Ilhan Omar’s Daughter Leads Charge to Get 2020 Candidates to Participate in Debate on Climate Change

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) announced Monday that he supports U.S. Youth Climate Strike’s petition to require the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates to have a debate on climate change.

“I’m in! Climate change demands unprecedented action that requires our full and complete attention. This is an economic issue, a social justice issue, and a national security issue,” Ryan said on Twitter in response to the U.S. Youth Climate Strike’s request to support the debate.

“Tim Ryan is now the fourth presidential candidate to come out in support for our petition and call for a climate debate. Our movement is indefinitely picking up speed, and this is all because of our grassroots. Keep signing and sharing, and we’ll get this victory,” U.S. Youth Climate Strike wrote on Twitter.

Ryan joins 2020 candidates Jay Inslee, Julian Castro, and Mike Gravel in supporting a debate on climate change, while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he will “try to” support the idea.

The petition itself, on, had 48,341 signatures at the time of publication.

“There are many formidable candidates running for the Democratic nomination in 2020. We want all the candidates to commit to participating in a debate or forum on environmental issues and policies so we can hear detailed ideas and plans,” the petition states.

It goes on to say that “it’s no longer sufficient” for presidential candidates to “have a single token environmental question” that they “get to brush off with a soundbite.”

“We need an entire debate on environmental policies,” it continues. “The global and U.S. Youth Climate Strike’s success and interest in environmental policies such as the Green New Deal resolution are signs that the public wants governmental action on the issue of climate change.”

Isra Hirsi, daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), is active in the youth climate change movement and is listed as a co-author of the petition. Former President Barack Obama expressed his support for the U.S. Youth Climate Strike on Twitter Monday, and specifically congratulated Hirsi by name.

“In the U.S. 13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor of New York, 13-year-old Haven Coleman of Denver, and 16-year-old Isra Hirsi of Minneapolis are some of the young people leading the fight at home,” Obama said. “I hope more of us will follow their example.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Isra Hirsi” by Isra Hirsi. Background Photo “Youth Climate Change March” by Intothewoods7. CC BY-SA 4.0.











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