Lisa Albrecht, Founder, All Bright Solar.

Lisa is an amazing source of energy, support, and solutions. And honestly, I don’t know where Illinois solar would be without her. A long time passionate advocate on tackling the realities of climate change, Lisa has been a tireless advocate for solar through her professional and personal life.

Lisa had been working in the Illinois solar industry since back when you knew the names of everyone in the state that had solar. But because of her work along with so many other advocates, Illinois created policies that expanded solar access, allowing Lisa to create her own firm All Bright Solar: Proving strong renewable policies are good for the environment and the economy. Now, we just need legislators to keep solar alive in IL!

But importantly today, after a sad and challenging weekend, Lisa brings positivity to our battles. Lisa is constantly supporting and lifting up women in solar and advocacy. In fact, this morning she reminded me that we are where we are today because RBG was at the table. So it’s up to us to keep going and fighting.

And keep dancing. Lisa’s pick to add to #SolarMusicMonday playlist sums up her positivity. May Lisa’s addition bring you joy, and renewed bounce in your step, and an opportunity to dance (even if we can’t hold a candle to Michelle Obama’s dance moves to Uptown Funk)!

Uptown Funk
Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson

Girls hit your hallelujah!

###

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Dennis & Barb Heart. 50 years.

For this #SolarMusicMonday, I wanted to pause and honor my parents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together this weekend. We were fortunate to have a very small, outdoor celebration at their home. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of this milestone; but telling stories, laughing and singing in their backyard seemed like a perfect way to celebrate everything they have given to our family. They are such a core part of who I am today. Daily, they demonstrate how to love. How to love each other, how to love the planet and every living thing, and how to hope for our future. And how to slow down, listen, and enjoy the wonders around us.

This year has been a tough one. My mom is immunocompromised, and has not been anywhere since late January of this year, other than a few car rides with my dad to see the changing seasons and migration of the animals through Wisconsin. It has been a challenge, but one of things that has gotten her through is the hopeful and fun music of the Okee Dokee Brothers. So I’d like to share that with you today.

This folk duo from Minnesota has brought so much fun and hope to our entire family. While putting his canoe on top of the car, my dad first heard “Can You Canoe” on WPR’s Simply Folk. From that moment on, their music has lifted their spirits, and our family has been able to enjoy concerts together like at Big Top Chautauqua.

The Okee Dokee Brothers were gracious enough to send a virtual message to my parents this weekend, recording of one of their lovely songs that can bring hope in this current moment. We are so thankful they took time to share their music and well wishes with my parents, so I wanted to share that song, Good Old Times, with you.

Two final notes on the Okee Dokee Brothers that you should know:

1. They are gracious in giving back to the community, including supporting this fundraiser for YMCA Camp Northern Lights to create a week of intercultural connected-ness in the woods, creating a family camp with 50% BIPOC families to help disrupt the traditional power dynamics that is too often present at camps. To make spaces more inclusive by thoughtfully and intentionally representing and supporting indigenous families and people of color.

2. If you have kids, this is a win for you. Check out their full movie video specials, and soon enough you’ll be floating down the Mississippi, or riding horseback out west; and your family will have new songs to sing. And, honestly, anything new helps during this pandemic!  My mom says she knows your family will enjoy! <3

Good Old Times
The Okee Dokee Brothers

We used to sit around the fire
Tellin’ tales about the days of old
We’d reminisce about the times we missed
I reminisce about the stories we told
And as the fire got to dying down
And the night would start to turn back to day
We’d laugh once more for fun
And then someone would say

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

When we’re old and our memories are grey
If we have any left at all
In the spring, we’ll watch leaves being born
And then we’ll watch them change in the fall
We’ll wish that we were young again
Tell that story about your wedding day
Life is short, but we’ve had each other
And then one of us will say…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

If there was a time to sing this old tune
I figured that would be now
Cuz today will be yesterday tomorrow
Ain’t it crazy how time works out
There ain’t nothin’ like a good old friend
And there ain’t many friends like you and me
We’ve got a lot of great stories
But I think we can all agree…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

###

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Jane Pulaski. Solar Pillar, Texas Promoter.

Jane is such a positive force in the solar community. Many of you know Jane from her work at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, telling the story of IREC’s amazing work with programs to advance strong clean energy regulatory, code and standards, and workforce development solutions. Over her 20+ years in the industry, Jane repeatedly lifts others up, and helps make connections between individuals and organizations doing good work. And so many of us are thankful for that!

Now, this week is already teed up to be a tough one, with more unnecessary violence, more fires and storms, and podiums filled with fear-mongering and hate. So, thank goodness for light and love. Thankful to Jane for providing a FULL LIST of songs to add to the #SolarMusicMonday playlist. We will need them all this week!

Jane is one of the biggest promoters of Austin, TX and live music. And, boy howdy, do I miss Texas, and Austin! So it makes me so happy to feature her addition this week. For those of you who are also missing some of your favorite places and people this summer, as travel plans have been put on hold, I hope some of these sunny songs can brighten your week.

