Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris will now participate in the Climate Crisis Town Hall on September 4th, changing her prior plans to skip the event, her campaign has confirmed to Rolling Stone.
The California Senator altered her schedule less than a day after CNN reported that she had refuse their invitation to participate in the September 4th event, citing a scheduling conflict. “We were happy to change our schedule to accommodate such a critical conversation,” said Harris communications director Lily Adams. “As Senator Harris has said, this is a climate crisis and is one of the most urgent reasons we need a new President.”
Harris’ decision to attend the climate event comes after ABC News reporter Zohreen Shah’s reported early Monday that the Harris calendar conflict came from two fundraisers previously scheduled in Los Angeles by “top bundlers,” prompting a slew of criticism from progressive groups.
The Sunrise Movement, the youth-focused political action group oriented towards solutions for the climate crisis, denounced Harris after Shah’s report for “skipping out on the first ever Presidential climate forum to schmooze with big donors,” adding that “debating our generation’s survival isn’t optional. We need a leader who prioritizes the future of humanity over rubbing elbows with millionaires and billionaires.”
Harris made headlines in July teaming up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to propose legislation that would ensure that climate change plans, as part of the Green New Deal, would benefit communities with lower-income residents. She lacks a comprehensive climate change proposal to date, but touts her experience suing polluters and pursuing environmental justice as a prosecutor in California.
Harris is the tenth confirmed candidate for the CNN event. The network is inviting candidates who meet its 2-percent polling threshold in four Democratic National Committee-approved surveys by a Wednesday deadline.
Eight other candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, were previously confirmed to attend. The network also confirmed that Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke would be on the stage. A ninth participant, Julián Castro, was added Tuesday when he met the polling threshold.