This Sunday, the South Bronx celebrates the culmination of its founding project, and passage of the Green Jobs Bill, on the future site of the “Greenway”.
The roots of the burgeoning green collar movement are to be found between the cracks in the cement of one of the last industrial areas in New York City, the South Bronx.
Years before the term “green collar” was propagated through Obama’s green jobs stimulus efforts, years before the passage of the NY Green Jobs Bill in early October of this year, Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) pioneered the green collar model through its founding project, the “Greenway.”
What began as a greenspace development effort aimed at increasing the quality of life for South Bronx residents quickly evolved into a full-scale effort to break the false dichotomy between environmental concerns and the needs of the unemployed. In the course of project research and planning, SSBx came to realize the needs and potentials of training what SSBx termed the “green collar” workforce (together with former White House environmental advisor Van Jones, founder of “Green for All”.) Since 2003, SSBx has trained over 200 workers in green roof installation, greenspace development, and other green collar jobs.
A continuation of an SSBx tradition since the beginning of its efforts to “Green the Ghetto” starting in 2001, this Sunday’s celebration marks the last “Block Party with the Trees” before the first phase of Greenway planting and construction in spring 2010.
A Model for the Green Collar Movement
Sustainable South Bronx was instrumental to the recent passage of the “Green Jobs/Green New York” Bill, working in tandem with the Center for Working Families and a small core group of environmental and labor organizations.
Says SSBx Director Miquela Craytor, “Within this process, we see it as our role to define the ‘green’ in the ‘green jobs’ at the heart of this groundbreaking legislation. Above all, in this next crucial phase, we will work to assure this legislation develops the requisite accountability mechanisms necessary for the genuine economic and environmental sustainability of green collar projects.”
For more information On Sunday’s event, the Greenway and the Green Jobs Bill, please consult the attached to the right of this article Greenway Tip Sheet and Fact Sheet.