Van Jones, president of Green for All, has accepted our invitation to join JJP as a guest blogger and we’re pleased as punch. We invited him because he’s one of the new leaders (who just happens to be African-American) we think you might like –no, NEED — to get to know better. He’s got an important message for Americans which is that we have a unique opportunity to help eliminate poverty and address climate change at the same time. How? By giving the work that most needs doing to those who need the work most. His new book called the Green Collar Economy that lays it all out for ya is coming out Oct 7 and is available for pre-order. Vote with your feet (well, clicks & credit cards) and show some love.

His first post here at JJP is up. Please check it out, welcome him and definitely holla back at him with your questions and comments. Y’all are crazy smart so don’t hold back — He’s waiting to hear from you.

Right now I’m here at the Clinton Global Initiative and am fortunate enough to be in the audience at a special session on Climate Change & Poverty. Here’s the lineup:

H.E. Felipe Calderón, President, United Mexican States
Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
Van Jones, Founder and President, Green for All
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, The Energy and Resources Institute
John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Here’s the description:

This panel will explore strategies for fighting global warming while lifting poor communities from poverty, examining the role of technology cooperation, carbon markets, philanthropy, public-private partnerships, and other mechanisms. It will also explore the imperative of helping poor communities adapt to the real, everyday dangers posed by global warming.

Here’s a few key quotes from our man Van here at CGI:

People are focused on their personal crisis. Rather than talk about the planetary crisis with urban poor, talk about the opportunity. [...] You could get Detroit back to work making wind turbines instead of SUVs. [...] I believe we can bring hope and opportunity to places that have never had it before. I believe we can build a green wave in this country that can lift all boats. [...] Green the ghetto first. [...]600 communities in all 50 states will be standing up on Sat and saying we want Green Jobs Now.

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