The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
To kick off the iReport Debate – an invitation for you to let the decision-makers know what issues matter to you most – we reached out to some folks in our community who regularly sound off on politics: our former iReport Pundits of the Week! We wanted to find out their top issues in the coming election, and the answers spanned the spectrum.
Former iReport Pundit Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, has long rallied for health care on iReport, so it’s no surprise that it's his top issue this election. The Obama supporter is passionate about health care because his wife has Lupus.
"We have always had to jump through hoops to get insurance. … Presently my family has three policies: A high risk policy for my wife, a catastrophic policy for my daughter and myself, and a student health care policy for my daughter. While so far I have been able to afford insurance continuously, many cannot and the numbers reflect that," he explained.
In the past few years, Jannet Walsh has been laid off twice. Now, the Murdock, Minnesota, resident is coming back from unemployment but launching her own photography business. Her experiences with unemployment are exactly why she says a "strong economy" is her top issue for this election.
"If we solve the problems employment for our nation, many our nation's problems will be solved, or at least be on the way to a real recovery, meaning employment, and the hope of a bright future," she said.
Former iReport Pundit of the Week Mary Helen Yarborough says energy is her top issue because it "affects everybody." The Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, resident talked about how it affects everything from personal budgets to commerce and industry to even “our nation’s sovereignty,” she said.
"It is difficult for me to afford filling my gas tank," she shared. "And I have noticed more and more people stranded on roadsides with a fuel container nearby. That's telling. People are so strained that most can't afford to fill their cars to the point that they are vulnerable."
One day, he traveled from a public school in the poorest part of Washington to a private school in the richest part of the city.
"The disparities I saw in that one day are seared in my mind," he shared. "I went from the public school, where there were holes in the ceiling, students were sharing books, eating bad foods in the cafeteria, and there were no foreign language or arts programs, to the private school, where the students were eating vegan hot dogs on fine china and of course, the facilities were amazing."
"I asked myself: 'How are the kids in my neighborhood really supposed to compete academically with these students?'" he added.
We'd like to hear from you too. Tell us your top issue in the coming election and explain why you’re passionate about it. Whether the commentary comes in the form of a short video or some thoughtful prose, add your voice to the iReport Debate.
The key issue is money and corporate rule. The likes of the Koch brothers and their self serving agenda (to them and all the rich) is a threat to all other issues and then other 99% of us. In regards to those writing about the debt., I would ask where were they during the Bush years? When on the second to last month of his watch (announces "We need a 800 billion dollar bailout - we are on the brink of a world wide depression.") And the republican's instead of caring about fixing it, become obstructionists. Congress needs to lose all their benefits, and be barred from all corporate influence. President Obama can not fix all that is wrong in one term, money has been fighting him from the beginning. But Obama is a far better choice in regards to concern for the middle class, elderly, children, sick, and anyone not in the 1%.
Sure!!! Lets just continue to ignore the 15 Trillion Dollar public Debt, Lets just continue to ignore the undeclared unsustainable wars!! But instead lets concentrate on NON Federal Issues like Energy and Education and HealthCare!! When the hell is Ireport just going to admit that they either dont know or just dont care about what the constitution says that the Federal Government is and is not supposed to handle!! I am getting pretty damn sick and tired of everyone ignoring the obvious elephant in the room when it comes to this nation's TRUE cause of our problems which lie in Trillion dollar deficit spending and a government that is WAY out of Constitutional Bounds
Legalize and tax marijuana! Or get rid of alcahol and nicotine since they are much more dangerous to everyone.
We should stop being so serious about our politics - as they say laughter is the best medicine. How many of us baby boomers will be sent to the hospital due to high blood pressure - thinking its all or nothing of who wins the Presidency. Second, we should see the beautiful things in life - it will help us obtain better health. I have heard exercising, walking and biking, outdoors, is the best way to manage your weight. Sunshine in moderation can prevent many diseases. This is due to elevated levels of vitamin D created in your body from that sunshine; especially if you exercise outdoors. Third, I have read if we had the obesity rate of that of 1980, millions of new jobs could be created. Perhaps, if we stop being so serious and start moving; we all will obtain better health. No matter who wins the Presidency...
• I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world — millions of despairing men, women and little children — victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say — do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed — the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes — men who despise you — enslave you — who regiment your lives — tell you what to do — what to think or what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!
Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St. Luke it is written: "the Kingdom of God is within man" — not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power — the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!
We are a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy... Big Difference!
First we need to get Obama out of office so we do not lose our freedom. OBAMA'S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE HAS EVIDENCE OF FORGERY. So WE MUST FIRE HIM! and give the job to an eligible and more honest applicant.
Obama is the first President in history to drive up a record debt Our troops in Afghanistan need to pull out because they are losing the harts and minds of the Afghan people.
My disapointment in the GOV. grows each day.Candidates spread too much smutt towards eachother.I have had it with the candidates tearing this country down spreading anger,hate,which is a growing epidemic that has no place during elections.Stop the B.S. and be the politions of yesteryear.Just read politions asking for VETS to step forward and vote. You think most of us trust you all well YOU THINK WRONG. I have changed my mind (it may rub alot of people the wrong way) BUT All the candidates make me sick.they can all jump off the nearest cliff and make room for someone who LISTENS to us.I want to see our candidates get to brass tacks Governing this great country.Swallow all hateful words and actions and GET THIS COUNTRY BACK TO A COUNTRY WE CAN BE PROUD OF AGAIN. notmy1rodeo.