Friday, February 20, 2009

Highlighting a “green” stimulus

Congressman Cleaver visits the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Pictured from left to right are Greg Walker, owner of Magic Touch; Greg Graves, President of Burns and McDonnell; Dr. Stephanie De La Torre, HCC Board President; Congressman Cleaver; Jeanette Hernandez Pranger, Past HCC Board President; Carlos Gomez, HCC Executive Director

Congratulations to the Hispanic Chamber

This week I have tried to highlight some of the “green” opportunities that can be found in the President’s stimulus plan.

Yesterday, I spoke to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City (HCC) to announce the kick-off of the first “green” initiative for the Chamber. The HCC has recently been awarded a grant from MARC Solid Waste Management Division to educate small business on reducing Land Fill waste.

For those communities, like Kansas City’s Latino community, who are forward looking and are not afraid to innovate, exciting times lie ahead. Climate change will shape the next economy. We all need to follow the Hispanic Chamber’s lead and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will be available. The new “green economy” can be the tide that raises all ships. I was proud to congratulate the HCC for putting the businesses and people they serve in a position to prosper in the new economy.

Leading the initiative with the Hispanic Chamber are Dr. Hasan Syed, Geosciences Department, University of Missouri-Kansas City; Gary Walker, Magic Touch; and Shelley Armato, Marathon Reprographics. Providing major assistance is Kaye Johnston, former student of Dr. Syed. I wish the Chamber the best of luck, and am looking forward to seeing their progress.

US Green Building Council and “Conversations on the Environment”

This afternoon, in an effort to continue to beat the drum on using the stimulus to move the “green” agenda forward, I spoke to the Kansas City Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council as part of the “Conversations on the Environment” series. The event, at the Anita Gorman Discovery Center, concentrated on the opportunities the challenging economy presents for advancing a “green” agenda.

Several hundred architects, engineers, project managers, construction managers, and those interested in a quality built environment gathered to hear the presentation. I hope that I spurred a few in the crowd to think about how this monumental one time investment can be used to launch us into a brave new “green” world.