Last night was the first debate with Democratic presidential candidates. Those who understand the rapidly growing, interrelated list of severe consequences of climate chaos had hoped the candidates would speak much more forcefully and fully about climate change were disappointed. Only Governor Jay Inslee used his time on stage to focus on climate chaos. Beto O’Rourke did mention groups such as the Sunrise Movement “who are fighting not just for our future, but for everyone’s.”
“The First Democratic Debate Failed The Planet at a debate held in a sinking city, only four candidates were directly asked about the climate crisis.” by EMILY ATKIN, The New Republic, June 26, 2019
As we feared, our ongoing climate chaos is seen as one issue among so many others. Environmental groups have tried to get the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hold one debate focused solely on our climate emergency. DNC Chairman Tom Perez has not only refused, but has threatened to punish any candidate who would participate in a climate debate. There is information at the end of this post about where you can sign the petition for the DNC to hold a climate specific debate.
“It’s an emergency, and we need our leaders to act like it,” said Abby Leedy, a protester from Philadelphia, outside the DNC headquarters a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
The DNC is not only refusing to hold a debate but threatening to bar any candidates who participate in a third-party climate debate on their own from future DNC debates. DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a Medium post earlier this month that the party would not hold any issue-specific debates because it could not allow individual candidates to dictate the terms of debate. His position came in response to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made climate change the centerpiece of his presidential campaign and has called for a climate-centric debate.
“If we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign’s signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we’ve had?” Perez wrote. “How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they’ve made central to their own campaigns?”
Sunrise activists rejected Perez’s framing of the issue. “When you say this is a single issue, we know that’s not true,” said Leedy. “We know that this affects every aspect of our lives.”SUNRISE MOVEMENT RALLIES OUTSIDE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS OVER CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE FAILURE by Aída Chávez, The Intercept, June 25 2019
Members of the Sunrise Movement have been camping in front of the DNC headquarters to continue to apply pressure for a debate about climate change.
You can join the Sunrise Movement here: https://t.co/TTNaM65BWy
More than 200,000 signed our petition calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to host a presidential primary debate on climate solutions. But on June 6, DNC Chair Tom Perez said the party won’t host an official climate debate or allow candidates to participate in unofficial debates. The backlash has been fast and fierce. After Perez rejected our demand, over 50 DNC members – more than 10% of the voting membership – submitted their own resolution calling for a debate. Before the DNC’s next meeting on June 29, we need to ramp up the pressure and tell Perez and the rest of party that we need a climate debate.Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a climate debate