Joe Biden’s campaign has launched a new social media initiative to reach out to young voters ahead of the general election on November 3.

The Instagram project is a series of short videos with celebrities, influencers, and activists asking the Biden team questions submitted with the hashtag #askusanything2020.

“Young people have been hit hard by the Trump administration’s failure to contain the pandemic, and they deserve a president who will listen to their concerns and has a comprehensive agenda to get us through this crisis and build back better for young Americans,” the Biden campaign said in a statement to Vogue Magazine.

Here are five questions from One Green Planet for the Democratic presidential nominee:

1. What is your plan to address the environmental harms of fracking?

Hydraulic fracking poses a huge contamination risk to local water sources as well as causing significant air pollution. Fracking creates a toxic chemical mixture called frack fluid that can spill into rivers and streams. Corporations involved in fracking have used legislation loopholes to keep chemicals in fracking fluid a secret.

Biden has proposed a plan to limit future fracking, rather than ban it altogether.

2. In your first 100 days, how will you address the ongoing struggle for racial justice sweeping our nation?

The killing of George Floyd has ignited a massive wave calling for racial justice. Floyd’s murder represents the systemic racism plaguing our country and leading to thousands of Black lives being taken at the hands of police. After the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and countless others, similar calls for racial justice arose. Yet Black Americans continue to be shot––Jacob Blake was recently shot in the back seven times and Trayford Pellerin was killed by police outside of a convenience store last month.

“There is an urgency to create systemic change to protect young Black and Brown Americans so we don’t have to grow up in a country that treats our lives as disposable on a daily basis,” said Preeta Sinha, Founder of One Green Planet. 

“As a minority woman, I’ve faced institutional racism for years. Most recently, my white neighbor Anthony Legg, owner of Fairway Printing, vandalized my door because he didn’t like that my bike was in the hallway. In spite of filing two separate police reports and having proof, no one in the entire coop, management, or the board even as much as gave him a warning,” said Sinha. “Instead, I was told to not make a scene at the cost of my safety. If I were white, this would not be the case. How can I be assured that I will be protected so that I don’t have to live in fear? We need alternative infrastructures to ramp up anti-violent movements to better serve and protect minority communities.”

3. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the dangerous impact of wildlife trade and factory farms on public health. How will you limit the animal agriculture industry from causing another disease outbreak?

Experts suspect that the novel coronavirus arose from China’s wet wildlife markets which have been ripe for zoonotic diseases, like SARS. While the U.S. and the international community have called for an end to wet markets, we continue to rely on factory farming which is a breeding ground for pathogens that can jump from animal to human. Around 99 percent of America’s meat comes from animals living in tight, unsanitary conditions and are slaughtered in inhumane and dangerous ways.

“According to the CDC six out of every 10 infectious diseases in people are zoonotic. There is an abundance of research and evidence to support that direct contact and handling of animals is the leading cause of transmission. Not only do we need to establish controls around invading animal habitats but the global industrialized animal agriculture industry needs to be dismantled in order to avoid another major public health crisis,” said Sinha.

4. How will you help small businesses run by women of color?

Women, particularly women of color (WOC), have not had a fair shot at economic success and security. The barriers for small businesses run by WOC have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. WOC hold less wealth and earn less than men.

“As a minority woman of color running a small business, in addition to racial and social inequities, the access to resources, funders, relief, grants, and support ecosystems are far and few between. We are an untapped community and need expansion and creation of policies that will address our specific needs,” said Sinha.

5. How will hold fossil fuel companies accountable for pollution that disproportionately harms low-income communities of color?

Pollution caused by fossil fuel companies disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. High levels of pollution, flooding risks, and poor air quality worsen already-vulnerable communities. While environmental racism has become part of the mainstream conversation, after years of activists of color calling for change, it’s time to hold fossil fuel companies accountable.

Read more coverage of Biden’s climate planracial equity proposal, and agenda for women.

Sign this petition to demand secure vote-by-mail elections nationwide to ensure everyone can vote this November!

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#AskUsAnything2020: 5 Questions for Biden on Public Health, Racial and Gender Disparity and Environmental Justice

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