Anthony "Van" Jones (born 20 September 1968) is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and author who served from March 16 to September 5, 2009 as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the United States. In 2008, TIME magazine named Jones one of its "Environmental Heroes", Fast Company called him one of the "12 Most Creative Minds of 2008". In July 2009 he became "embroiled in controversy" over his past political activities including an early 1990s association with a Marxist group, a public comment disparaging Congressional Republicans, and a false allegation that he had signed a petition for 911Truth.org. He resigned from his White House position in early September 2009.
- The end of the occupation. The right of return of the Palestinian people. These are critical dividing lines in human rights. We have to be here. No American would put up with an Israeli-style occupation of their hometown for 53 days let alone 54 years. US tax dollars are funding violence against people of color inside the US borders and outside the US borders.
- Wartimes : Reports From The Opposition (2003) a CD financed, produced and featuring the voice of Jones, as quoted at "Cool... But, Yes, Communist" by Marty Peretz, in The New Republic (10 September 2009)
- If the road to social transformation can be paved only by saints who never make mistakes, the road will never be built. The upside is that we don’t have to be perfect to save our communities and restore the Earth. We just have to try hard and be as honest as we can be about the processes we are going through. So I share the mistakes and failures, as well as the successes, because that is the truth of my journey – and of anyone’s journey.
- Statement in a 2007 New York Times interview, quoted in "Bridging the gap between environmental and social justice" by Lauren Rabaino, in Mustang News (April 4, 2008)
- Our point of view is, lets not be so elitist that we can't honor good, hard, dignified, ennobling work: people working with their hands, building things, putting up solar panels, weatherizing homes, working on organic agriculture, building wind farms. We don't have robots in society, so somebody has to do that work. Lets make sure that the people who can use that work get a chance to do it. I see that as a first step toward bigger and better things.
The Green Collar Economy (2008)
- The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (2008)
- The green economy should not just be about reclaiming throw-away stuff. It should be about reclaiming thrown-away communities. It should not just be about recycling things to give them a second life. We should also be gathering up people and giving them a second chance.
- We need a much deeper understanding of exactly what it is our industrial society, in its present creation, is jeopardizing. We need a more profound perception of what is at stake.
- The human family has invaluable friends and irreplaceable allies in the plant and animal worlds. We cannot continue to tug at the web of life without tearing a hole in the very fabric of our earthly existence — and eventually falling through that hole ourselves.
- The time has come to move beyond eco-elitism to eco-populism.
- To change our laws and culture, the green movement must attract and include the majority of all people, not just the majority of affluent people.
- A green economy begins to replace some of the clunking and chugging of ugly machines with the wise effort of beautiful, skilled people. That means more jobs.
Quotes about Jones
- Van Jones got fired because he became the Scary Negro of the Week on Fox News, where, let's be honest, they still feel threatened by Harry Belafonte.
- What got Van Jones fired was they caught him on tape saying that Republicans are assholes. And they call it "news." And Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to.
- Bill Maher, in "New Rule: Float Like Obama, Sting Like Ali" at The Huffington Post (11 September 2009)]
- Jones may well be more effective outside the administration than within it (I think Beck put it as "dangerous." Semantics.) As Ariana Huffington opined in a post September 7 called "Thank You, Glenn Beck!" (The Huffington Post), Van Jones was undeniably the best person for this job, but the job wasn't best for him. Van Jones is not someone who ought to be stuck behind a desk, calculating tax credits and guarding his opinions from the 24-hour news-culture vultures.