SACRAMENTO -- Many across the country are banking on electricity driving America into its future and many in Sacramento want that burgeoning industry to bring wealth to disadvantaged communities.
"We're gonna have electric vehicles," said Simeon Grant. "We're working with the Sacramento Air Quality Management District and we'll have an electric vehicle hub right there in Del Paso Heights on Grand Avenue."
That's one of the plans in the works by the Green Technical Education and Employment founder. Since 2008, his Oak Park-based academy has sought to expand the horizons of low-income, minority youth by showing them some of the innovative construction and technology skills at the forefront of new industries.
He believes community development and workforce education are social justice issues that provide opportunity as the antidote to violence.
Fundraising with events like the one held on Thursday is an important part of keeping his $300,000 a year operation afloat.
It's a theme Stevante Clark has brought to Sacramento City Council many times since city police killed his unarmed brother and one Rev. Al Sharpton acolyte Rev. Shane Harris delivered for Green Tech.
"When you look at the achievement gap, when you're talking about that, it really goes into this stem piece," Harris said. "Because if our young people don't have access to these things then they're not provided these opportunities, which later could lead into the next scientist, the next mathematician."