Create Green-Collar Jobs in Orange County

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of seeing Van Jones speak. He co-founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and is founder and president of Green For All. He spoke convincingly of a future of increased equality and how one of the roads to this future is green jobs. Green-collar jobs are employment in the environmental or agricultural sectors of the economy. [Source: Wikipedia] But they also include any work that will help transform our society into a more environmentally sustainable one.

One way our local government leaders could participate in this national movement is to sign the Green Jobs Pledge. Its goal is to "rebuild American competitiveness and environmental leadership by growing a green economy that fights global warming, pollution and poverty at the same time." Here are the five steps this pledge asks our leaders to agree to:

  1. Commit to Action
  2. Create a Green-collar Jobs Taskforce
  3. Identify Goals and Assess Opportunities
  4. Create a Local Action Plan
  5. Evaluate, Leverage and Grow

So far the the U.S. Conference of Mayors has agreed with Green For All that this pledge is good idea. Mayor Martin Chávez of Albuquerque, New Mexico and County Executive Ron Sims of King County, Washington have put there name on it. You can download the Green Jobs Pledge Packet here. [PDF]

Let’s discuss ways we can build a green economy from the ground up, and see if we can get our elected officials to take the pledge.

This post was first published on OrangePolitics.org.

Carrboro Coworking gets a new Website

My business Carrboro Creative Coworking is about to pick up speed. Back in June the Board of Alderman at the Town of Carrboro approved a loan. Now we’re at the lease negotiation stage. Very soon I’ll be announcing a location. Its been a long journey. Almost two years ago I started this business in earnest. Ahead is the hard work setting up the space.

Yesterday I launched a new website that will be the online home to Carrboro Creative Coworking. It’s where I will reveal the location of the space, share rates of various coworker packages, blog about the business, accept your information if you’re interested in using the space, answer your questions, and much more.

Another feature of this site will be weekly video updates. I’m going to try and put up a short video once a week. (Its a true testament of how easy and quick that is that I’ll have the time to do such a thing.) It’ll start off as a interview, ala web cam style, of me telling you where I’m at.

CCC also has a twitter account, a Facebook page, and a Google Group. Three great ways to keep up with this journey that is a small business coworking space.

My Video on The Uptake

Yah! A video I shot and edited is on the fabulous Citizen Journalism site The Uptake. I love the video they make and have mucho respect for Chuck Olsen. (also of Minnesota Stories and Blogumentary fame) Check this video out!

From the progressive center of North Carolina comes this report from Brian Russell of yesh.com. He explores why music and politics go hand in hand, why young people get “it”, and how music can change the world.

On Friday May 2 the Obama campaign held a free get out the vote event called Change Rocks. On this day it was held in Carrboro, NC, a small town just west of Chapel Hill. The outdoor rock concert featured local indie rock band Superchunk and the hotness of the moment Arcade Fire. It was unseasonably warm and several thousand people showed up for this free event to rock out and vote.

New Short Survey for Carrboro Coworking

Carrboro Creative CoworkingWould you please take my new survey? It’s short. Go to this url to complete. http://ccc.sp1.sgizmo.com

Carrboro Coworking is moving steadily forward. I’m about to make some big decisions and could really use your help.

If you haven’t taken the first Carrboro Coworking survey I’d really appreciate it if you did. Might be good if you took this one first.
http://ccc.survey.sgizmo.com

Here is a short discription of the business in case you’re wondering.

Carrboro Creative Coworking is a professional shared working space with a cafe-like atmosphere. It is designed to be a welcoming environment for freelance professionals, home-office workers, entrepreneurs, startup business owners, tech workers, graduate students, writers, and others. Subscribers of the Carrboro Creative Coworking space will receive access to a reliable office space inside a unique modern community.

To keep up to date with the latest news about Carrboro Coworking please join the Google Group. Thank you for taking the time to complete this. 🙂

North Carolina Tech Events

If you are organizing a tech event, big or small, in North Carolina you should promote it on SocialCarolina.org. This is a free site that a few volunteers are putting together. Its goal is to “Connect the Community to Events”. Simple.

