Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the chief executive officer of Green For All.

Home Star advances in the House

The Home Star program, which could jumpstart a national revolution in residential energy efficiency, is one tiny step closer to becoming law. The House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on Wednesday passed the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which could create 168,000 jobs by investing up to $6 billion in residential energy efficiency retrofits in communities across America.  Democrats on the panel had to fight off several Republican attempts to weaken or delay the proposal, but Home Star now heads to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee for further consideration. Across the country, communities are struggling under …

No rest for the warriors.

Today President Obama signed health care reform into law. This is an incredible victory not just for the President and members of Congress who championed the legislation; not just for the movement of people and organizations who advocated for change; not just for the millions of Americans who will soon have affordable health coverage when before they had none; but also for our country. Today America takes a giant step towards the dream of being a land of opportunity for all.  Today, we deserve to celebrate. Unfortunately though, I’ve got some bad news for my friends who have worked so …

Job Creation Begins at Home

Originally published on TheRoot.com Today the Senate Energy Committee will begin debating a weatherization bill known as Home Star that aims to make American homes more energy efficient, while creating thousands of American jobs in the process. Home Star has the potential to significantly reduce residential energy consumption, saving consumers almost $10 billion over the next ten years, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to the removal of more than 600,000 cars from American highways. Even more importantly given the state of our economy, the legislation is projected to create 168,000 local jobs in communities all across …

Continuing the Movement

America is struggling. Families strive to make ends meet while facing an uncertain economic future. The deterioration of our environment – rather than slowing – continues to gain speed. At a moment when we need every opportunity possible, climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people at home and around the world. 

 We are all impacted by these hard times, but it is the historically disadvantaged – people of color and low-income communities – who find themselves at the point of the spear. This challenge is the Civil Rights Movement’s unfinished business. As we seek solutions and look …

Look out Polar Bears

The American worker: An endangered species

To the iconic image of a polar bear struggling onto a crumbling ice floe, or that of a condor chick peering from its human-made nest, we must add another image: that of an American worker at his or her trade. Endangered species are a concern to all environmentalists, and the plight of the worker should be no different. This is not hyperbole. The unemployment rate continues to climb, surging into double digits with no discernible impact on its speed.  At 10.2 percent, the official unemployment rate is at its highest point in more than a quarter of a century.  And a …

Green jobs for real people: The story behind the recovery numbers

640,329 That figure represents the number of jobs that have been created or saved so far through the Recovery Act, according to a report released by the Obama administration on Friday. But the true significance of this number lies in the people behind it. People like Thalia Williams. Thalia is a single mother of a 3-year-old son, in Brooklyn, N.Y.  “Construction is something that I wanted to do for a long time,” she said.  “I had no way of knowing how to get into this field because I always heard it was a man’s world.”  Now, thanks to an organization …

Opportunity, fully funded

Today, Green For All and Living Cities unveiled the Energy Efficiency Opportunity Fund alongside President Clinton, at the closing session of Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. The groundbreaking fund will finance innovative efforts that create jobs and cut energy costs for low-income families through energy-efficiency building retrofits.
 I am proud to say that in addition to advocating for public policies that invest in the clean energy economy, Green For All is now mobilizing private capital to directly create jobs and fight global warming. By investing in new models for financing retrofits, the Fund will help catalyze and leverage additional funding …

This 9/11, urban communities remember and serve

This September 11th, communities are honoring those who lost their lives eight years ago by participating in service activities. Churches, schools, and community groups are holding nearly 100 Green the Block service events in more than 24 states. All across the nation, people are choosing to act on encouragement instead of discouragement, on hope instead of despair. Both of us are often asked to speak for those who have no voice, and to remind others of those who are often forgotten. We are asked to respond to the frustrations of our communities and fulfill the aspirations of those who are …

Four years after Katrina: Lessons from the Gulf Coast

Four years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. As the Gulf Coast struggled to keep its head above water, the rest of us were glued to the news — astounded at first by the awful destruction, and then by the inadequate response to so much human suffering. 
 In those days, our TV sets became microscopes, magnifying in shockingly clarity the divide in our nation between those who could afford to escape and those who could not. The Gulf Coast continues to be a microcosm for a nation in search of economic recovery.  What can New Orleans tell us about …

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