Kari Fulton is the National Campus Campaign Coordinator for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. Fulton works to support and mobilize diverse youth and organizations by building awareness of the connection between environmental and social justice issues.
Noted as a young leader to watch by Elle and Glamour magazine, Fulton was a member of the planning committee for both Power Shift 2007 and Power Shift 2009 the largest youth summits and lobby days on climate in US history. Through her work in the youth climate movement, Fulton was awarded the Brower Youth Award (Earth Island Institute) and the Damu Smith Power of One Young Professional Award (Deep South Center For Environmental Justice at Dillard University).
Currently, Fulton acts as a spokesperson for the Energy Action Coalition is a senior fellow with Young People For the American Way (YP4) and a member of the YP4 Leadership Academy. She is also a graduate of the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University. In her spare time Fulton is a blogger on checktheweather.net and a member of the board of directors for the Lets Raise A Million Project and Dreaming Out Loud, an after-school program in DC.
Question: Are green jobs having an impact in Washington?
Kari Fulton: Yeah, I have a couple of different friends, nationwide, actually, who are now... who are doing work around, you know, stuff like bringing energy efficiency to low income communities and now through the stimulus plan they are getting money to actually host those programs. So NDC, Mayor Fenty had a green summer job's program and a lot of different things. So I definitely think it is moving very well and you know, definitely think that more people are getting involved, more people are starting to see it as a real agenda. So, I really hope that...
One time I saw Van speak at... he was at Morgan State in Baltimore and so I went there and this lady stood up and she was like, "all the stuff you're doing is great but in the 70s we already had those programs and then when the government changed over so did that program and there was no more funding for the environment steward programs that were going on." And that's what I hope doesn't happen and that is why it's good when you do have your consumer market that's thinking green just as much as the government is and I hope that we continue building that up because the government cannot hold these programs themselves and a lot of the work that is going on with green jobs is stuff that's kind of temporary, to be honest with you, once you install those energy efficiency products and install those solar panels and all those different things, what's next, what's next?
And that is really where I think we need to remember is that and building up that strategy like I said is that we have to build up that infrastructure that doesn't kill off all these jobs that we started once a new administration comes in or once we figure out, we don't have enough money to support that.
Recorded on: May 8, 2009