Former Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council, and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Greenlining Institute alum, to become National Director of Dream Corps Green For All.
Oakland, CA—Dream Corps announced today that Jessica Buendia, most recently Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council and long-time racial justice and climate solutions advocate has joined Dream Corps as National Director of its Green For All program.
As National Director, Buendia will lead Dream Corps Green For All’s work at the intersection of the environmental, economic, and racial justice movements to advance solutions to poverty and pollution — and create a world that is green for all, not green for some.
Buendia brings a wealth of experience as an advocate and organizational leader. As Chief Deputy Director and then Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council, a cabinet-level body, Buendia led climate equity work for the state of California, managing a 30-person team and a $1 billion budget. She spearheaded the passage of the nation’s first state-level, multi-agency Racial Equity vision statement, action plan, and resolution and served as the State’s host for the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity and the Interagency Racial Equity Working Group, and launched two new programs, the Community Assistance for Climate Equity Program and the Health and Equity Program. Prior to her time at SGC, she led the social responsibility and environmental justice program at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and served in a variety of nonprofits and government agencies.
Now, Buendia is poised to become a national leader for climate equity. As the federal government explores how to implement a “Justice40” framework that ensures at least 40 percent of climate investments go to disadvantaged communities, Buendia will be able to offer her experience and expertise helping to accomplish that goal already within the State of California.
Founded in 2007 by activist and entrepreneur Van Jones, Green For All became a program of Dream Corps in 2014. In the years since its founding, Green For All has won millions for green jobs, trained green entrepreneurs, and mobilized public funding and private finance for clean-energy jobs in underserved communities. Dream Corps Green For All recently organized the Common Ground on Climate Platform, an action plan for climate equity that emerged from listening sessions in red and blue states with advocates, entrepreneurs, policy experts, and people from rural and low-income neighborhoods.
Jessica Buendia, National Director, Dream Corps Green For All: “What drew me to Dream Corps Green For All at this particular moment is the opportunity to scale up climate solutions that work at a local level and that will help us build bridges across the political spectrum. This is our best chance of getting past the partisan gridlock and winning solutions at the scale the climate crisis demands. What makes Green for All unique is our deep commitment to racial equity and our willingness to work with uncommon allies to deliver significant, positive results for the communities most impacted by the climate crises.”
Nisha Anand, CEO of Dream Corps, said: “As a country, we do not have to choose between breaking partisan gridlock and confronting the climate crisis, or between great jobs in Black and Brown communities and care for the world at large. Jessica not only believes in Dream Corps’s mission, she has lived it and has the experience and expertise we need to meet this challenging moment.
Michelle Romero, Chief Programs Officer at Dream Corps and former National Director of Dream Corps Green For All: “I’ve known Jessie for years now, and I couldn’t be more excited to be passing the torch to her. Our national politics desperately need the energy, compassion, and fierce commitment to equity that she has shown in California over the last decade and I am confident she will take Dream Corps Green For All’s work to new heights.”
ABOUT DREAM CORPS
Dream Corps closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity through our nationally renowned programs Dream Corps JUSTICE, TECH, and GREEN For All. We bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. We are working to build a future where “we the people” means all of us. Learn more at thedreamcorps.org.
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