Thursday, October 18, 2007

State Debt for Cancer Reasearch

On the November 6th ballot, there will be Proposition 15, "a $3 billion bond proposal that would create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to distribute as much as $300 million a year for a decade." The Austin American Statesman Article, State asks voters to boost cancer research funding, states that Scientists and doctors say, that with more research, patients will be able to be tested for cancer with a simple blood test, long before the cancer grows. Also, they will be able to personalize treatment for each patient, rather than chemotherapy, the only option currently. Such early detection would increase the chances of survival, and personalized treatment would be much less harsh and more effective. All that is needed is money for research.

There are some critics of the proposition. They believe that the state shouldn't have to go into debt for this research. Senator Kevin
Eltife said, "I think it's wrong to borrow $3 billion and saddle future generations with having to pay that back when we have cash in the bank." I believe that the research is more important than the future generation's debt. The research would directly affect their lives. It would allow them to not have to suffer as many people before them had to. Don't you think that's worth the debt? Don't you think that they will think it was worth the debt?

The other criticism is that other diseases need research, also, why cancer? Heart disease kills more people than cancer. Though, as the article points out, cancer kills many more younger people. Also, there are some preventative measures a person can take against heart disease, in most cases. With cancer, though, sometimes a person can be in perfect health, and take care of themselves, but they still develop cancer. Too many people suffer from cancer, and if we are that close to these developments, why not give research a little boost? Cut the research time down, that research could save a loved one.

Children develop cancer. It's a tragedy to loose a young life to something that may be preventable! They didn't do anything wrong to get it, it is just something that happens. It is a terrible way to die, or a terrible way to live. Chemotherapy is so painful and debilitating, and if there is a way that a person wouldn't have to go through that pain, I believe we should work to find it. Maybe it's because I lost both of my grandfathers to cancer, but for everyone, I think the proposition should be approved.

Also, the research is so encompassing that it could also benefit other research as well. What the scientists discover could lead to cures or some type of developments for other diseases. So I just want to say, Vote. I think it's worth it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

High School Students Working the Polls

In this year's legislation session, a bill that would allow 16 and 17 year old students to work as election clerks died. Students who are not yet old enough to vote would be trained and allowed to work and participate in elections.

I believe this is a great idea. Many students are excited about voting while they are taking government in high school, but are still too young to vote. They should be allowed to participate in some way, which may help the students to keep their interest. Only forty-two percent of 18 - 29 year old people voted in Texas. We ranked 46th in that category! There are only 50 states. That is ridiculous. I believe allowing students to participate and see what it is all about would encourage them to be more involved in their government. I was 16, turning 17 the day after the last presidential election, I was also taking government in High School at that time. My teacher really made the entire class feel that they needed to vote and be involved. I'm sure many of us would have volunteered to work at the polls. Maybe extra credit could even be offered. Or it could be a class project.

The only thing that I disagree with that was proposed is that the students will be required to work for graduation credit. The election only happens once every two years; there are too many problems that could go wrong with that.

One other point that was brought up in the article is that most of the people working those positions right now are elderly people. Once we loose that part of the population, there may not be enough volunteers to run the polls. Introducing students early is a good idea to ensure there will still be people who will volunteer in the future.

I hope this issue is brought up again in the next legislation as it is promised. Students need to realize the importance of voting. That's the only way we can change the government to pay attention to what we want and need, to what our issues are.

I found this article on the Austin American Statesman Website: