Interest Groups and Others React to the Third Presidential Debate

Statement by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner in response to last night’s presidential debate on foreign policy in Boca Raton and discussions of gender equality:
"Last night, we were delighted to hear that both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney strongly support gender equality for women in other nations.  Governor Romney's position took us by surprise, however, since he still won’t say whether he supports gender equality here in the United States, including such legislation as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Women and mothers have a lot at stake in this election and we’re paying attention to what the candidates say about the issues that most directly affect us and our families.  We’re concerned about providing for our families financially, making sure they have accessible health care, affordable child care, access to earned sick days, and that we have the ability to raise healthy, happy kids. We can only achieve all of these things if we receive equal pay for equal work.  

When women don't get equal pay for equal work, then our whole economy suffers. Women currently comprise half of the entire paid labor force and our economy is now mainly, for better or worse, built on consumer consumption. Women make three-quarters of those consumer purchasing decisions. So if women don't have funds to fuel our economy, then it hurts us all, men, women, businesses, and families alike.
During the debate, Governor Romney made an effort to appeal to women and get our votes - but if the Governor really wants women’s and mothers’ votes, he needs to tell us where he stands on fair pay for women in the United States.”
#  #  #  #  # is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable childcare, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination that penalizes so many others.  MomsRising also advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2012, named MomsRising’s web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the third year in a row.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
The Presidential Debate:  War, Peace and Mental Illness

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During the final presidential debate, in the war of words between President Obama and Governor Romney over U.S. foreign and military policy, there were three brief references to America's veterans.

Only once was traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) specifically mentioned.

"One of the terrible costs of war is mental illness," said Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). "It is part of the calculation every voter needs to make about war and peace."

"Too often, debate over Afghanistan and the Middle East or the defense budget occurs only in abstract terms. But it is also important to think about the human terms."

Earlier this year, NAMI released a special report Parity for Patriots: The Mental Health Needs of Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families, which outlined some of the human costs:
"The debates ignored important dimensions and distinctions about mental health care within broader issues," Fitzpatrick said. "That is not necessarily a surprise, but it still is a disappointment."

"The challenge between now and Election Day is for individuals and families affected by mental illness, and their friends, to keep working to raise mental health issues with congressional, state and local candidates and to encourage all voters to consider them in making decisions between candidates."

NAMI's non-partisan Mental Health Care Gets My Vote campaign advocates the following priorities:
About NAMI
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness.