Jane Williams makes an excellent point about how the original environmental justice organizations were primarily led by women: Florence Robinson, Wilma Subra and Beverly Wright in Louisiana, Peggy Shepherd in New York and the countless women who led struggles on behalf of Latino farmworkers are just a few examples of those. It makes total sense then that the first black administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is a black woman.

Given that, I’m still marvelled by how Van Jones, a man who just stumbled onto environmentalism a few years ago (fair disclosure: so did this author … a sometimes clueless guy), become the face of environmental justice and green jobs? Deeper question: How did Hilda Solis, Secretary of Department of Labor, who literally wrote the environmental justice and green jobs legislation for California (where Jones hails from), and Majora Carter, who’s been supplying green jobs in the Bronx for years, get passed over to be the White House green jobs officer?