Personnel Profile: Alejandro Estrada and Abel Habtegeorgies
Representatives from the Ella Baker Center for Human
Rights advocated for AB 32 at the Capitol, spreading the message about
for sustainable jobs. Alejandro Estrada served as one
of their representatives. He, along with media relations
manager Abel Habtegeorgies talk about the importance
of Green Energy for California.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a Community Outreach Coordinator from the La Casa
Youth Bill. Basically, over the past couple months,
I’ve been going into the community and really educating
the people about our green economy. What we’re really trying to do is
make this change to help
out the community and the environment.
What can Green Jobs offer our state and our economy?
Alejandro: Green jobs could offer money. There’s a lot of money,
and the state could benefit from
that. Not only the state, but also the people. It’s less hazardous. It’s
green, you could say, it’s renewable and it’s sustainable.
What can be done to increase California’s Green economy?
To build a Green economy, the proper steps should
be helping small business owners that are trying to
get their foot in the door, to make their business
really flourish. By helping them out, they help other
people, by making their businesses grow even more.
It’s pretty much about helping out the little guy.
How important is it to protect AB 32?
really important. I actually feel really strongly,
and I’m kind of disgusted that people want to kill this bill.
There’s so many people that have benefited from AB 32, like me,
personally. I’ve been in the La Casa Youth Bill, which is a school
out of East Los Angeles that has helped me out. At
a time when I wasn’t doing so good, they offered me a job there - a
green job - and I’ve been there for 10 months already. I’m doing good.
What are some examples of the new Green jobs that AB
32 helps promote?
Alejandro: They promote solar panels, wind,
tankless water heaters,
cellulose insulation, which is renewable, made out
of various different things that you put in the attic
and is better than fiberglass, and also rainwater,
which reduces the use of water in the house, and there’s many more
What are some ways ordinary people can help California
gain more green businesses?
Alejandro: Recycling, helping to
recycle, going on the web to
find out how they can contribute to green initiatives.
AB 32, supporting that, really helps. Getting people to
actually learn about it, and advocate for it, and helping.
What’s the connection between the Ella Baker Center’s
community efforts and green energy?
Abel: The Green Jobs campaign
is one of our cornerstone
campaigns. It’s important for us to advocate on behalf of some of
the most vulnerable communities here in California.
We want to make sure that the economy is accessible
for everybody and we believe that Green Jobs are the
answer, not only for people, but for the planet. It
can lift people out of poverty and give people a second
chance. Whether you’re unemployed, whether you’re previously
incarcerated, or have some form of barrier
to employment, we don’t just want you to have access to any job, but to
access to a sustainable job that can last and can’t be outsourced,
that’ll be here in California.
California has unfortunately fallen behind in a lot
of different categories when it comes to education.
The recession has hit really bad, compared to a lot
of countries as well. But the one shining spot for
California is its green economy. We’ve got to hold that up, we’ve got to
keep that going, we’ve got to keep stories like Alejandro’s at the
forefront. We’ve got to make sure that people know that this green
economy is important for folks because it will keep
us high up there, it will keep us sustainable and it’ll keep us an
example for the rest of the world.
Alejandro: California will benefit because a lot of the oil
are not really based here. If they can harvest the
energy of the sun, we have a lot of land here. I’ve heard of guys making
a lot of money, off of not
selling their land, but letting companies borrow their
land to use the sun and solar panels to get energy.
That’s a business right there. It’s crazy -- they can make a lot of
money just doing that.