A new wave of green investment is sweeping our nation’s cities, driven by policies from green building laws, to renewable energy standards, to the Mayor’s climate pledges. Reorienting our antiquated urban and energy infrastructure around the platforms of efficiency, sustainability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions represents perhaps the preeminent engine for innovation, job creation, and economic productivity growth in coming decades. While federal policy remains in a stalemate, America’s cities are taking the lead in promoting a cleaner and more secure energy future – seizing the enormous opportunity afforded by the exploding “green” economic sector to rebuild communities, regional economies, and people’s lives.
With billions of dollars poised to flow into cities in the form of green investment, a movement is growing to ensure that the new green economy builds local businesses and creates good jobs for those who need them most. The question people are asking is: “who will get the green jobs of the future?” Around the country, cutting edge businesses, community activists, and forward-thinking elected officials are making good on the promise of green cities to expand economic opportunity and build career ladders into family-supporting green jobs with living wages.
This panel of national experts on “green collar jobs” and environmentally-oriented economic development comes at a critical moment for our city and our nation, as we grapple with how to leverage emerging policies on green building, clean energy, waterfront restoration, and climate change as an opportunity to reinvest in jobs, skills, and local businesses, even as we rebuild our neighborhoods and restore aging infrastructure. These experts will tell their concrete stories of how community groups, developers, and city governments are forging a better path forward into a green, equitable, and prosperous economy.
Kwame Brown DC City Council member
Carlton Brown COO, Full Spectrum, LLC
Majora Carter Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx
Sadhu Johnston Chief Environmental Officer, City of Chicago
Van Jones President and Founder, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Bracken Hendricks Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress