From Green Right Now
One of Barack Obama’s best-regarded appointments by environmentalists, Van Jones, was forced to resign as “green czar” last September amid conservative backlash that labeled him a radical. This Friday he will be celebrated as pioneering hero in environmental and civil rights and honored with an NAACP Image Award.
As author of The Green Collar Economy, published in the fall of 2008, Jones was a leading promoter of the idea that the American economy could be revived with the introduction of more green jobs. Such jobs would help the environment and provide work for many, he argued.
Under President Obama, Jones briefly was head of the Council on Environmental Quality, which helped coordinate different government agencies in an effort to create millions of green jobs. After what many consider a smear campaign to remove him from office — he was tagged a communist and was linked to a Sept. 11 conspiracy group, among other accusations — Jones said the criticism was unwarranted and based on false information.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous says he is not concerned with any of the criticism.
“The real Van Jones story is about how a young leader became the father of the green jobs movement,” Jealous said in an appearance on CNN. ” In response to a longstanding jobs crisis in Oakland, California, Van Jones initiated the Oakland Green Jobs Corps, one of the nation’s first job training programs targeting low-income people for work in the solar and green industries. This program has become a renowned model for numerous initiatives that are now up and running across America.”