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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with supporters at an event kicking off his 2020 presidential campaign. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee believes his state, with its robust tech industry and progressive policies, should be a model for the rest of the country.

He made the case for what he frequently calls “The Washington Way” Friday at an event in Seattle where he announced his 2020 presidential campaign. Inslee boasted about Washington’s innovation economy, paid family and medical leave, minimum wage, and net neutrality protections.

“We’ve made these progressive advances, and many more, while building the top economy in the nation, and this has offered a glimpse for the nation of what is possible in all 50 states,” Inslee said Friday. “So if America wants to see a Washington that actually works, look west to Washington state.”

Climate change is the centerpiece of Inslee’s campaign and during his announcement speech, he stressed that it’s an issue with consequences that extend far beyond the environment.

Gov. Inslee laughs with his wife, Trudi Inslee, following his 2020 announcement. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

“The fastest growing job in the nation is a solar installer,” he said. “Number two? Wind turbine technician. Climate change is not more important than the economy. It is the economy.”

Inslee’s agenda got a boost Friday when the Washington State Senate passed a bill mandating all electrical utilities to transition to 100 percent carbon neutral sources by 2030.

At the federal level, Inslee outlined four goals during his speech: Transition the economy to run on 100 percent renewable, carbon-free energy; create jobs by investing in clean energy; protect communities particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change; and end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

“I know we can do it because we are an optimistic America that can do big things,” Inslee said. “We put a man on the moon. We created the digital economy. Now I am calling on Americans to engage in a new national mission, a mission to fight climate change.”

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