Authors: Lisa Curtis, Community Builder, Solar Mosaic
Our event in late March was a convergence. It was a convergence of movements, of people and of ideas. With “A Night of People Powered Solar,” we came together to celebrate the incredible: the creation of two community solar installations in Oakland and the investment of over $350,000 in people-powered solar through Mosaic's platform. We heard from four of our partners: The Ella Baker Center, People's Grocery, St. Vincent de Paul and Oaklandish, each of which are working hard to make Oakland a better and more sustainable place to live. At the end of the event, people flocked to the computers to invest in St. Vincent de Paul's solar project and create more people-powered solar in Oakland.
Sustainable John, an energy policy analyst by day and eco-rapper by night, kicked off the event. Entitled, "Occupy Rooftops," Sustainable John's rap made us laugh, cheer and want to occupy every rooftop we can find with solar.
Dan Rosen, CEO of Solar Mosaic spoke next. Dan reminded us of our own power,pointing out that the smartphones that we carry in our pockets have more capabilities than the computer that put a man on the moon. He encouraged all of us to be creators and to use Mosaic's online marketplace to create the clean energy economy that we all want to see.
Denise Fan, Green Collar Job Organizer at the Ella Baker Center, reminded us of why we need solar here in Oakland, speaking of the jobs and thousands of dollars that will be saved by The Asian Resource Center, People's Grocery and (with your help) St. Vincent de Paul.
Nikki Henderson, Executive Director of People's Grocery and well-known leader in the food justice movement spoke of the danger of movement silos. As she said, "We can't have people from the climate change movement eating bad food just as food justice folks shouldn't waste energy. We are all part of one movement and working together is the only way that we will succeed." She is proud that People's Grocery was able to go solar through Oakland Solar Mosaic because it serves as a perfect example of how to break out of the silos.
Philip Arca, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul gave a compelling speech on how St.Vincent's solar project will help them expand their programs to serve our society's most vulnerable.Visit solarmosaic.com/stvincent to learn more and invest today!
Last but not least, Natalie and Ivan from Oaklandish showed off the new Oakland Solar Mosaic t-shirt that will soon be available in their store, with 10 percent of the profits going to Oakland Solar Mosaic. Check it out!