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Candy Crowley. Image via Wikipedia.

Great news yesterday!  FINALLY, after decades without a female moderator, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that a woman, Candy Crowley of CNN, would moderate one of the three nationally televised Presidential debates.  [1]

Woot!

*Click here to congratulate Candy Crowley on being the first woman in decades to moderate a televised presidential debate - AND while you're at it, submit a question for consideration for inclusion in the presidential debates.  Show politicians and pundits that it's time to take the issues of American moms and families seriously. 

http://action.momsrising.org/sign/candycrowley/

(Need ideas for debate questions to submit? Scroll down to get some sample questions.)

It's shocking to us that a woman hasn't moderated a presidential debate in over twenty years - and we're very excited that this "dry spell" is over.  However, the fact that a woman is moderating a presidential debate is far from a guarantee that the top issues for moms and families across the nation will be included in the debate discussions. And further, the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the lineup of presidential debate moderators is woefully inadequate because all of our perspectives are needed to keep America moving forward.  [2]

Our voices are needed.  Why?  Because while there's a lot of talk by pundits and politicians about how critical the "mom vote" is this election cycle, too often our priorities are ignored or trivialized on the center stage of politics.  For example, a Politico Pro story about the presidential campaigns' newest advertising tactics reported yesterday about increased political TV ad buys targeting moms. While it's great to be recognized as critical voters, being the target for ads means little if candidates don’t speak to the central issues that matter to all moms and families.  Millions of moms are interested in core economic issues that are based on facts like:

  • Childcare now costs more than college in many states,
  • A quarter of families with young children are living in poverty,
  • We remain one of the only nations in the world without paid family leave after a new child arrives,
  • Our toxic chemical laws are decades old,
  • Our health care is continually under threat of being rolled back,
  • We still don't get equal pay for equal work, and more.

Women and families are facing unique and critical challenges now and in the years ahead.  We need to send a loud and clear message that women's votes can't be captured just by targeting us through ad buys during an election season [2] -- and our priority issues shouldn't be compartmentalized in separate silos away from the main political conversation. Instead, we expect thorough and thoughtful consideration of the top issues that impact us, so we can make educated decisions this election.

After all, "women's issues" are everyone's issues, and are critical to our nation's economic success.

*Congratulate Candy Crowley on being named a moderator of a presidential debate by signing on to our card for her-- AND, if you have a moment, help broaden the discussion in our nation by submitting your question to the Presidential debate TODAY so the questions of mothers and families are included in the upcoming presidential debates. Forward this email now to friends and friend's friends so they can help broaden the discussion too.

http://action.momsrising.org/sign/candycrowley/

Our voices are too important to be left out of the debates.  Over 80% of American women have children by the time they are forty-four years old, and women make up more than half the electorate.   Three-quarters of moms are now in the labor force; with more than half serving as primary breadwinners for their families.

Yet many of the issues that we face each day are still missing from the national debate, issues like how we're going to pay for escalating childcare that can cost more than college, how we can take care of our kids when we (or they) get sick, and what's going to happen when we make less for the same job as a man and still need to pay the same mortgage or rent.

Issues like these are also top of mind for the majority of people in our nation, so please connect with friends today to give them this link so they can submit their questions too.

Together, we are a powerful force.  Women are active an engaged unlike ever before: With over 90% of women online, and more than 36 million women active either writing or reading blogs, moms are paying attention. [3] If the candidates are going to target moms with advertising, let’s hope they do more than just buy time on the right shows.  Let’s hope they talk about the issues that matter.

*Here's that link again for you to share with friends so they can thank Candy Crowley and even submit a question for consideration at the debate too: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/candycrowley/

With a quarter of families who have young children living in poverty, and an economic crunch, these issues must be in the spotlight with all the rest.

***

Need debate question ideas? Here are some sample questions you may want to cut & paste into our debate question form.

* Right now, the birth of a child is a top cause of a "poverty spell" in America, and 1/4 of families with young children are living in poverty. Do you support a policy to provide paid family and medical leave to parents following birth or adoption of a new child?

* Nearly 1/2 of all full-time, private sector workers in the U.S. have no paid sick days. Do you support a policy to provide paid sick days for workers to use when they or their children get sick?

* In most American families, both parents work outside the home--and in some states childcare costs more than college.  Please tell us what your administration would do to help parents secure excellent, affordable childcare?

* Studies show that moms are paid 73 cents and single moms are paid about 60 cents to the dollar for doing the exact same job as men. Do you support the Paycheck Fairness Act?

[1] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/13/cnns-crowley-to-be-first-woman-in-two-decades-to-moderate-presidential-debate/

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/presidential-debate-moderators-white-diversity_n_1775147.html

[3] http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/101449/


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