Clearly Energized

Last night’s Hudson Valley Progression Coalition meeting — its first formal event — was a big hit. More than 200 people packed Back Stage Studio Productions to hear remarks from Congressman Mo’ Hinchey as well as green economy insights from Melissa Everett of Sustainable Hudson Valley, Jessica Barry of Prism Solar Technologies and Patrice Courtney-Strong of Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities.

The crowd included familiar faces from the Obama campaign — folks from from Woodstock, Stone Ridge, New Paltz, Poughkeepsie and Kingston. Based on the energy in the room, the momentum of the Obama election is as vibrant as ever.

And this is comforting, to me at least.

Just as the macro-economic landscape has been reset by the current recession, the socio-political landscape has also changed. We’ve gone from passive indifference to charged-up, citizen activism.

For politicians in office or seeking to hold office, a change is tactics is likely needed to succeed. The first step is to realize that you serve the public. The next step is to create a public service mantra for yourself that is at the foundation at every decision you make.

From here, take Obama’s lead and create transparency in your actions and intents. And work toward creating a transparent government, from Washington to the city wards in Kingston.

Of course it goes without saying that clear and constant communication with your constituencies is needed. As a public servant, you need to have a clear line of communication to the people you represent (not just your campaign supporters).

And that’s it. Simple.

Transparency in action results in less complicated, mucked-up and muddled government.

In the meantime, its good to see large, energized groups such as the HVPC. It gives me hope.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

3 thoughts on “Clearly Energized”

  1. I am enticed by the prospect of creating new, well paying jobs that are actually helpful for the environment. The promise of this occurring locally is what brought me out to the meeting. The speakers had a lot of enthusiasm, but when I really listened carefully, what I heard was a whole lot more hype than reality. The only substance was the promise of the new solar panel manufacturer coming to Kingston. However, nothing was said about the skills needed for any jobs they might create or whether those particular jobs would be well paying with benefits or even the timing or how to apply. Everything else was like a political rally telling you how great it will be without telling anyone how we will actually accomplish green industries and jobs. The only advice to job seekers was to blindly enroll in whatever alternative energy training might be available locally. Many people after the meeting were talking about how we can now stop any new project that is NOT green. I am all for green jobs and hope I can get one, but let’s also go full speed ahead in bringing other types of industry and employment to the area– even if companies do not meet the definition of “green.” THE ENVIRONMENT IS IMPORTANT, BUT NOT AS IMPORTANT AS HAVING FOOD FOR MY FAMILY AND A HOUSE TO LIVE IN. Let’s support green jobs, but not to the exclusion of all other jobs as well.

  2. Frank,

    You make some worthwhile points, especially putting on a spotlight on the “green divide.” This is the gap between current realities and green policies/initiatives that are in the pipeline.

    Take many green technologies, for example. From a consumer’s point of view, you can’t go to a local retailer or plumber and say: “I’d like to install a geothermal pump. How much is that?” Same with solar.

    There are firms in the Hudson Valley that offer these services, but it remains, and has remained for many, many years, in an “early adopter” phase.

    This is all very complex, and is a work in progress.



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