Will is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Groundswell.
Last Friday, less than 24 hours before the government shutdown was averted, I was invited to the White House as a recipient of the Champions of Change award.
I was honored to join the conversation among inspiring leaders from across the country to discuss new solutions we are implementing toward a new clean energy economy. I was able to share our success as a model for change.
As I heard from the incredible pioneers around me, two things were resoundingly clear:
First, the clean energy economy has extraordinary potential to bring new opportunity and prosperity to America.
Second, this new wave of innovation, just as the major economic transformations in the United States of the past, is going to be driven by the home-grown ingenuity and entrepreneurship of our local communities.
Here in D.C., we've realized this vision of a bottom up transformation of the clean economy, working alongside communities to help everyday people make sensible energy choices while ramping up demand for clean-energy services. Harnessing the power of community in this way, we not only unlock the local clean energy marketplace, but also ensure that its benefits, especially new jobs, are tied to the community.
The idea behind the Champions of Change award is simple: recognize ordinary Americans engaged in extraordinary pursuits and inspire others to build on their ideas.
I received this award, but in truth it belongs to you.
We've seen growing momentum in neighborhood after neighborhood as community members begin to realize their power to grow the local clean energy marketplace and build a better future for more city families. The leadership and passion for this issue that have emerged from mothers and fathers, individual residents and faith-based leaders have infused our efforts with immediacy.
The White House is shining a spotlight on the tremendous impact that our shared efforts have had on our city. Revitalizing America's cities and towns is one of the most pressing priorities that we face together as a country.
As momentum continues to build, every neighborhood in America deserves the chance to prosper and grow by seizing these opportunities.