• “For my daughters, for my family”

    Dear Mr. President,

    I live in the Tampa Bay area. Last week I watched in disbelief as the Republican party put forth an official platform that would take us back in time two generations. It might as well have been a convention year when my grandmother was my age, rather than 2012.

    I am the proud mother of three young daughters. Like any parent, my dream—my deepest conviction, actually—has always been that the world will be wide open to them and they will have any opportunity available. But lately, it seems like there are people who think that isn't a worthy goal for women and girls today. Too often, I read about another politician—almost always male—who has said something right out of the 1950s. What kind of message is being sent to my daughters when these are the people who will help determine whether or not my girls have control over their own bodies, whether or not higher education is financially available to them, and whether they will grow up in a severely diminished economic climate, if our reliance on environmentally harmful methods will make their water too dirty to drink and their air too filthy to breathe? Parents often take for granted that they will be leaving a better world with more opportunities to their children, and in the case of young women, there are additional concerns.

    Now it seems I am raising my girls in a world where their access to things as commonplace as contraceptives—something that I never worried about obtaining—is in jeopardy. And how will my girls go forward into the world if the possibility of college is questionable because of how expensive it is? How will they grow up to see themselves when there are far too many politicians who don't even trust them to be responsible for their own bodies?

    For my daughters, for my family, and for America's future, you have my vote, President Obama.

    —Erin, Florida

    Central Florida FL