Got Green?

by Ruth Yarrow

Come with me into an old south Seattle church, up the back stairs to a small office, where Vernon, a African American with a wonderful open smile, is typing, and Michael, Chinese American with bright eyes, answers my questions.  Director Michael Woo helped found Got Green, an organization working to ensure that our low income communities and communities of color will help spearhead a real green economy and develop a new generation of grassroots leaders.

Since they began in 2008, they trained young weatherization workers who came to our  house and our neighbors’ homes, installing energy saving bulbs and weather stripping.  They collected thousands of signatures to demand that federal stimulus dollars help employ low-income workers of color.  Recently they surveyed hundreds of women of color and immigrant women about their challenges and what their green priorities are.  To their surprise, while jobs, transportation and healthy homes were important, it was access to healthy food that about 40 % of the respondents listed as their top priority.

Tomorrow I will join the Got Green food survey in Skyway, a Seattle suburb with many immigrant families.  This effort fits WWFOR’s Bring Our Billions Home campaign, for it is organizing people to demand that their human needs are met.  Those needs are precisely where WWFOR would like to see the Billions of our tax dollars go, instead of being used to kill people in the Middle East.  I’m sure Marie Gilstrap, who led WWFOR’s racial justice efforts for years, would also support Got Green.

You can find out more about Got Green: Environment, Equity and Opportunity by going to

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