To submit an event lets us know about it with our contact form or via email at events [at] socialcarolina dot org.

You can get event updates on Twitter here www.twitter.com/rdch/ and subscribe to the google calendar.

New Press about Carrboro Coworking

There is a good article up at the Carrboro Commons called Carrboro’s Creative Coworking in the works. It covers pretty well what Carrboro Coworking will be all about and where I’m at right now in the process. Its been a amazing trip to get this far. So much more todo. But we’re close to making this biz a reality. Very close.

Thanks to Katie Spencer for writing this. I enjoyed talking with her. She acuratly reported what I said and did a good job of explaining the coworking concept. I find it interesting that the two reporters who have approached me to do stories about Carrboro Coworking have been students. There was another story September 2007 in the Daily Tar Heel called Resident plans shared space for creative work. I think younger people inherently understand the future of mobile work. I don’t think cubicals and big office parks are in their futures.

I have a Carrboro Coworking website with a survey up. Please go take it. If you want to keep up with what’s going on please join the Carrboro Coworking Google Group.

Changes in the Local Political Blogosphere

There has been a flurry of activity in the Orange County political blogosphere this month. Changes that interest me as much as who is wining the presidential primaries. (Go Obama!)

First, the big news is the disappearance of the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In its place appears to be a site that could have a community, but it isn’y very clear how. The new site is based on software called DokuWiki. It looks like a bunch of semi-static pages can be created and edited by a group of people. So people will write rants and others will edit them. For what, grammar? The two-way communication of a forum has been lost.

Part of me is sad that all the STP writing is gone. Mainly because it would help people remember the slander and hateful crap. Why would we want to remember that? To inform the context of our local political history. For example, the dirty tactics some supported there. It could also encourage more long-term responsibility. Politicos won’t forget, trust me. But the new resident to Carrboro may like to know how that candidate got elected or defeated. I think the blog of record will be Orange Politics.

Last year sometime I reminded the folks at STP that all that content would be remembered. If not by Google then by us. A great example of the fear mongering some STP posters facilitated is here in my post Political attack from the Squeeze the Pulp forum. In the end, most of me is happy the STP slander against people is off the web. But I’m sure there will be more.

Second, there is a new community site set up by George Entenman called Orange Citizens or Orange County, NC. (depending on how you look at it.) It’s on the Ning software platform, a quality bit of social networking software. My first impressions are of the software mainly. I enjoy the look and feel of the theme but am not crazy about the threaded comments. It’s easy to have several off-topic threads, but it’s growing on me. It’ll be interesting to see how this site evolves. Especially from a usability standpoint. Already there are several local politicos there like Terri and MarkM, plus Chapel Hill Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt. Hopefully we’ll see lots of local elected officials participate in this new community.

Finally, we have a major upgrade to Orange Politics. At just over four years old Orange Politics has become the most-read local politics site in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It started off using MovableType and then moved to the open source WordPress blogging software in 2004. Now it’s powered by Drupal, a complex and very powerful open source, PHP-based content management system. I was a bit concerned about the move at first, but now that its full speed ahead I’m way impressed. One reason is there are more ways for people to get involved. There is real power in letting people publish their own blogs a la community sites such as Daily Kos. We should have more viewpoints now. Plus there are new OP community guidelines. I think Ruby has done a great job of balancing lots of factors. I would still like to see all commenters have a real identity (ie: no anonymous posters). But I see where in some cases anonymity is valuable on OP.

Coworking at our house Tomorrow

Get stuff done at our house. 9am to 5pm. Thursday Dec. 20. Free WiFi, Coffee, and Lunch! Come meet new folks and expand your business network. Contact me for directions.

Join the Google Group for the latest on Carrboro Coworking. Soon to be a coworking space in downtown Carrboro, NC. Learn more at CarrboroCoworking.com.

This is a regular event every First and Third Thursday. (Except Jan. 3, 2008. Not looking like a good day for us.) 🙂