Presidential Campaign and Candidates



Jay Inslee 2020 AnnouncementJay Inslee 2020 Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech

A&R Solar
Seattle, Washington
March 1, 2019

Good morning!

It really is a good morning. We have the sun raining down on us at a solar facility in Seattle, Washington.

So it is pretty hard not to be optimistic on a date like this. And it is great to be here with our beloved Trudy, my wife of 46 years, and my three sons and daughter in laws. And I see so many friends today, including Jim Whittaker right here, the first American to climb Mount Everest.

Jim knows that we can do big, challenging things. And I want to thank you, Jim, for now being involved in a great climb for the next couple years.

But I have to tell you that my grandkids can't be here today, and they told me it's because today is Dr. Seuss day at Wilkes Elementary. We Inslees know how to prioritize.

And now it is time for our nation to set a new priority. So I am announcing today that I'm a candidate to become the next President of United States. Thank you.

I do so because this is truly our moment. It is our moment to solve America's most daunting challenge and make it the first, foremost and paramount duty the United States, and that is to defeat climate change.

This is our moment to put the greatest threat to our existence, to our economy, to our health at the very top of the nation's agenda. This is our moment to reinvent our economy, creating millions of jobs in every state, in every community, urban and rural, across America.

This is our moment together to create not just a transition, but a just transition to bring justice to all communities, especially frontline communities, communities of color, who have borne the brunt of climate change.

I am running for president because unlike the man in the White House, I believe in all the people who make up America. Because I believe in our spirit of innovation and optimism, and because I believe our ability to rise to any challenge.

This we know. We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.

The science on this is abundantly clear. We have a very short period of time to act. And whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. And we know it is the eleventh hour.

But as we have shown time and time again throughout our nation's history, this is our nation's hour to shine, and I believe we will because of the urgency of the moment, the scope of the challenge; because the economic growth opportunities inherent in clean energy are clear; and because no other issue touches so much of what we as a nation care most deeply about. And I am confident that we can do it.

Climate change, climate change is no longer just a chart or a graph. It is right now, not in some distant future.

I stood in the middle of Paradise, California a few months ago, a town of about 25,000 people. And we drove for over an hour in the dark. And you can hardly find a house standing after those devastating fires.

Because of the massive fires here last summer, our kids were told they had to stay indoors because the air was so unhealthy. Think about this, the air quality in Washington State was the worst in the world last year—not Beijing, not New Delhi, but here in Washington State.

We have one chance to defeat climate change, and it is right now. And it is my belief that you when you have one chance in life, you take it.

And I know, now I know this as well. Climate change is a matter of great peril, but it is also one of great promise. Yes, we can pioneer the industries of the future, we can create millions of good paying jobs and build the clean energy economy of the future.

I know, I know, I know this is possible. I co-authored a book 12 years ago. It was called Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy. And in that book, we laid out a vision of economic growth around clean energy. It was based on the central premise that we can all have a role to play this revolution; we can all be heroes in this adventure. And we are already getting started.

Think about this. Jobs in the clean energy economy are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy. The fastest growing job in the nation is a solar installer. Number two, number two, wind turbine technician.

So climate change is not more important than the economy. It is the economy.

Look, look this is pretty simple. Climate change is already damaging our economy, and fighting climate change will build a new economy. The most expensive path is the path of inaction. And that is unacceptable to us In America.

In Washington State, in Washington State I remember walking into a room and Seattle in 2006, and we were a group of community and and business, forward looking business leaders. And we were debating whether we should put a renewable portfolio energy standard on the ballot. And we knew that battle was going to be tough against the most powerful special interests. But we moved forward; we were undaunted. And out of that initiative, we created an entirely new wind energy industry from scratch; from zero, from zero dollars to $6 billion dollars in industry in 12 years. That's the speed we need.

We now have a solar installation industry right here in A&R Solar. This company started as a two employee shop that was just a dream in 2007. They're now employing over 70 workers installing clean energy. This is the future of America.

We know, we know it is time for a new national vision to reinvent our economy. And I know we can do it because we are an optimistic America that can do big things. We put a man on the moon. We created the digital economy. Now I am calling on America to engage in a new national mission—a mission to fight climate change. And let's commit to put every American, in their ingenuity, in their innovation, in their creativity, and just their plain hard work, into an all-out effort to solve this problem.

But I believe... Americans are calling for this. I've heard them. Folks are mobilizing across the country for a Green New Deal. This is our moment, and—

So our new national mission will have four specific goals.

Number one, we will power our economy with 100% clean, renewable and carbon-free energy and achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

Number two, number two we are going to create millions of good paying jobs in every community, investing in clean energy. We are going to build electric cars in Michigan, we are going to build an install wind turbines in Iowa, and we are going to install solar right here in Washington State. That's what we're going to do.

And while we do this we will focus on justice and inclusion as a centerpiece of this economic transformation to ensure that no group is left to bear the cost of transition and everyone benefits from new jobs and investment.

