It is encouraging to see figures like Bay Area green Icon Van Jones lay out such a clear and compelling case for business, environmental and social change. Last week Jones a co founder of Green for All and former White House green jobs advisor took his Rebuild the Dream tour to Los Angeles. The week before he was in Hawaii where the tour started. Yesterday Jones the author of the New York Times Best seller, “The Green Collar Economy” released his new book Rebuild the Dream.
Interviewed recently on Democracy Now by Amy Goodman and by CNN‘s Soledad O’Brien Jones said, “I’m probably the only person in American life who was a grassroots outsider, who became a White House insider — I was there for six months — and then I became a grassroots outsider again,” Jones says. “What I saw when I was there, and after, is this massive misunderstanding between the insiders in that building, the insiders in D.C., and the outsiders that help to elect those folks, and huge missed opportunities for positive change.”
Van Jones reminds me of a current day Ceasar Chevez, Martin Luther King and Saul Alinsky all rolled up into one. In his new book he says, “The destruction of America’s middle class is meeting with angry opposition in the streets. The protest wave began in February 2011. It was powered by public fury over union-busting legislation proposed by Tea Party governors in Wisconsin and Ohio. In the summer of 2011, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in every U.S. congressional district to rally against devastating budget cuts under the slogans “Jobs Not Cuts” and “Save the American Dream. Then, on September 17, a few hundred activists calling themselves Occupy Wall Street pitched their tents in Manhattan’s financial district. Their daring tactic captured the imagination of millions in America. The boldness of their action ignited a passion for change in hundreds of other cities in the United States and around the world. The tiny spark that was struck in the Wisconsin winter became a national and even global prairie fire by the end of the year.” Van Jones will speak at the San Francisco Common Wealth Club on April 19, 2012.