Greening L.A.

By Debayani Kar Nov 19, 2009

Though President Obama hopes to create five million green jobs within a decade, women and people of color will be left out without active policies to ensure participation. Blacks and Latinos comprise less than 30 percent of those employed in green industries and occupations. Black women are employed in only 1.5 percent of jobs in the energy sector, with Latino and Asian women employed at 1.0 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. White executives dominate the key sectors going green, construction and energy. Applied Research Center or ARC, which publishes ColorLines, just released a case study profiling community organization Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) which convened the local chapter of the Apollo Alliance in Los Angeles to win passage of a green retrofit ordinance for municipal buildings that will create high-quality jobs for women and communities of color struggling with the economic crisis.

“ARC’s first green Case Study reports on the work to revitalize Los Angeles, making it an innovator and hub for green industries and sustainable jobs,” says Yvonne Liu, ARC researcher and RaceWire blogger who authored “Greening Los Angeles.” “L.A. is positioned to be a leader in the region and nationally in the green economy, setting the standard for equity and green growth that are not mutually exclusive.”

The case study, “Greening Los Angeles,” is part of the Green Equity Toolkit, intended to help community organizations, public agencies and individuals maximize and share the benefits of green economy jobs. Toolkit coauthors Yvonne Liu and Terry Keleher of the Applied Research Center joined Elsa Barboza of SCOPE yesterday for a webinar to discuss equal participation in the green economy. Read the Webinar proceedings here. Read and download “Greening Los Angeles” and the Green Equity Toolkit at ARC has carried out comprehensive research to define good, green jobs and demonstrate how communities of color and women might experience shared benefits. “Greening Los Angeles” is the first in a six-part series. Additional Case Studies and a Model Policy Bank will be released in the months ahead. Read Inter Press Service coverage of the Green Equity Toolkit. And listen to Yvonne Liu talk green on WBAI.