Aug 22, 2019
After Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday night that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, climate campaigners expressed gratitude for his visionary environmental agenda and his efforts to elevate the planetary emergency to the center of the Democratic primary contest.
"We'll miss you in this race, Jay Inslee," tweeted Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, the youth-led climate group that Inslee cited as a key inspiration behind his campaign. "Thank you for setting the pace for our elected leaders on the climate crisis, running a historic campaign, and elevating this issue for all of us. We know this isn't the end of our work together."
\u201cSure as the sun rises each morning.\n\nThank you Governor @JayInslee, for an incredible run. Onwards together towards a #GreenNewDeal.\u201d— Sunrise Movement \ud83c\udf05 (@Sunrise Movement \ud83c\udf05) 1566443026
Inslee made public his decision to exit the 2020 race during an interview on MSNBC Wednesday night.
"I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass, to move the ball," said Inslee. "I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle."
"I'm inspired by the people I've met across this country, the young people in the Sunrise Movement and the climate strikers," Inslee added. "These people have given me confidence we can move ahead."
\u201c\u201cI\u2019m inspired by the people I\u2019ve met across this country, the young people in the @sunrisemvmt, the climate strikers. These people have given me confidence we can move ahead.\u201d\n\n@JayInslee is dropping out and I am legit sad. \n\nhttps://t.co/FlOFGMNLvo\u201d— Waleed Shahid (@Waleed Shahid) 1566437574
Inslee's decision to leave the race comes just before the Democratic National Committee is set to vote on whether to host a 2020 presidential debate focused specifically on the climate crisis--an idea Inslee persistently advocated alongside grassroots climate activists.
The move also comes two weeks ahead of a televised presidential forum on the climate crisis hosted by CNN.
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), two of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates planning to participate in the CNN forum next month, were among those who applauded Inslee for his campaign:
\u201cCongratulations to @JayInslee on his impactful campaign to bring the climate crisis to the forefront of the national conversation. There is no more important issue facing humanity. Together we will work to pass a Green New Deal and create millions of jobs.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1566438131
\u201cThank you @JayInslee for fighting every day to make sure that climate change remains a primary focus of this election. Climate change is real and it's a crisis\u2014and I will keep fighting alongside you to take bold action before it is too late.\u201d— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1566436972
In a series of tweets late Wednesday, Inslee emphasized that while he will no longer be vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, he plans to continue doing everything in his power to "ensure the fight to defeat climate change stays at the top of the national agenda."
"Many of the campaigns started with little attention to climate, but since our campaign began, we've seen almost every serious candidate put out a climate plan; we've seen climate come up in both debates; and we now have two networks hosting nationally-televised climate forums," said the Washington governor.
"So early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize," Inslee added. "Together, we will continue the fight to defeat the climate crisis."
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.