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Nearly 200 students, community members, and political activists flocked to Low Steps Friday morning as part of a global movement to call for urgent political action on climate change. “We want our leaders to be taking action: leaders within a college setting, within a governmental setting, within a national setting. We want all of our leaders to have the power to enact this change,” Hollard said at the event. “This is a moment of great peril, but it is also a moment of great promise,” Inslee said. Bastida Patrick advocated for the Green New Deal, a set of proposed economic programs that aim to address climate change and inequality, and highlighted the role of indigenous peoples and youth in the fight against climate change. “The climate catastrophe is our present, but we cannot let it be our future,” Bastida Patrick said. “Climate change impacts marginalized communities and communities of color the most, which is why we need the Green New Deal, because it addresses both climate change and social justice.” Other outside speakers included two students from Manhattan Country School, a private K-8 school, many of whose students participated in the climate strike. “Even though they’re not old enough to vote, they still have a lot at stake for them, and they really realized that,” Grattan said. “They were really excited about participating today, so we as a school decided we wanted to facilitate that for the students who wanted to take part.” Staff writer Teddy Ajluni can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.
Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington, has announced he is running for president, declaring himself the “only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority”. “And we’re the last who can do something about it.” Inslee, 68, is the first sitting governor to join the 2020 race, which has thus far been dominated by US senators. His announcement followed months of speculation over Inslee’s intentions and marks yet another entry into what is already a sprawling Democratic field. “Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time – defeating climate change,” he says in the launch video, which features old footage of him raising the issue on the floor if the House, where he served as a congressman for seven terms. “This crisis isn’t just a chart or graph any more. The impacts are being felt everywhere.” Climate change has become an increasingly galvanizing force for Democrats, with grassroots groups and figures such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected democratic socialist from New York, calling for a “Green New Deal”. Washington also joined a coalition of left-leaning states to sue the Trump administration over its family separation policy and, more recently, to block the president’s emergency declaration to build a border wall without permission from Congress. As the chair of the Democratic Governors Association last year, Inslee traveled the country campaigning and raising money for his party’s gubernatorial candidates during the 2018 midterm elections. It proved a fruitful endeavor: Democrats flipped seven governors’ mansions in the November midterms, including high-profile victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Kansas. The US representative from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor, Pete Buttigieg, and the former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro are also vying for the top of the party’s 2020 ticket; and the former vice-president Joe Biden and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke are being closely watched for possible announcements in the coming days or weeks.
The Story: Though his name recognition remains low outside of the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s Governor, Jay Inslee, is...