“Solar is the best unused equity tool we have, in terms of maintaining the quality of life, maintaining the balance of this city,” explained Kenneth Thompson (former member of the African American Resource Advisory Commission and a current board member with Solar Austin) on a recent episode of Shades of Green.
“… If more folks had access to solar and their utility bills would disappear or go down, well that offsets these high price tags that we get around property taxes that really start to cause people to be displaced in this community,” Kenneth said.
It’s this thinking that got him involved with the work of Solar Austin (a local solar advocacy and education organization) in the first place. Together with other solar advocates, Kenneth is now working to increase access to solar energy for those who traditionally have been left out – renters, low-income residents, and communities of color.
On the radio show, Kenneth explained that he finds it frustrating that a city like Austin, which claims to be very progressive, has, “…. some arenas that we don’t seem to be very progressive in. And one of those is, how do we incorporate this solar into more of the lives of everyday people?”
That will be the main topic of conversation during a community learning and brainstorming workshop on Tuesday, August 27th from 5:30pm to 8pm at Huston-Tillotson University. If you’re interested in helping to expand access to solar, you can RSVP for the workshop here>>
And if you’re interested in learning more about the intersection between solar energy and environmental justice, you can listen to the full full podcast interview with Kenneth (as well as Kaiba White and Rebecca Brenneman) from our radio partner, Shades of Green here on iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.