All Articles Tagged "van jones"

Environmental Groups Respond To Black Chamber Of Commerce Objections To Clean Power Plan

June 22nd, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Environmental groups are sounding off on the Black Chamber of Commerce for their criticism of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide levels. The BCC says the plan will raise the utility costs to poor and Black families.

When our story went up last Wednesday, we quickly got responses from two groups saying that the BCC was off base about their conclusions. We received this from Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, the director of Federal Policy for WE ACT for Environmental Justice and National Coordinator for the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change:

If we believe for one minute that the air Black people [breathe] is the same as it elsewhere, we are playing ourselves.  A 2011 analysis found that African Americans are more likely to live in counties with the worse ozone pollution.  Ozone pollution causes wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks and even premature death. Our children are twice as likely to have asthma and four times as likely to die of asthma than white children. It should be no surprise that our communities of color and low income communities suffer more. 

Poor health costs! The annual economic cost of asthma is more than $56 billion. With more Black families living in poverty than others, many are already stressed and struggling to make ends meet.  The additional health costs as a result of the dirty, polluted air that we are breathing – an unexpected trip to the ER or missing days of work to take care of our sick children – just adds to the burden.

That’s why it is important that we don’t give in to the hype and let your voice be heard!  Don’t let the National Black Chambers of Commerce mislead you. They’ve aligned themselves with dirty energy providers who are more concerned with their finances than the health and well being of our communities.  Our communities need a fully implemented Clean Power Plan, not more of the same bad energy policies allowing these polluters to put the lives of children in jeopardy.  The Clean Power Plan will NOT raise energy costs, it will not kill jobs.  It is an opportunity for our communities to position themselves to be generators and distributors of clean, renewable energy (like solar and wind), as well as give our “Sister-preneurs” a new segue into the clean energy economy.  Leave it up to the National Black Chambers of Commerce and their allies that produce dirty energy and the health of our communities will continue to get worse as their pockets get bigger. Our children, our health and the welfare of our communities should NOT be for sale. 

And Van Jones, president and founder of Green For All, wrote a rebuttal that we received in our inbox. Here’s a piece of it, which  will also be published on Ebony in full:

Let’s just get this out of the way: The president’s Clean Power Plan will not raise our energy costs. In fact, it’s projected to save families an average of $8 a month on their residential electricity bills.

More importantly, the plan will save lives. It will prevent thousands of premature deaths from pollution-related illnesses, and roughly 150,000 asthma attacks in children each year. This is significant, because one out of every six African American children in this country suffers from asthma.

Our kids literally can’t breathe. And one big reason is because of unchecked pollution from dirty energy plants. Coal-fired power plants kill nearly 13,000 people a year, according to the American Lung Association. These plants tend to be located next to communities of color, so our families are hit hardest.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan will mean fewer hospital trips and fewer missed school days for African American kids, plain and simple. In fact, the health benefits of keeping power plant pollution out of our air and lungs could save our country as much as $93 billion per year.

But the plan will do more than protect our health. It could also increase our wealth. By driving innovation and the growth of clean energy, it will create jobs—about 360,000 net jobs, according to the latest data. We still have work to do to ensure that people of color have access to the best careers in the clean energy economy—but that’s a good problem to have.


Green For All also posted this compilation of supportive comments for the plan.

If you do a quick search of the EPA and this plan, there are no shortage of opinions on the subject. What are some of the environmental issues that you’re concerned with?

Van Jones Joins Revived ‘Crossfire’ On CNN

June 27th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Credit:Daniel Tanner/

Credit:Daniel Tanner/

The ratings over at CNN have been faltering, despite a network makeover that included letting go of Soledad O’Brien. It seems the network is turning to some previous favorites to lure viewers to return to the network. The political debate program Crossfire is coming back to CNN and among those on the panel are Van Jones, the founding president of Rebuild the Dream, an organization that promotes innovative policy solutions for the U.S. economy. Jones worked as the green jobs advisor for the Obama administration in 2009.

Jones, who is the  author of two The New York Times best-selling books (The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream), will co-host with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and conservative columnist S.E. Cupp along with Stephanie Cutter, who like Jones, will represent the left. Cutter is a partner at newly-launched strategic consulting firm Precision Strategies. She previously served as the deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign and was Michelle Obama’s chief of staff and senior adviser to then-Senator Obama during the 2008 election.  She also served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Adviser for communications and strategy.

All four hosts will also appear across the network’s programming and its special coverage surrounding elections and political events.

“Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did – it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, in a press statement.

