Rebuild the Dream: Channeling Dr. Martin Luther King and Creating Green Jobs

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April 4th is the anniversary of one of the saddest moments in American history, the date on which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated for his work in creating social justice, civil rights and equality for all citizens. Sometimes in the day-to-day of our work, whether we work in sustainability or do it as a side-passion, it is easy to lose track of the bigger picture. There are large institutions at play that can help–or thwart–sustainability, economic justice, and green job creation in a powerful and systematic way.

When Barack Obama appointed Van Jones to be the Green Jobs Czar, many of us hoped this marked a turning point in the evolution of the Federal government in the direction of supporting sustainability in a systematic way. Mr. Jones was forced to resign due to his partisan style, but his message and his leadership were spot on, and exactly the kinds of policies that many of us believe we need as a country.

Mr. Jones has continued his work outside the government machine, in what he calls Rebuild the American Dream. He’s speaking in front of packed houses across the country. During his talks, he is calling out the lies perpetrated on the American people by the Tea Party and the Rush Limbaughs of the world. I particularly like Lie #3: “Hating on America’s government – and wrecking America’s infrastructure – is patriotic”.

Mr. Jones’ new book, Rebuild the Dream, is available for pre-order now. As Tad Hargrave of Marketing for Hippies says, by timing the release of this book with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, we have a unique historical opportunity to bring Dr. King’s dream back in a powerful way. If we can get Mr. Jones’ book on the bestseller list (it would be the ONLY economic justice book on that list), it means wider circulation, Mr. Jones on more talk shows, the book in more libraries, airports, etc., and more validation in the mainstream media (meaning we get to get our message BEYOND the choir).

In the book, Mr. Jones lays out some critical missteps that the White House has made, analyzes the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, and then lays out a strategic game plan for the next stage.

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Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business, and helps entrepreneurs start green businesses to create green jobs. For more, please visit www.GreenBusinessOwner.com

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Scott Cooney, Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched GreenBusinessOwner.com, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.