Nearly two months ago, my Editor-in-Chief, Derek Dingle, asked all the editors to pick a White House beat to cover the Obama administration. Although Derek has a strong passion for politics, he thought it best to divide beats to cover all aspects of the administration. With excitement, I chose to cover health care and environmental and energy reform. With the help of Derek’s contacts at the White House, Black Enterprise secured an interview with Lisa Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
So on Monday morning after Easter, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to catch a 6:00 a.m. express train to Washington, D.C. By the time my colleague, Shannon Lanier, and I got off the train we quickly shook off our sleepiness and headed straight over to EPA. Shannon is producing an on-air segment for the Black Enterprise Business Report television show with my editorial director, Sonia Alleyne as host. I was responsible for asking questions for our magazine and website coverage. All my nervous jitters slowly faded away when the administrator welcomed me into her gigantic high-ceiling, dark-oak wooden office with pictures of her family and the Obamas scattered everywhere.
Jackson has one mission, and that is “to protect the environment” with respect to our air, water and land. “If EPA isn’t out there doing its job for the American people, then they would have the right to question why we’re here at all. We have to get to work,” says Jackson.