Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
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Van Jones Comes to City Hall



Van Jones, author of “The Green Collar Economy,”came to City Hall Thursday and wowed a standing-room only audience with his inspiring answers  on how to solve our nation’s economic and environmental problems through green jobs.

Jones gave a stirring call to action. Gesturing energetically, Jones argued that Seattle is in the ideal position to set an example for the nation.

“Seattle can lead in energy efficiency,” he said. “You’ve gotten a whole bunch of money from the federal government to make buildings more energy efficient. You can fight pollution and poverty at the same time.”

Jones exhorted the audience to “get it right,” making every building energy efficient, adding solar panels and green roofs, while, at the same time, giving people a second chance at life. He pointed out that the biggest catastrophe in the world, the Gulf oil spill, is still going on and that it was caused because someone decided to save money and not spend a half million dollars on safety. As the result, he said, “They’ve destroyed the gulf, wiped out fisheries forever.”

He urged the audience to “put America back to work.” He said, “We built this nation on ‘waste not-want not’ and then we threw it out the window. If your grandmother were to return and ask you how you’ve been behaving, you’d get a whupping.”

Switching his voice from falsetto to basso, he proclaimed that “We don’t just want to rebuild” worn-out infrastructure, but “we want to re-imagine.”

Jones spent his final moments at City Hall on questions from the audience, most of them admiring statements, but some questioning where we go from here.

One young eager young man asked, “How do we insure that we get these jobs?”  Another speaker lamented that, “We’re not getting the bulk of the green dollars.” A third complained about not being able to make contacts in the mayor’s office.

Jones, however, assured the audience that “all the people you need to help you are here in this room.” He said, “In 2008, we shouted, ‘Yes, we can.’ Then when it came to health care, we said, ‘Yes HE can.’ We’ve got to put the ‘WE’ back in there.”

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Comment from Seattle Dad
Time June 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

I’m very disappointed to hear that nut darkening our hallways. Goofballs that believe environmentalism is a way to redistribute wealth is not looking for ways to help the environment.