On Aug. 1 the Santa Clara County Democratic Party Central Committee voted unanimously on a resolution in favor of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) holding a climate policy debate.
Youth activists from the Sunrise Movement encouraged committee members to support the resolution by holding a rally, speaking to members individually, and making statements during the committee’s public comment period.
The Sunrise Movement is a youth-run, grassroots organization that advocates for aggressive policy change to combat our climate crisis.
Through actions such as marches and sit-ins, these young people garner support for two primary proposals: a federal Green New Deal and a televised climate debate for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Climate change is an imminent threat to our survival and an issue that is intrinsically linked to other pressing policy areas including immigration. As such, it has led to a realization from younger generations that now is the time to take drastic action to confront climate change.
Until recently, politicians have controlled how our country reacts to climate change; our leadership has failed us and has not made significant progress to mitigate global temperature rise. Since the beginning of our 45th president’s campaign for our nation’s highest public office, Donald Trump has denied overwhelming consensus on climate change science and demonstrated that solving climate change is not one of his priorities.
Trump has spread lies, mocked science, rolled back environmental regulations, and diminished the urgency of this crisis in the public eye. For this reason, amongst others, youth are demanding a climate debate be held by the DNC in order to publicize the 2020 presidential candidates’ proposed strategies to combat global warming and illuminate the urgency needed to address our greatest national security threat.
A climate debate would allow voters to gauge who has the qualifications and tenacity to pull us out of this climate emergency.
We can no longer remain desensitized to climate change. The youth have come to a conclusion: if we do not fight for our future now, we will have no future for which to fight.
Join the youth around the world that are striking for their future on Sept. 20, including right here in Silicon Valley. Through community organizing and targeted public pressure, we can ensure that our government officials prioritize this emergency.
We need people in the streets, at organized marches, rallies, and protests and lobbying their elected officials for uncompromising public policy solutions. As a figurehead of the climate strikes movement Greta Thunberg says: we need to panic! We need massive upheaval to stop business as usual. We need to display that this is something to care about for the future of our generation and generations to come.
Saanvi Thakur and Peri Plantenberg are 15-year-old climate organizers and members of the Sunrise Movement. Opinions are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].