April 9, 2012

Dear Got Green Supporter:

When we formed Got Green in 2008, talk about climate change, global warming and saving the planet was all around us. One message really resonated with me: get on board with the new, green economy or get left behind. I remembered back to 1971 when as a young, unemployed father, opportunities just kept passing me by. I joined the United Construction Workers Association (UCWA) – a group of predominantly African American workers led by Tyree Scott who used the power of organizing to combat racial injustice. And the UCWA literally saved me.

In the legacy of social justice groups like the UCWA I helped found Got Green to make sure that our low income communities and communities of color could get out in front of the green economy. I also wanted to help identify and support a new generation of grassroots leaders. Expectations were high – we were going to be at the forefront of the green revolution, delivering new opportunities to our communities.

Then the recession began, and the job losses, foreclosures and economic despair hit our communities of color the hardest; the stakes increased, and Got Green ramped up our organizing.
We collected thousands of petitions demanding that federal stimulus dollars get used to train and employ low income workers of color. We launched our region’s first community-labor partnership to train weatherization workers. We door knocked Rainier Valley’s apartment buildings to encourage families to demand energy efficiency upgrades in their buildings. And we surveyed hundreds of women of color and immigrant women about their green priorities and challenges. Got Green gave voice to communities of color and low income communities in the green movement – and demanded that no one gets left behind.

In 2011 leaders in our new Women in the Green Economy Project inspired us to adopt a 4-point framework for the benefits of the burgeoning green economy that we want to see our communities gain equal access to: good green jobs; healthy, affordable food; energy efficient and healthy homes; and quality public transportation.

As you read this organizing report I encourage you to think about Got Green’s triple bottom line of Environment, Equity and Opportunity, and what that means for you, your family and your community. At Got Green we believe that our communities of color and low income communities already are the most green among us – with lower energy consumption and greater use of public transportation. Won’t you join with us to make sure that we take our rightful place at the front of this green movement, and build a society that is capable of sustaining us all?

(Got Green 2010-2011 Organizing Report, April 2012)

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