Jane’s Playlist Additions:

“Get yer #SolarMusicMonday on!
With love from your pals from Austin, aka Live Music Capital of the World!”
  :musical_score::musical_keyboard::headphones::microphone::heart:

Ray Charles “You Are My Sunshine”
The Beatles “Sun King”
The Carter Family “Keep on the Sunny Side”
The Rivieras  “California Sun”
The 5th Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”
The Jayhawks “Waiting for the Sun”
Katrina & the Waves “Walking on Sunshine”
The Velvet Underground “Who Loves the Sun”
The Pogues “The Sunny Side of the Street”
T Rex “Mambo Sun”
Gerry & the Pacemakers “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”

# # #

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Denise Abdul-Rahman, Regional Field Organizer, NAACP.

As NAACP’s Midwest Environmental Climate Justice Program Field Organizer, Denise brings smiles and passion to her work, but importantly, she inspires others to do more and think bigger. She is a strong environmental justice leader in the Midwest, and not only advocates for strong policies but for working together for tangible actions. Over the years, I have been honored to work alongside Denise as she digs into policy battles in states like Indiana and Illinois, or creates opportunities for action with congregations and communities in Michigan and Texas.

She is an inspiration, with a constant open door for others to join in the movement.

Denise’s Playlist Additions:

It’s a New Day
Will.I.Am

I went asleep last night
Tired from the fight
I’ve been fighting for tomorrow
All my life
Yeah I woke up this morning
Feeling brand new
‘Cause the dreams that I’ve been dreaming
Has finally come true

Visions
Stevie Wonder
 
People hand in hand
Have I lived to see the milk and honey land?
Where hate’s a dream and love forever stands
Or is this a vision in my mind?

###

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Dan Misch. Founder & Co-Director, Veterans Advanced Energy Project.
Senior Manager, Asset Management, Invenergy.

Dan has vision. Over the past few years, he has turned his vision and passion into this amazing annual event designed to bring veterans into the advanced energy industry. Veterans Advanced Energy Summit is designed to drive US leadership in advanced energy by recruiting and empowering veterans, those who understand best the relationship between energy and our future security. I was fortunate enough to speak at the event a few years ago, and have seen the event grow and expand in scope and reach to bring together the strong leadership we need for a clean energy future.

#VetsEnergyWeek is this week! August 10-13, 2020.

This year the Veterans Advanced Energy Summit is going online for #VetsEnergyWeek, August 10-13, to show how careers in clean energy can help military veterans continue service to the country by improving our national security. Learn more and find out how to participate at: www.vetsenergyproject.org

Dan’s playlist addition:

Little Black Submarines
The Black Keys

“The Black Keys are an Ohio band where I grew up, but it wasn’t until their 2011 album El Camino that I became a big fan. At the time, I worked on a submarine for the US Navy which made the song “Little Black Submarine” all that much more compelling.

The song speaks to me about the loneliness of hard work and being stuck in your own head. But beyond lyrics about broken hearts and plans never made, I find strength in it to continue and succeed. This tune is often on full blast when I need motivation for a reminder of where I’ve been as proof of what I can achieve.” – Dan

###

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #

Emmitt Muckles, Sr. Training Analyst, Operations Training. Sunrun.

Let me introduce you to a solar rock star from the Midwest that you may not have met yet, but you will soon. I have had the pleasure of knowing Emmitt for many years, before our time at Sunrun – sharing the joy of solar, music, and mixing it up. Emmitt began his solar industry journey as technical support and master trainer for Fronius. Now, Emmitt is Sunrun’s Sr Analyst Training based in Chicago, building installation teams and promoting safety and knowledge in solar.

Emmitt has been a champion not just of solar, but also of building and lifting up colleagues to ensure a strong, diverse and equitable industry. He doesn’t simply train installation teams, but he also mentors new employees, works with job seekers through the IL Solar for All program, and shares his enthusiasm for solar’s potential with elected officials, and honestly, anyone that will listen.

You can also catch him as host of the Podcast ‘Billionaire Lifestyle,’ and you can find him on Twitter: @Emuckles.

Emmitt’s Playlist Addition:

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Marvin Gaye

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa mercy, mercy me,
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
Oh, no no, na, na na, na
My sweet Lord, na, na, na
My Lord, my sweet Lord

###

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #

Solar Music Monday Returns.

2020 has brought it. In mid-March I paused Solar Music Monday, what I thought was temporarily. At first, to recognize the weight of COVID on our families, colleagues, and communities. Then came the tragic murder of George Floyd, and the resulting protests, to not only loudly and clearly state Black Lives Matter (hallelujah) but to also fight for genuine reform.

Through all of this, in my mind, continuing Solar Music Monday seemed too naïve, selfish, and vapid. Fear that it would disrespect the grief and hurting. Fear that it would distract from, even slightly, or diminish too-often silenced voices that need to be heard calling for social justice.  

We have all been through personal, and sometimes public, journeys and struggles this year. What I have realized, is that music has carried me through: allowing tears to flow to John Prine, bringing hope with Marvin Gaye, and providing pure joy playing music with my love on our back porch.

