Yesterday, Van Jones broke his silence after his resignation nearly a week ago by circulating the letter below. It's clear that his decision was indeed difficult, but it is also equally clear that he has no plans to slow down in his pursuit of his core mission -- to ensure that the "clean energy transformation" offers good green jobs for everybody in the U.S.
Here's the letter republished:
Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do.
The main thing is this: please do everything you can to support both President Obama and the green jobs movement. Winning real change is ultimately the best response to these kinds of smear campaigns.
I ask everyone to:
1. Support President Obama's efforts to fix our nation's health care, energy and education systems. His victory last fall did not represent the "finish line" in the fight to renew America; his election was just the "starting line." This autumn, it is time to make history again - with victories on health care and clean energy.
2. Sign up to support groups that are working for green jobs. As others seek to vilify or marginalize the movement for a clean energy economy, the leading groups deserve increased support. This is the year to ensure that the clean energy transformation creates good job opportunities for everyone in America.
3. Spread the green jobs gospel. The ideas and ideals of the green jobs movement are grounded in fundamental American values - innovation, entrepreneurship and equal opportunity. My true thoughts can be found in my book: The Green Collar Economy. Check it out from the library - or order a copy and share it with a friend. See for yourself why clean energy and green jobs are good for our country.
4. Stay connected and speak up for me via your favorite blogs (e.g., Huffington Post, Grist, Jack & Jill, etc.), on message boards and all of your favorite social networking platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Supporters have set up a couple of them, to help you stay engaged, including: I Stand With Van Jones and I Love Van Jones.
In due course, I will be offering my perspective on what has happened - including correcting the record about false charges. In the meantime, I must get my family affairs in order and sort through numerous offers and options.
I want to be clear that I have nothing but love and admiration for President Obama and the entire Administration. White House staffers are there to serve and support the President, not the other way around. At this critical moment in history, I could not in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. The White House needs all its hands on deck, fighting for the future.
Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the "outside." Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: "Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise." Churchill quipped: "Damned good disguise." I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now. :)
Nonetheless, we must keep moving forward. Let's continue our work to make an America as good as its promise. These are historic times. And we have a lot more history to make.