The Democratic National Committee voted against a resolution at its summer session in San Francisco on Saturday that would free the party's presidential candidates to attend unofficial forums with several candidates focused solely on climate change.
The National Party Committee voted against a resolution in 222-137 that would have encouraged candidates to essentially disregard a rule established by DNC leader Tom Perez that prohibited them from doing so-called "non-party events." "to perform on the same stage.
The vote was rebuked by left-wing environmental activists, such as the Sunrise Movement, who claim the party leadership ignores young voters' priorities.
"The Democratic Party needs the energy and motivation of young people to win by 2020," said Evan Weber, political director of the Sunrise Movement. "The energy in this matter has been unbelievably clear, but Tom Perez continues to disrupt the party by rejecting that energy and rejecting it."
Similar protests broke out on Thursday when the DNC Resolutions Committee voted 1
Perez has said throughout the campaign that he refuses that the official debates of the party refer to a single issue. Perez said this week that he wants to have the widest possible audience for primetime debates, with voters supposed to see candidates addressing a whole range of topics. The next official democratic debate is scheduled for September 12 in Houston. A second night of debate is scheduled for September 13, when enough candidates can qualify.
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Perez has encouraged candidates to participate in topic-specific forums where multiple candidates are not simultaneously on the same stage. For example, in September CNN has planned a climate forum in which at least 10 candidates will meet individually and discuss climate policy in detail. Powerful organizations such as the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO have already organized such events, focusing on their political priorities. Weapons, poverty and problems affecting older Americans.
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The dispute this week came in the wake of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who had ended his bid as President made a pledge to make climate change a top priority for the nation. Inslee was able to attract more than 130,000 individual donors – this was the brand the DNC set as a qualifying benchmark for the September debates. However, Inslee shied away from the additional requirement to receive 2% support in at least four nationally or prematurely nominated polls from well-known pollsters.
Inslee had repeatedly called on Perez to launch a DNC-sponsored climate change debate.