Several of you have told me the same thing – that it’s music that has kept you going at various points this year. So it is my wish for all of us that this little web feature can bring  hope, tears, joy, or passion to you – and introduce us all to amazing advocates fighting for environmental justice.

The Submission: This song came back up in my life this weekend, but hit me in 2020 with fresh ears and open heart; and became my catalyst for restarting Solar Music Monday. I hope this Monday finds you healthy and safe; and that you find some joy, kindness, and love today – while not giving up that fire in your belly.  More stories from advocates to come…

– Amy Heart

Mercy Now
Mary Gauthier

My church and my country could use a little mercy now
As they sink into a poisoned pit it’s going to take forever to climb out
They carry the weight of the faithful who follow them down
I love my church and country, they could use some mercy now

Every living thing could use a little mercy now
Only the hand of grace can end the race towards another mushroom cloud
People in power, they’ll do anything to keep their crown
I love life and life itself could use some mercy now

Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now
I know we don’t deserve it but we need it anyhow
We hang in the balance dangle ‘tween hell and hallowed ground
And every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now
Every single one of us could use some mercy now

###

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #

McCall Johnson, Director, External Affairs. Recurrent Energy.

McCall Johnson is Director of External Affairs at Recurrent Energy. She has been active on energy and legislative issues in Texas over the years. McCall is a board members of the Texas Solar Power Association, which is where I have had the pleasure to meet and get to know McCall.

It has been such a treat to meet and work alongside McCall. I owe her a great deal of gratitude for her to introducing me to all things Texas. I love being able to spend time with my Texas solar cohorts, and am missing time with you all.

Saying we’re in unprecedented times is an understatement. As things are changing really quickly (daily, hourly) in every corner of our lives, I thought this would be a perfect time to share one of McCall’s full playlist. I hope you discover a new song or two that gives you at least two or three minutes of a bright light today.

We’re in this together, but  most importantly we’ll get through this together. Sending you all virtual strength and hope. Let’s take care of each other.

McCall’s Playlist Submission: Give Me Strength

“Give Me Strength is a playlist to pick things up, perfect for the mornings. “Give me strength” was the choice phrase of a colleague during the 2011 Texas legislative session. We were working for the Baptist church on energy and sustainable food policy, which made the phrase even more apt.” – McCall.

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #

Nicole Sitaraman, Senior Manager, Public Policy. Sunrun.

Nicole Sitaraman is a Senior Manager on Sunrun‘s Public Policy team. She leads rooftop solar engagement in regulatory and legislative affairs in states like NJ, PA, MD as well as DC. She joined Sunrun after serving in the Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia. 

It is such a pleasure to work alongside Nicole at Sunrun. Nicole is clear-eyed in her vision of environmental justice and solar access. She has a heart of gold; a heart proudly worn on her sleeve. We could all learn a bit from her energy, her joy, and her unrelenting search for a clean energy future that truly benefits and includes all.

Nicole’s submission: 

MY POWER. Nija, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Lag.

They’ll never take my power, my power, my power

“This refrain throughout the song gives me so much life. This song is a drumbeat of self-determination and empowerment – exactly what is driving consumers to take back control of their energy consumption and reject the old top-down approach for energy procurement and planning. The people want solar. The people want energy democracy. And the people are proclaiming that ‘they’ll never take [their] power’ to choose local clean energy solutions.” – Nicole

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #

Rosalind Jackson, Managing Director of External Relations, Vote Solar

Rosalind Jackson manages public communications for Vote Solar. Since 2008, she joined the Vote Solar team, building up campaigns around the country, and helping give individual advocates into a powerful voice for solar. While she heads up an amazing national communications and member team, she also finds time to stay active in improving her backyard, by serving on the board of bay.org. Admire that energy and balancing of advocacy work!

Rosalind’s submissions: “In very different ways, these songs both touch on so much of what inspires my work on a daily basis: The intersectionality of the climate crisis and its clean energy solutions as well as the strength and courage of women and marginalized people of all kinds who are demanding positive change.”

Lizzo, Good as Hell

“Any solar advocate knows, this work is HARD. We are trying to transform one of the most powerful and entrenched industries on the planet – so when I need a recharge, I do my hair toss and listen to the queen of self-actualization Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” to shake off whatever is standing in my way:”

I do my hair toss, check my nails
Baby how you feelin’? (Feelin’ good as hell)
Woo, child, tired of the bullshit
Go on, dust your shoulders off, keep it moving
You know you a star, you can touch the sky
I know that it’s hard, but you have to try

 

Sean Hayes, This is Happening

“And when I’m feeling more reflective, I love This is Happening, a soulful protest song written by local Bay Area musician, Sean Hayes, in honor of his wife’s participation in the 2017 Women’s March. It gets solar cred because it was also the anthem to the Redford Center’s film Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, which captured the extraordinary power of ordinary people – in this case, Nevadans – to drive solar progress against powerful opposition.”

Yes, this is happening.
Every day is another way to make things right.
Oh, this is happening.
Every day is another way to make things right.
She’s out walking now for what’s good.
Put her body on the line.
She’s not hiding; she’s out fighting.
To rise.

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

# # #