David Hochschild
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David Hochschild was working for the San Francisco mayor’s office right at the dawn of the California energy crisis last year, when he had an idea. That idea was to develop a bond initiative that would allow the installation of solar electric panels on public buildings. With the help of other environmentalists in city government, he “ran the numbers” and discovered that over time such a measure could pay for itself from energy savings, at no cost to taxpayers. The group eventually put together a $100 million revenue bond initiative to finance solar panels, wind turbines and energy efficiency upgrades on city property. Hochschild campaigned three months for the initiative. Last November, San Francisco voters approved the measure by 73 percent. It was the largest purchase of solar energy in the nation.

Together with others from the campaign, he started the Vote Solar Initiative (www.votesolar.org) to encourage other cities to implement clean energy revenue bonds to fight global warming and help wean America off its unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels. Hochschild feels that if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. He strongly believes that a dramatic, immediate transition to clean energy is both possible and necessary.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Hochschild also worked in South Africa for Nelson Mandela's youth program.