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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is running a climate-focused (and longshot) 2020 campaign, last night asked the Democratic National Committee to set up a debate focused solely on climate change.

What he's saying: "This can’t be a one-off question where candidates get to give a soundbite and move on," Inslee, who launched a petition, said in a statement. "Climate change is at the heart of every issue that matters to voters, and voters deserve to hear what 2020 presidential candidates plan to do about it."

But, but, but: The DNC offered an extremely noncommittal statement last night, even as the party emphasized the topic's importance and said Republicans "refuse to even acknowledge that climate change is real."

What they're saying: Communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said the DNC's goal is to provide candidates a platform for "vigorous discussion" on topics including the economy, climate and health care. She added:

  • "Democrats are eager to put forward their solutions to combat climate change, and we will absolutely have these discussions during the 2020 primary process."
  • "The DNC is currently ironing out the details for all 12 debates and will work with the networks to ensure that Democrats have a platform to discuss these issues directly with the American people."

Go deeper: Inside the climate election of 2020

Go deeper

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.

6 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.