Subjects to Debate

At RH Reality Check, Sarah Seltzer lists the questions she'd like to see answered at a "women's issues debate," covering topics ranging from the United States' unacceptably high infant and maternal mortality rates to whether the candidates consider contraception akin to abortion to asking McCain and Obama to name female role models. That got me thinking about other under-the-radar issues I'd like to see addressed at the debates. Here are a few:

1. Several American cities have HIV-infection rates as high as some African nations. In our nation's capital, one in twenty adults are HIV-positive. You've both supported PEPFAR, President Bush's legislation to combat AIDS in Africa. What efforts will you take to fight the disease here at home?

2. Eighty-five percent of Americans live in major metropolitan regions, and the vast majority of them own cars and drive them daily. Considering the challenges we face from global warming, should Americans be encouraged to drive less? And if so, how would you support building up our public transportation infrastructure and changing the physical layout of our communities to make them more pedestrian-friendly?

3. Do you support federal paid family and medical leave?

4. Almost two-thirds of African-American children attend schools that are "minority majority." About 40 percent of them learn in classrooms that are 90 to 100 percent black. In many major cities, only about five to 10 percent of public school students are white. Is this increasing racial and socioeconomic segregation a problem for American education and for our society? If so, how should we combat it?

5. What is your view on the future of Social Security?

cross-posted at TAPPED

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