Crossfire was one of CNN’s most popular shows when it initially aired from 1982 to 2005. Conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Tom Braden were the original hosts of the program,  and other hosts included Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, James Carville and Paul Begala.

In Our Own Backyard: Nine African-American Environmentalists Who Changed Our Community’s Landscape

April 11th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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African Americans are at the forefront of today’s environmental issue, actively seeking ways to improve and break ground (literally). And not all environmentalists are tree-hugging, burlap-wearing hippies.

Whether it’s through the African-American Environmentalist Association that aims to educate the Black community on the issues of the environment today or through community service in our own backyards, African Americans have been giving their time, talent and legacies in order to close the racial divide in environmental activism.

We recognize these nine African-American environmentalists for their contributions to the health of our community and Earth as a whole.

Donna Brazile, Roland Martin Could Be Next To Leave CNN

January 31st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The cuts at CNN could get deeper very quickly.

Just yesterday, we reported that Soledad O’Brien has been removed from her morning anchor position, among other changes. Now, Fishbowl DC is reporting that Roland Martin and Donna Brazile could be the next two on the chopping block. The website notes that three new faces — civil rights activist Van Jones, The New York Times’ Charles Blow, and Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher — have appeared regularly on the network as of late. And both Martin and Brazile were excluded from the network’s coverage of the inauguration.

Charles Blow. via Twitter

Charles Blow. via Twitter

Brazile is also an ABC correspondent; Martin has a program on TV One and serves as an analyst on Tom Joyner’s program.

In other media news, Long anticipated cuts are going to be made at Time Inc., which, like many media companies, is suffering at the hands of dropping newsstand readership and advertising sales. According to Bloomberg, 500 positions are being eliminated, about six percent of the company’s workforce. Essence, Real Simple, and People are among the magazine titles at Time. Cuts are expected across all divisions.

It’s All Love? Pro-Black Men Who We’re Surprised Dated Or Married White Women

November 26th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Andres Otero/

While interracial relationships are not nearly as uncommon as they once were, we’d be lying if we said that the dating and marriage histories of some of the nation’s most outspoken black social activists didn’t come as a surprise to us. Let’s take a gander at socially and politically active black men who dated outside of their race.

Oh My Damn, You Fine! 10 Men Whose Good Looks Snuck Up On Us

November 14th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Ever looked at someone and at first glance, they were just okay, but at a different angle, in a different situation, or whatever happened, they all of a sudden looked good as all get out? It happens more than we think, especially when a man gets a makeover, grows some nice muscles we didn’t see coming and puts some Chapstick on (I was kidding on that last one, but it does help!). Check out these 10 fellas whose good looks crept up on us and now we just can’t get enough. Call a sista!


I guess if you’ve been a ride or die fan of Nas since Illmatic, you probably picked up on the fact that Nas is more than just a man who can rhyme very well, he’s a FINE man who can rhyme very well. I think it was just the very baggy clothes and the ruggedness back then that had some scratching their heads when other women would squeal, “GIRL, Nas is FINE!” But the older he gets, the more we hear that voice, the more we can’t help but wish we knew Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones a little better outside of the music. And granted, we’re not fans of the way things fell apart with Kelis, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that those lips are a gift. Man oh man…

Van Jones And The American Dream Movement

October 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Charlotte Young

With the Occupy Wall Street Journal protest now in its third week, activist and author Van Jones is setting the record straight on the success of the protest and its deeper implications on America, despite a lack of serious coverage from the media.

According to the Root, Jones views the protest as part of the larger American Dream Movement, a group of progressive voices fighting for struggling Americans. The movement was started in part by Jones in June. He interrupted his presentation on Monday at the American Dream Conference to give his audience an update on the protest; declaring that US Marine Veterans were standing beside the protestors to protect and support them.

“This is a movement moment! Something’s happening in America! Don’t you give up on this country! Don’t you give up on this movement! This is your movement,” he said to the crowd.

Using the Tea Party as a model, Jones began to organize the American Dream Movement and helped to raise the support of over 70 progressive organizations. Compared to the Tea Party, the American Dream Movement began with 1,597 house meetings, almost double the 800 house meetings the Tea Party had at its start. In addition the American Dream Movement was able to mobilize 131,203 people, nearly triple the Tea Party’s 50,000 people at its conception.

One of the hindrances to the liberal side, Jones said, was a dependence on the president to be able to fix everything.

“We have the wrong theory of the president’s seat,” Jones said at the conference. “We somehow thought that by electing a single person, an individual who was inspiring…that we could just sit back and munch popcorn and watch him.”

Past presidents have always been accompanied by strong movements in Jones’ view. For example, Lyndon B. Johnson signed civil rights laws in coordination with the strength of the Civil Rights Movement. Franklin D. Roosevelt was urged to bring the New Deal into effect because of the Labor Movement.

Jones emphasized that all progressive activists, labor, LGBT rights, immigration and all others, must work together instead of branching off to fight for their independent causes.

“If we can be as warm and sharing and kind as the Tea Party, which one might suspect is a relatively low bar, we might be able to do something for our country. That’s the invitation to you,” he said.

The three-day American Dream Conference will bring representatives from 35 different organizations to the forefront, including People for the American Way, the Hip Hop Caucus and the League of Young Voters.

During the next two days, participants at the conference hope that their brainstorming and interactions will enable them to take the movement to greater heights across the country.

It’s Easy Being Green: 7 Innovative African American Environmentalists

August 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Environmentalists have evolved from the tree hugging hippies making a case for preservation areas to passionate politicians who have no problems telling us an inconvenient truth. All along black people have been active in the campaign for environmental issues, but more recently many have become major players in areas ranging from green jobs, to urban gardens to heading the EPA. Here’s our list of top black environmentalists:

Lisa Jackson is best known as head of the Environmental Protection Agency – an appointment bestowed upon her by President Barack Obama. She is the first person of African American descent to serve as EPA Administrator. The chemical engineer was employed by the EPA for 16 years before taking the helm. She has become the first EPA administrator to focus on reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. She was also cited as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine.

Van Jones: Something in the Tea

July 19th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Slate) — “I’ve been unemployed or underemployed since September 2006,” said Benito Diaz. “The only thing I’ve done since then is part-time jobs, not even in what I used to work in. Frustrating is not the word. Yeah, so, the most important thing to me is the issue of jobs.”  There are seven of us sitting around Diaz, listening and nodding. This was the sharing portion of the meeting, when everyone got three minutes to talk about how the economy was affecting them and the poor schlubs they knew. When we were done, according to our briefing papers, we were scheduled to talk about “the time in your life when you felt most proud of your community of America.” And after that, we were supposed to make some lists.  We were making history, maybe, sitting at one of the inaugural get-togethers of the American Dream movement, aka the Rebuild the Dream movement, aka the insanely ambitious project that Van Jones has been talking about ever since Glenn Beck and some bloggers succeeding in bouncing him out of the White House. This get-together, in a Quaker meeting house in Washington’s Dupont Circle, started at 4 p.m. on Saturday and went on for two hours. It was one of about 1,600* such parties happening around the country last weekend, and one of 10 within a short bike or car ride from my house.

Read More…

Color Of Change: Pursuing an “Unapologetically Black” Agenda

June 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Eric L. Hinton

They are ghastly images seared into the public consciousness.  Much like the horror of witnessing innocent victims leaping to their deaths before the towers fell on September 11th, the images of  countless blacks wading through floodwaters and clinging to rooftops with hand-scrawled “Help Me” signs, shook the nation to its core.  The disaster that killed nearly 1,900 people, mostly poor black residents of New Orleans, and caused over $81 billion in property damage, prompted many across the nation to shake their heads in disbelief.  Could this really be happening here? In the United States? In 2005?

At the time James Rucker was serving as a director of grassroots mobilization for  The organization, which serves a largely white base, develops and executes fundraising, technology, and campaign strategies for progressive causes. Prior to Katrina he and Color of Change co-founder, Van Jones, had been kicking around ideas for something like MoveOn for black people.   As Rucker sat in his living room watching alarming footage from Katrina stream across his television, he felt compelled to act.

“When Katrina happened it became this very clear moment around the country when you saw black people effectively had no political power.  The level of disservice and neglect that happened in the aftermath was unacceptable.  And it wasn’t as if the White House was reacting ‘Oh my goodness Black America is going to have our heads for this.’  It spoke to a political impotence on the part of Black America,” said Rucker.

A few days later Color of Change was born.  It started out focusing on Katrina, fighting for everything from housing rights, to FEMA payments, to the protection of displaced survivors’ voting rights.  In the six years since the web-based, African-American political advocacy group launched, 800,000 members have contributed to or taken part in various lobbying and public education campaigns.

Today the work is focused on an eclectic mix of targets ranging from the obvious — Glenn Beck and Fox News — to the unexpected, such as the Congressional Black Caucus.  The fledgling organization has morphed and grown into a force that investigates claims of police brutality, insists on criminal justice reform, examines media misrepresentation of blacks and demands accountability from elected officials.

Among its victories Color of Change counts raising public awareness and money for the legal defense of the Jena Six, six black boys who initially were charged with attempted murder in the 2005 beating of a white student in Louisiana.