#4ThePeople: Washington’s 5th congressional district candidates discuss clean energy, racial equity

SPOKANE, Wash. — We continue to focus our election coverage around your questions for candidates; this time around, we brought your concerns to Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Wilson.

Shannon wants to hear where the two candidates for Washington’s 5th congressional district stand on racial equity.

She said: “I’d like their take on critical race theory, if they agree with its ideas  and if they want to implement it to any degree.”

Critical race theory is an idea started by legal scholars, looking at how laws and systems favor certain races or groups over others.

President Trump spoke out against it in September’s presidential debate as he said it is teaching people to hate America.

We took Shannon’s question to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and she responded with a statement.

“What troubles me about critical race theory is the way it rewrites history by categorizing everyone into two groups: oppressors and the oppressed,” McMorris Rodgers said. “It’s about tearing people down, not lifting them up. That’s not America. America is a beacon of hope and freedom. America has lifted more people up than any other country in history.”

McMorris Rodgers voted against an anti-Asian sentiment resolution last month, which condemned bigotry against the Asian community.

She said discrimination has no place in our society, but said she voted against it because the legislation lets China off the hook for their early cover up of COVID-19.

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We also asked Dave Wilson about critical race theory.

“I’ve heard it before, but I haven’t really looked into it, so to me the issue that’s important here is racial equity,” Wilson said.

He said racial equity starts by understanding that people of color are at a disadvantage and more programs need to be in place to help.

“They’re still in the batter’s box with one or two strikes on them,” Wilson said. “They have a different starting point then I did.”

“We need to have programs that make home ownership more available to them at a lower cost, because studies show homeowners tend to have better lives and have more financial security and success,” Wilson said.

He believes there should also be similar programs for all levels of education and minorities trying to start small businesses.

David asked the candidates: “What is your plan for oil, gas and coal industries and how will you try to quickly transition the U.S. to clean energy?”

Wilson said he supports the Clean Energy Transformation Act, a bill passed in Washington.

“It phases out all coal generation by 2025, and greenhouse gas neutral generation by 2030 and 100 percent carbon free by 2045,” Wilson said. “I think that’s a doable incremental plan to become carbon free, so I’d like to see something similar to that on a national level.”

McMorris Rodgers responded to the question in a statement.

“I believe we need to wholeheartedly pursue safe, reliable, and affordable clean energy solutions that lower carbon emissions and reduce our reliance on other countries without raising taxes,” McMorris Rodgers said. “The United States led the way in developing oil, natural gas, and coal, and we should do so again with clean, renewable energy.”