Van Jones is an emerging leader who happens to be black and who has also successfully promoted the concept that we can address climate change, save our economy and create good jobs (especially in struggling communities) all at the same time. Obama and his team actually cribbed Van’s signature theme during their push on the economic stimulus package: “We need to give the work that most needs to be done to those who need the work most.” Simple, no? The first time I heard Van speak in person was at Netroots Nation last year (really, you should go!). Van is one of the most amazing and inspiring speakers you’ll ever hear — and I am including Barack Obama. If you don’t know who Jones is, you will someday real soon.

Here’s Van at Joe Biden’s Middle Class Task Force Green Jobs meeting today. The deets:

Green Jobs: What are They & How Can They Help the Middle Class
Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund; John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress; Van Jones, President and founder of Green for All

You can catch the video here.

According to the International Herald Tribune:

Author and activist Van Jones will be a special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation in the Obama administration.

Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a release Monday that Jones will start work next week to help direct the administration’s efforts to create jobs and help the environment. Sutley said Jones will work on “vulnerable communities.”

Jones founded Green for All, a national organization that promises environmentally friendly jobs to help lift people out of poverty. He wrote the New York Times best-seller “The Green Collar Economy.”

Frankly, I’m not sure how Obama convinced Van Jones to leave the Bay Area to work for him in DC, but honestly, in the case of Van — it’s Obama who is lucky to have him on board. And of course, the rest of us. In Washington, Van can hopefully bring his passion and vision to bear in creating a new reality for America through good policy and better budgets. Good luck Van and congratulations to Obama on selecting one of the best our nation has to offer the world right now. Don’t forget, we’ve had Van as a guest blogger here at JJP a few times, so one of our own is on the inside now :)

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