Singing Around PECO's Tree
For the second time in as many weeks, I joined EQAT in visiting PECO's headquarters. With the year coming to a close, we couldn't help but fit in one more action to wish PECO a happy holidays!
It was a rainy, gloomy day for an action. But the day lit up when Dana Robinson carried in our new light banner -- hundreds of LED lights mounted on black plastic sheets reading "North Philly solar jobs now."
At the darkest part of the year, it felt more important than ever to bring PECO this message of a bright future.
We occupied the space on the west side of PECO's lobby. The lobby itself was spotless, sterile. Flat-screen TV's over the reception desk told customers how they could help the planet. From where I was standing I could hear a voice: "I used to set my thermostat to 82, but thanks to PECO..."
I was glad that PECO wanted to help its customers to conserve energy, but I was also grateful for this group of EQAT members that had paid them another visit to remind them what more is possible. Together we were offering PECO a larger role to play for justice in our city and for the planet.
We were there with a serious task at hand, but I couldn't help but feel like we were also there to celebrate together. As I looked across PECO's lobby I saw many now familiar faces -- many of whom I had just met during this campaign.
We ended the action gathered around the tree in PECO's lobby singing our new version of "O Christmas Tree," retitled "Green Energy." One by one we stepped forward and hung an ornament on the tree -- each ornament had written on it: "Power Local Green Jobs."
When I added my ornament, it took me back to decorating my tree with family when I was younger. It felt like we had totally transformed the lobby from a place of business to a holiday party full of songs, lights and cheer. I was only sad that the PECO employees there didn't join us and preferred to watch from a distance.
I hope that 2016 is the year PECO makes serious investments in local solar jobs. Next year, if we happen be in their lobby again, maybe PECO employees will be there too, celebrating the green jobs they've created.