The 2020 Democratic presidential primary starts in earnest this week in Portland, with one private fundraiser and one public rally.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will be holding a private event July 8 alongside U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) to talk about fighting climate change. Andrew Yang will hold a rally in Pioneer Courthouse Square on July 13.
Neither candidate is expected to win the Democratic Party nomination, but they consider blue stronghold Portland important enough for an early stop as they try to build momentum.
Inslee has built his platform on climate change, claiming to be the only candidate who has a comprehensive plan to combat the threat. The tenets of his plan would include enhancing solar energy sources, electric cars and building wind turbines.
He first served on the House of Representatives and then served on Congress for 13 years prior to becoming the governor of Washington state. He's serving his second term as governor.
Inslee has cemented his place as one of President Donald Trump's ardent critics, publicly inveigling against the president for his stance on immigration, gun rights and bans on refugees entering the country.
Inslee will appear with Blumenauer at the Old Church in downtown Portland at 7 pm on July 8. Tickets are sold out.
Yang, who has built his image as a non-politician and as a savvy tech entrepreneur who touts his understanding of the economy, has built his platform on the threat that job automation poses to American workers. He claims that 4 million jobs have already been snatched by job automation, and that the worst is yet to come.
The policy idea that launched Yang into early recognition was his promise to provide a universal basic income of $1,000 monthly to every adult over the age of 18, paid for by technology companies who generate the most automated jobs. Yang is the founder of the company Venture For America, which trains entrepreneurs how to create and sustain jobs in major metropolitan cities.
Tech companies have recently supported the Democratic Party, but Yang's proposal to tax tech giants like Amazon and Google would put Silicon Valley companies in a difficult position as Yang asks them to compensate for the jobs lost to automation.
Yang is also one of three Democratic candidates to condemn an assault on a conservative journalist at a Portland protest last month.
Yang will appear in Pioneer Courthouse Square at 1 pm on July 13. The event is free.
Neither Inslee nor Yang has performed strongly in early national polls.
In most polls Yang has fluttered right around 1 percent support, and Inslee has reliably garnered less than 1 percent.