John Locher / AP
Friday, May 24, 2019 | 3:42 p.m.
Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee on Friday praised young people rallying for action on climate change as he joined a Las Vegas demonstration on a day of climate rallies around the world.
The Washington governor, who has staked his 2020 bid for the White House on a climate change-focused message, said Friday that young people are "posing a moral obligation" on older Americans to tackle a warming planet.
The 68-year-old also announced he'd earned enough campaign donations to appear in the Democratic presidential debates starting next month.
"We can now tell you that because I will be on the stage in the debates in June, climate change will be on the debates in June," Inslee told a crowd of about 100 people, mostly students and young people, in the city's downtown.
The Democratic National Committee has said it will allow 20 candidates to reach the stage by either meeting a 65,000-person donor threshold or by receiving at least 1% support in three reputable national or early nominating state polls. With 23 Democrats in the race and the possibility that more than 20 qualify, the DNC is expected to give preference to those that meet both thresholds and further winnow the field by using candidates' polling averages.
Inslee said he's not worried about meeting any additional criteria put forward by the DNC, saying he's had "a surge" of about 2,000 donors in the last few days. He twice noted that freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a sought-after and influential voice on the left, had recently praised his $9 trillion-plus climate action plan released last week.
Inslee planned to meet later Friday with members of the Service Employees International Union regarding their push to wage the minimum wage to $15 an hour.