On Thursday, young leaders from the Sunrise Movement were joined by the Louisiana College Democrats at a rally to thank State Senator and DNC Vice Chair Karen Carter Peterson for her public support of a climate debate.
In response to requests from Sunrise New Orleans, Peterson tweeted her support of a Climate Debate just before the start of the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday night.
— KarenCarterPeterson (@TeamKCP) July 31, 2019
Peterson is the highest-ranking DNC leader in the country to date to call for a climate debate. She joins dozens of organizations, 15 Democratic presidential candidates, and a majority of Democratic voters in supporting a climate debate.
“Here in Louisiana and in the Gulf South, climate change is not an abstract concept. It is threatening our homes, our families, our coast. We have this small window of time — 11 years — to take decisive action to turn the tide and save ourselves from it’s worst effects. And if we do it the right way we can create millions of good jobs right here in the gulf. That is why, at the bare minimum, we need a climate debate to hear from aspiring leaders their plan to provide a livable future,” Isaac MacDonald, Sunrise New Orleans Leader, said.
Louisiana is home to some of the first climate change refugees in the United States. Lowland Kids, a by Louisiana filmmaker Sandra Winther documents the last teenagers to live on Isle de Jean Charles, where many homes have become uninhabitable due to land loss, storms, and constant flooding. Coastal erosion poses a massive threat to the Southern coast of Louisiana.
So far, the other Louisiana DNC members (Arthur Morrell, Deborah Langhoff, Stephen Handwerk, and Michael McHale) haven’t joined Peterson in supporting a climate debate – a fact that wasn’t on the young activists.
“The climate crisis affects everyone, and we are on the front lines here in Louisiana fighting for environmental justice from Gordon Plaza to Death/Cancer Alley to our eroding coastline. As a life-long Louisianan, I am no stranger to industry putting profits over people. I’m so grateful that Karen Carter Peterson is taking leadership in this moment – now it’s time for the rest of the Louisiana Democratic Party to join her,” Amos, a young climate activist, said.
Also present at the rally was Marguerite Green, candidate for Louisiana State Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry.
“I am so thankful that we’re here today to thank Karen Carter Peterson, because I will say, when we talk about how much the needle has moved, when I decided I wanted to run just this past winter, this past fall, I was told I couldn’t say the words ‘climate change’ on the campaign trail by a lot of people who work in the Democratic party in this state, ” Green revealed. “We have to show up and show them that that is not true. That is is not a target on your back to talk about climate, because right now there are still a lot of people who really think that it is.”
You can watch Green’s full statement below.
Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of Big Easy Magazine. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Wander N.O. More, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_