Power Shift 2009 is bringing more than 10,000 students to Washington, D.C., starting Friday, and the White House has been in daily contact with the organizers, staying close to developments.
After millions of students turned out in record numbers to elect Barack Obama president on Nov. 4, the administration is continuing its collaboration with young people — now to help push its agenda to rebuild America.
Jessy Tolkan is the executive director of the Energy Action Coalition (EAC), organizers of Power Shift 2009. In this video interview, she explains just why it is that the White House wants daily updates from her, and what the youth of the country are doing to bring social justice through climate action to the nation and the entire world.
The first Power Shift took place in 2007 and was named to signal its aim: to shift power to a new center. Out of that first historic meeting, Tolkan and EAC launched the Power Vote initiative, which registered new young voters on campuses and in communities all across the country and was instrumental in the unprecedented turnout on election day.
Does President Obama have a political debt to pay? It would be easy to make the case that he owes these young people a lot more than he owes the oil companies — he didn’t take any fossil campaign money, after all.
Listen to Tolkan talk and see if you don’t get a big fat lump in your throat and feel a fire ignite under your seat. If you’re not already in Washington, see if you don’t start scratching your head and checking your wallet, trying to figure out how to get there for the weekend of Power Shift workshops, training sessions and events, and for Monday, when 10,000 students will flood the halls of Congress to demand climate legislation in 2009.
They’re calling it Power Shift 2009, but it is really Washington’s power shift, version 2.0.09.