggest economic stimulus package in U.S. history. But this is just the beginning. We need to make the Senate see the light on Green Jobs Act funding. The Senate still has to vote on the package, with Republicans already threatening to block it. And even if it gets through Congress largely intact, we will still have to make sure that the money in the package gets to the best programs and businesses in each of our communities. First thing's first: Let's celebrate the green stimulus you helped make happen! And keep pushing until President Obama signs it into law. Green For All, Van Jones P.S., Next week, please join us for a National Teach-In on Global Warming. All across the country, millions will gather to learn about and discuss solutions to our global economic crisis. Find a teach-in near you, or start your own. It can be as simple as watching this webcast, and discussing with friends.