This week I learned about BlogHers Act from two MomsRising volunteers . BLOGHERS ACT is a year-long initiative by BlogHer.org (an association of 11,000+ women bloggers) to harness the incredible power of women online. This group intends to take on two initiatives: 1. Making a difference on a single global cause; and 2. Identifying the top four issues that women online want the U.S. Presidential candidates to address in order to win our votes in the ‘08 Election. The Announcement: http://blogher.org/node/20441
Sounds like my kind of initiative! So here is my post. Please consider posting comments to this blog post or on your own blog if you’ve got one. We have until Friday to let this large and extended community know what we think would be great issues for them to address next year.
The Global Issue: As a founder of MomsRising I propose that Global warming is the ultimate family issue. Parents think long term. I want my children to live in a world as beautiful or more beautiful than I do. We have scientific evidence abounding that we are putting our planet at risk. There is no doubt in my mind that we need to get serious now about correcting this problem. Some people argue about whether the evidence is strong enough to cause us to truly invest in doing things differently. My answer- “Would you allow your child to play Russian Roulette?” If the answer is “NO!” then the answer is clear. We can not take chances with our children and their children’s future.
4 presidential issues
1. Every presidential candidate should have family issues on his or her agenda this year and I think health care tops the list. Our families and our economy are struggling under the costs of health care at the same time the quality of our health care is diminishing. We are all at risk, even the wealthy, because our emergency services have so gravely undermined.
2. Candidates also need to face the fact that America does not support its families well. Our child mortality is 37th world wide according to the world health organization, even though we spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world. One contributor to the sad fact is our lack of paid family leave after the birth or adoption of a new child; or for a serious illness. Few Americans realize that out of 173 countries world wide, only 4 don’t have paid leave for new mothers. Those countries are- the U.S., Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and Liberia!
3. Speaking of health and social safety nets, the U.S. is also way behind in providing paid sick days for workers. All the other top 20 industrialized nations ensure that workers have paid sick days. We do not. And this means if we ever do have a serious flu in this country we are going to have a much harder time containing it because people that can’t take paid sick days will keep working because they need to feed their children.
4. Finally any good presidential candidate must work to make sure that children get the care they need. Quality child care is out of reach for too many parents and after school programs do not begin to cover the needs of our nation’s children. Most parents have to work and this means we have 40,000 kindergarteners home alone after school, in fact a total of 14 million children are unsupervised after school. We are not investing in the next generation and we are going to pay dearly for it in years to come.
Wouldn’t it be great if all these issues were front and center this coming year?! Use the comments below to say what issues you'd like this community to get behind for a year, and what four issues you want the presidential candidates to address in order to get your vote in the '08 election.
And remember, this is a year-long initiative with lots of potential to have an impact on big issues of importance to all of us here at MomsRising.