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Presidential Candidate Gov. Jay Inslee Of Washington Talks Climate Risk In Little Haiti

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee with community leaders and activists in Little Haiti.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee with community leaders and activists in Little Haiti.

Presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington visited Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood Tuesday morning on the eve of the first Democratic debate. His main focus: climate change.

Inslee and community leaders walked around the Little Haiti Cultural Center to pitch his 100 percent clean energy plan and his campaigns focus on climate risk to neighborhood business owners and residents.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Visits Little Haiti.“The first communities who are hurt by climate change, including a lot of communities of color, of poverty and indigenous communities ... are the first communities that are victimized — including those in Little Haiti,” Inslee said.

 

Inslee was joined by organizers from the social-services organization Catalyst Miami, public health experts from the University of Miami, and organizers from ReThink Energy Florida.

“I think it’s good for any candidate to come see the community especially those that are being impacted by those major challenges of climate change and gentrification and housing issues,” said Zelalem Adefris, resiliency director for Catalyst Miami.

Earlier this week, Inslee was in the Everglades to announce a plan that would combat fossil fuel pollution, called the “Freedom from Fossil Fuels” plan.

He referenced his clean energy plan and bid for president during his tour around the cultural center. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee meets with neighborhood business owners in Little Haiti.
Credit Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee meets with neighborhood business owners in Little Haiti.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m fighting so hard to develop a clean-energy future, our only option is to defeat the climate crisis,” Insleesaid. “We have to be victorious, because without victory there’s no survival.”

Inslee is one of 10 presidentialcandidates who will meet Wednesday night for the first round of Democtratic debates, taking place at theAdrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

Inslee holds among the most detailed environmental plans among the Democratic candidates, including a plan for immigrants who have migrated because of climate change and climate resiliency for new transit projects.

Community leaders urged the importance of climate risk action. Dr. Armen Henderson, anassistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami, called it an “existential crisis.”

“You have to take into consideration everything that’s happening ground zero in Miami,” Henderson said. “Including drinking water, development, gentrification and education.”

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During her time at Florida International University, where she recently graduated from with a Bachelors in Journalism, Sherrilyn Cabrera interned for the South Florida News Service - a digital journalism platform where stories are written, shot and edited by FIU students. As part of her senior project, she reported on the influx of Puerto Ricans who migrated to Florida after Hurricane Maria, and the impact it could have had on the November 2018 midterm elections.