May 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

AOC joins Biden climate change task force

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will join the climate change policy task force for Joe Biden's campaign, reports CNN.

Why it matters: The Biden campaign is forming multiple such groups to help bridge the policy divide with progressive Bernie Sanders supporters in the Democratic Party. AOC is among the most high-profile and influential figures in the party's progressive wing.

  • Biden said last month that he's planning to add new elements to his climate policy, and has signaled that he'll prioritize the topic if elected.
  • AOC co-authored the sweeping Green New Deal resolution and subsequent climate proposals.
  • She's popular among activists who have attacked Biden's climate platform as too modest, even though it goes far beyond Obama-era policies.

Driving the news: AOC will be on the task force as Sanders' representative, a spokesperson told CNN.

  • "She made the decision with members of the Climate Justice community — and she will be fully accountable to them and the larger advocacy community during this process," a spokesperson said.
  • "She believes the movement will only be successful if we continue to apply pressure both inside and outside the system," they added.
  • Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash and Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice founder Catherine Flowers will also sit on the task force as Sanders nominees.

Go deeper

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New York City will be placed under curfew on Monday from 11pm until 5am Tuesday morning following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The state of play: The decision was a result of conversations with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department commissioner Dermot Shea. Cuomo said the number of police officers on the street will double from 4,000 to 8,000.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Family-commissioned autopsy says George Floyd's death was homicide

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Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

Why it matters: The autopsy contradicts preliminary findings from the Hennepin County medical examiner, who found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation,” according to charging documents against Chauvin. The official examination is still ongoing.

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Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to audio of the call.

The latest: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing Monday that Trump's call for law enforcement to "dominate" protesters referred to "dominating the streets" with a robust National Guard presence in order to maintain the peace.