Tyson Grinstead, Director, Public Policy. Sunrun.

Tyson Grinstead joined the Sunrun policy team at the beginning of 2015, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with him to advance rooftop. While he calls the Southeast home, and serves as South Carolina’s Richland County GOP Executive Committeeman, he has helped so many throughout the country how to successfully extend a hand across the aisle in support of solar. Tyson’s tenacity to continue to find fair, equitable solar solutions for South Carolina residents interested in solar has helped other like-minded representatives stand up for solar rights.

And this type of coalition is fully on display in the photo of the 2018 well-attended solar rights rally at the South Carolina State House, which paved the way for the Energy Freedom Act in 2019.

Tyson’s submissions: 

“I think both of these songs speak to being the underdog and the new, disruptive technology in a part of the country where change comes slowly. Lots of times it would be easier for our advocates to compromise our protect their relationships, but instead, many have chosen to stand up for what is right and fight for customer choice. Their strength and resolve over the last few years helped us pass the Energy Freedom Act in South Carolina, and get wins in other states that where David somehow beat Goliath!”

This is Me, The Greatest Showman

“The Greatest Showman was big just before our 2018 solar rally in South Carolina and was one of the songs that kept playing in my head during the event – especially the lyrics: I won’t let them break me down to dust. I know that there’s a place for us. For we are glorious.”

 

You’ve Got to Stand for Something, Aaron Tippin

“And, of course, as a country fan, Aaron Tippin was also right there during these battles:
He’d say you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.
You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string.
Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name.
You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” 

– Tyson

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

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Adam Browning, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Vote Solar

Adam Browning co-founded Vote Solar and serves as the organization’s Executive Director. Since 2002, Vote Solar has grown into a force as they work across the country to lower solar costs and expand solar access. The organization has impressive regulatory and legislative involvement, but for me, I’m continually impressed at how Vote Solar provides real engagement opportunities to connect solar advocates directly to policy makers.

And as Vote Solar grows, it has not been just skipping #FlyoverSolar to typical solar-friendly states. Those of us who are working to increase solar access here in the Midwest are happy to have Vote Solar standing alongside community and national advocates.

I also should now admit I’ve on more than one occasion used one of his lines from his keynote at RENEW Wisconsin’s Summit a few years back. Adam tackled the debate head on – about if/when homeowners should be allowed to have the same financing tools for solar as utilities and other large companies. “People are companies too,” to applause.

Adam’s photo: “I’m talking to students on the roof of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Moscone Center got a solar roof as a result of Prop B, our inaugural ballot initiative in 2001 to upgrade city buildings with solar and energy efficiency. That’s where it all started for me, and for Vote Solar.” –

Adam’s submission: 

California Stars, Billy Bragg & Wilco

“Something about it is just hopeful – and to me it represents the power and comfort of a community working together to build a new, better world.” – Adam

I’d love to feel
Your hand touching mine
And tell me why
I must keep working on
I’d like to dream
My troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my star bed
Make another day
Underneath my California stars

 

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

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Jacqui Patterson, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program

Jacqui Patterson is the Senior Director of NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, where she has been pushing for environmental justice solutions for over a decade. She has been instrumental in the formation of vital partnerships having localized and national impacts.

I personally have met Jacqui at events on both coasts and even in flyover solar country, where she has worked hand-in-hand to advance equity in solar access in places like Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Jacqui is a pure solar rock star and inspiration to many, including myself.

Jacqui helped found the Solar Equity Initiative, a partnership with United Methodist Women, Vote Solar, Sunrun, GRID Alternatives and SEIA with goals to 1) install solar in communities that need it most, 2) create career opportunities in solar, and 3) strengthen equity in solar policies around the country. PHOTO: Install launching Solar Equity Initiative.

Jacqui’s submissions

Three Little Birds, Bob Marley & The Wailers

“I love the lyrics of Three Little Birds for their sheer imagery and whimsy.”

Don’t worry about a thing. Cause every little thing gonna be all right!
Rise up this mornin, Smiled with the risin sun, Three little birds, Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, ‘This is my message to you-ou-ou…

 

Good Day, Nappy Roots
“I like it because the chorus is sung by children and though it’s a bit bittersweet, it is based in the reality of the lived experiences of too many of our communities.”
We’re gonna have a good day. And ain’t nobody gotta cry today
Cause ain’t nobody gonna die today……Heyyyy!

Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist
HERE

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Solar groundbreaking at Escuela Verde, 2018.

Joey Zocher. Escuela Verde, Milwaukee, WI

Joey Zocher is a founding advisor at Escuela Verde, an environmental justice-focused charter school on the south side of Milwaukee. She lead the initiative to add solar to the school’s rooftop. The solar doesn’t sit silent on the school’s roof. Solar has incorporated it into opportunities for students to learn about energy generation and conservation, but also career opportunities in clean energy. Read more about the project HERE. It was an awesome partnership with Milwaukee Shines, Midwest Renewable Energy Association, SunVest Solar – all spearheaded by Joey.

I have seen Joey create real change by encouraging others to find their voice, and their passion. It’s not through loud speeches that Joey motivates, but by handing over the microphone to other voices traditionally not heard; to challenge leaders’ perspective on who can, and who is, leading the charge for environmental justice. I should also mention she’s an amazing artist in her own right, and I’m lucky enough to join her in our local band, Crimes Against Nature (yes, a shameless plug).

Joey’s submissions: “I think the Kill Rock Stars Label and Righteous Babe Records were really inspiring ways to show both women and independent musicians could make it in a world when Clear Channel was taking over the industry. Like, we don’t just have to take what is handed to us. We can unite and do better. That translates to the clean energy revolution. And, the lyrics say it all.”

 

One Beat
I’m a bubble in a sound wave
A sonic push for energy
Exploding like the sun
A flash of clean light hope
All you scientists can hold your breath
Can I decide to show myself, oh oh
If you think like Thomas Edison
Could you invent a world for me
Now all that’s on the surface
Are bloody arms and oil fields
Could I turn this place all upside down
And shake you and your fossils out, oh oh

Should I come outside and run your cars
Should I run your rockets to the stars
Could you invent a world for me
I need to hear a symphony
If I’m to run the future
You’ve got to let the old world go, oh oh
Your word for me is fusion
But is real change an illusion
Could I turn this place all upside down
And shake you and your fossils out
If I’m to run the future
You’ve got to let the old world go

Standing in the Way of Control
Your back’s against the wall
There’s no-one home to call
You’re forgetting who you are
You can’t stop crying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again
And I’m not lying
Standing in the way of control
You live your life
Standing in the way of control
We live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We will live our lives
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