And finally, we need to end the giveaways and billions in subsidies to fossil fuel industries.

Now these are, these are ambitious goals, and some may doubt our ability to build this new future or say that our workers aren't up to this challenge. Well, they are wrong. Don't believe them.

We know something about our laborers, our electrical workers, our machinists, our scientists, our inventors, our dreamers, our entrepreneurs. We have led the world through the Industrial Revolution; we have led the world through the Information Age, and we can do it again starting in 2020. This is what we should do.

Now, we must do this because there is no other issue that touches so much of what we care about. We know climate change is as much a matter of equity as is it is a matter of ecology. It is the communities of color that suffer from climate change first and worse. They live closer to pollution spewing industrial plants. They suffer the lack of commitment to reimburse and rebuild after natural disasters that increase because of climate change, like Puerto Rico. So let's come together and build a future with clean air, clean water and economic opportunity for all regardless of zip code income, or the color of your skin.

Change is about health. Temperature extremes will make infectious diseases and allergies more widespread and respiratory problems like asthma with kids more rampant.

Climate change is about national security. Wars for oil have cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I'm proud to have voted against the war in Iraq, and wars for oil must be over.

So let's apply those energies towards building a domestic energy supply that is clean, renewable and American made.

We must take on climate change to help level the playing field as well. Our economy's reliance on polluting fossil fuels and our political system's reliance on fossil fuel money is holding us back. So I remember for the oil, coal and gas special interests. That gravy train is over.

So as a candidate I will not take one dime from fossil fuel companies, and when I am president not one nickel of taxpayer dollars will go to subsidize oil and gas.

If the task we face now feels monumental, it is. If it feels difficult, it will be. The most powerful special interests in the world won't just give away their power or their profits. But we know we can do hard things. I know we can do this because what we have done in Washington State.

Here in Washington, here in Washington we've invested in companies that are building our renewable future. We are electrifying our transportation system. We're growing clean energy jobs by the bushel full. And economic innovation and leadership for the future ee know starts in our schools. That's why I've led our state to invest billions in our schools, expanded early childhood education, made college more affordable, and finally give, have given educators the deserved raise they deserve.

In Washington State, in Washington State we passed the best paid family medical leave law in the United States. Let's secure this same right for every family in this country.

We've raised the minimum wage.

We've invested in transportation infrastructure when they can't build a birdhouse in Washington, DC.

We were the first state to protect net neutrality when Donald Trump tried to shut it down.

We've legalized marijuana. And it's about time we do it nationwide.

We've taken on the NRA. We expanded background checks, we protected victims of abuse, we banned bump stocks, and we're not done. Let's ban assault weapons and take weapons of war off our streets.

We believe fundamentally in justice and inclusion in our state. It is a Washington, and I believe American value. So I'm proud to have been the first governor to have stood up to Donald Trump's Muslim ban.

I am pleased that we are ending the death penalty in the state of Washington.

And that is why I have offered to pardon thousands of citizens with marijuana convictions so we can start ending the racial disparity in our criminal justice system.

Because Republican voter suppression and denying folks the right to vote is a downright evil, we have strengthened our voting laws to some of the most expansive in the nation. And we need new federal protections that guarantees every American has the right to vote. We need the federal government to stand up.

So if you look at our state, and you ask, you know, why we've done so well. We have succeeded here in Washington because we've grown our economy from the middle out, not suffered from trickle down. That's why Washington State has been named at the same time, the best place to do business and the best place to work. And we ought to be proud of that.

We've made, we've made these progressive advances and many more while building the top economy in the nation. And this has offered a glimpse for the nation of what is possible in all 50 states. So if America wants to see a Washington that actually works, look west to Washington State.

Now I know we are all angry and outraged by this President. I am too. But, rather than let that anger divide us, as the president and is wont to do, let's unite Americans in this moment by solving our most pressing urgent and existential problem.

And we are going to win this because I know something about the American people and their character. We are optimists. We are can do people. We invent, we create, we build. Defeating climate change is just a much a matter of character as it is a matter of science.

Americans. Here's what we know. Americans do not fear the world, we lead it.

We do not fear a challenge, we embrace it.

We do not fear the future, we build it.

So we know, we know that fighting climate change can't be somewhere down long down the page on a laundry list of our national things to do. It requires building a national mandate for bold and audacious action right now. It requires spending our political capital to get this job done.

So I will put this simply, if climate change isn't priority number one, it's not going to get done. So I am saying this I am pledging today that if I am given this high honor, I will make fighting climate change the number one priority of the United States of America.

You know and there's something about this mission, this new national mission statement that is heartening to me and encouraging to me and inspiring to me, and that is we can all be heroes here. You don't have to be President of the United States to be president—to be a hero in this effort. You just have to join, because we can all be heroes, joining in a grand mission.

We are now involved in one of history's greatest endeavors, to save those living on this little blue planet from the dangers and massive threat of climate change.

So early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and organize. This is our moment. This is our mission. Let's get this job done. Let's go... Thanks a lot.

Source: Inslee for America


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