Why We Needed Van Jones On The Inside

58087582In March, I wrote here on The Notion in celebration of the appointment of Van Jones. I am both politically committed to and academically interested in issues of environmental justice. Jones’ appointment was a clear victory for the EJ movement.

The modern environmental justice movement emerged more than three decades ago. Its fight has been centered on two important issues: the disproportionate impact of local decisions that site polluting industries and undesirable land uses in poor and minority communities, and the damaging health effects of urban pollution on black and brown citizens.

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Pictured: Van Jones with the White House Council on Environmental Quality speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 at the Cox Pavilion at UNLV August 10, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Political and economic leaders are attending a two-day summit to discuss a domestic policy agenda to advance alternative energy for the country’s future. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)