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New Labor Secretary is Brown and Green

President-elect Barack Obama got it right when he announced Representative Hilda Solis as his pick for the next secretary of labor. Headlines are heralding her as the first Latino to hold the post. But the green jobs movement is jumping for joy not only because she's brown. It's because she's green. Through Solis, Obama makes clear his commitment to creating green jobs to lift the nation out of its current economic crisis.

We're thrilled that Hilda Solis shares the green jobs vision. In fact, she's already helped make it real. Rep. Solis was the original author of the Green Jobs Act, and our Green For All team worked closely with her in 2007. During that year's Congressional session, she worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and was instrumental in getting that hallmark legislation passed. Her work demonstrated her commitment to a socially responsible, clean-energy economy that will create millions of good-paying jobs and save our environment. She is the right secretary of labor to take advantage of a great opportunity not only to make America's economy stronger by making it greener, but also to make Americans living in poverty part of a revitalized middle class.

As Obama raises his right hand on inauguration day, he should be signing new green jobs bills with his left. Early next year, Green For All will join a coalition of groups advocating for the Clean Energy Corps. The Clean Energy Corps is a combined service, training, and job-creation effort to combat global warming, grow local and regional economies, and demonstrate the promise of the clean energy economy.

You'll hear more from Green For All in the upcoming year. We're a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy, strong enough to lift people out of poverty. By advocating for local, state and federal commitments to job creation, job training, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green economy -- especially for people from disadvantaged communities -- Green For All fights both poverty and pollution at the same time. For more information, please visit our web site.

Van Jones

Van Jones, President of Rebuild the Dream, and author of the new book Rebuild the Dream. Jones was the founder and former president of Green for All and author of The Green Collar Economy. In 2009, he served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House. Van is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress, and also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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