Climate Power 2020 Announces Pennsylvania Co-Chairs
Washington, D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020 announced its Pennsylvania Co-Chairs, a coalition of state leaders and activists who reflect the diverse, grassroots movement needed to ensure 2020 is a defining moment for how our nation addresses the climate crisis.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, State Representative Sara Innamorato, and State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta are partnering with Climate Power 2020 to hold anti-science candidates accountable for embracing anti-science policies that hurt all Pennsylvanians.
Nearly 60 percent of Pennsylvanians, according to new polling from Yale University, are worried about climate change and even more think President Donald Trump and Congress should do more to address climate change. Yet Trump and his congressional allies are ignoring experts, refusing to believe in science, surrendering our government to big oil executives, and gutting public health protections, all at the expense of future generations.
“Our City is proving that protecting the planet is good for our families, health, and economy. We know President Trump stands with polluters—not Pennsylvanians,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “Climate Power 2020 will harness the energy of Pennsylvanians who want bold climate action, and hold Trump accountable for failing to protect our communities from the growing impacts of climate change. By working together, we can demonstrate that a green jobs plan is both good policy and good politics.”
“Right now, the stakes couldn’t be higher: We are facing a public health and economic crisis, made exponentially worse by the failures of Donald Trump and his administration to address the climate crisis. We can no longer let the fossil fuel industry set the agenda,” said Representative Sara Innamorato. “That’s why I am honored to join Climate Power 2020 in mobilizing Pennsylvanians to imagine rebuilding a more resilient, equitable, and ecologically-sound future for us all.”
“For too long, vulnerable communities have been disproportionately impacted by environmental injustices. In the past four years, this situation has only become worse as the Trump administration has gotten rid of almost one hundred environmental protections. It is ridiculous that in 2020, many Americans are still without basic human rights like safe drinking water and clean air,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta. “I’m joining the board of Climate Power 2020 to fight for a cleaner, safer future because enough is enough.”
Climate Power 2020 will focus on Pennsylvania because of its importance to the 2020 election map and the high concentration of individuals living there that data shows are most motivated by climate change political messaging. Sixty percent of Pennsylvanians believe Trump should do more to combat climate change even as he dismisses the crisis by calling it a “hoax.”
Pennsylvania communities are also living with the impacts of climate change with periods of intense heat on the rise in the state. Research shows that the number of days Pennsylvanias could face dangerous heat levels could increase threefold by 2050. Low-income communities are at even greater risk from dangerous heat — temperatures in low-income neighborhoods of Philadelphia can be as much as 22 degrees hotter than higher-income neighborhoods.
Climate action would benefit not just the health of Pennsylvania, but would also serve as an economic boost. Green jobs provide opportunities for thousands of Pennsylvanians. In 2019, Pennsylvania was home to 4,231 jobs in the solar industry and 592 solar businesses, yet Trump continues to wage a war against the renewable energy industry, killing more than 600,000 jobs across the country.
The Latino population has fluctuated in recent years in Pennsylvania, however Latino voter turnout in Pennsylvania has increased between comparable election cycles from 22.1 percent to 29.1 in the 2014 and 2018 midterms, and from 45.1 percent to 51.7 in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections.
The same pattern is true of younger voters in Pennsylvania, going from 21 percent turnout in 2014 to 53.4 percent in 2016. However, youth voters make up a disproportionately smaller share of the electorate based on population. With around 2.6 million young people eligible to vote in the state, only a modest change in turnout rate among young or Latino voters could force a conversation on climate change and force anti-science candidates, including Trump, to defend their failed agenda.
The state co-chairs join an already formidable collection of Advisory Board members, including Founder of Fair Fight and the Southern Economic Advancement Project Stacey Abrams, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Co-Author of the Green New Deal, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder/CEO, Ocean Collectiv, Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Climate Strike Partnerships Coordinator at the Future Coalition and co-founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council Thomas Lopez, Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Former Senator Harry Reid, Former Investor, Philanthropist, and Founder of NextGen America Tom Steyer, Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, and Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement, and Jamal Raad, Co-founder and Campaign Director, Evergreen Action, among others.