It Took 20 Years — and Three Intrepid High School GirlsAugust 17, 2012
Two weeks ago, three young women from New Jersey trekked to Washington, D.C., to deliver more than 120,000 petition signatures. The petition called for the Commission on Presidential Debates to name a female debate moderator for this year’s election. The girls were motivated to act after learning in their high school civics class that it had been 20 years since a woman had moderated a presidential debate. Even though the commission shut them out when they tried to deliver the signatures, the girls were ultimately successful in their campaign. On Monday, the commission announced that CNN Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley will moderate the second debate, which is planned for Tuesday, October 16, at Hofstra University in New York.
AAUW welcomes the commission’s decision to break the streak of male presidential debate moderators, and we once again applaud the three students — Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis — for embracing their civic duty to be involved in conversations about today’s important issues. These students aren’t yet old enough to vote, but they already understand the power of their voices.
I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what these young women come up with next. If the events of these last few weeks are any indication, we can expect a lot from Emma, Sammi, and Elena. Maybe one day, 20 years from now, we’ll see one of them on that debate stage asking the questions — or even answering them.