Van Jones and the Green Jobs Movement

Van Jones speaking at the Personal Democracy Forum in 2008. (Photo: Paul Downey [CC by 2.0]/Flickr)

Van Jones, the White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs, resigned his post over the weekend. Jones has been embroiled in controversy for weeks and in a move that Americans both celebrated and mourned, he announced his resignation early Sunday morning.

One look at the #VanJones Twitter feed shows just how polarized the topic is.

@sonjaebron Best wishes and good luck to Van Jones, who was always too good for White House politics. Real radical work awaits on the outside! #vanjones

@radiopatriot @glennbeck-VanJones now not accountable. Like a snake in the weeds, along with Tom Daschle. Out of site but still dangerous.

@amykirschner Knowing #vanjones is still going to do great things. “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Fuller

@petunia63 One left wing, radical Facist down, 32 to go.

These are just four of the thousands of Tweets regarding Van Jones and his resignation.

If you go beyond the Twitterverse and look at the blogosphere, the divide is still prominent. Larry Schweiger blogged about the resignation for the National Wildlife Federation. In his post, Fox News is Demonizing Van Jones, Schweiger says, “Fox News, the constant defender of dirty coal and big oil, is now out to destroy Van Jones. Why? Because Van is one of the most powerful voices urging America to move away from old, polluting ways to a new energy economy.” Source: National Wildlife Federation

Rick Moran is on the opposite side of the issue. In his post on American Thinker, Moran discusses the apparent lack of coverage of the issue by mainstream media “No word about his self described radical communist past. No word on his support for the cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.” Source: American Thinker

Without getting into the politics of why he resigned, I’d like to discuss how Jones’ resignation might affect the green jobs movement in the nation.

When I first heard that Jones was stepping down, I asked myself “What about green jobs now?” Jones has been the face of the green jobs movement for the Obama administration. He has participated in live Facebook chats, has helped the administration focus on weatherization projects as a great source of green jobs training and energy efficiency residential upgrades, and much more.

Although he was the face of green jobs for the Obama administration, I don’t think that Jones’ focus on green jobs will stop now that he’s no longer an advisor to the White House. I also don’t think that the Obama administration will abandon the green jobs movement.

Jones is a passionate and engaging speaker. His keynote address at Power Shift ’09 helped motivate thousands of this nation’s youth to demand good, green jobs now. So although Jones is no longer speaking in an official capacity on behalf of the White House, there is no doubt that Jones as well as his message, will continue to fuel the green jobs movement in the nation.

For more of MNN’s coverage of Jones, read Van Jones, Obama’s green jobs czar, resigns.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on how Jones’ resignation may affect the green jobs movement.