Friday, October 26, 2007

What Every Other Candidate is Afraid to Talk About: SEX

I think it's safe to say that not one person running for office in this city has even mentioned the dreaded 3-letter word during this election; SEX. Despite what has happened in this city during the last 4 years, I could only assume that it isn't something they either feel comfortable talking about, or something that they feel isn't an issue.

It is, and I just want to point out why it is an issue.

In 2004, one out of 12 teenage girls in the city of Philadelphia had Chlamydia. The result was a massive outbreak in our cities high school of multiple STD outbreaks. Despite this, there is still a lack of overall good sexual education in our public high schools and the availability of free condoms to promote safe sexual health is lacking.

Despite the fact that there are 10 clinics run by the Philadelphia Health Care Center, only 2 of them offer STD testing.

There is no federal website informing citizens of STD rates in Philadelphia, or just what STD's are around. If there is, they've made it incredibly difficult to find!

In my platform, and when I'm elected, I plan on reforming this and making sure that Philadelphia becomes a national leader in safe sexual health! To simply ignore our most basic instinct and to hope it works itself out is not going to work.

1. In order to help stop the spread of STD's in the Philadelphia among not only our youth but also our adults, I will start by funding OPERATION: SAFE SEX. Free condoms will be given out at high schools, colleges, all government buildings, and will be given to any business requesting them. And business willing to hand out the free condoms will be given a small tax break.

2. There are 10 clinics run by the Philadelphia Health Care Center, and only 2 of them offer STD testing. When elected, we will make sure that all clinics have specialized treatment in STD testing and treatment. This will encourage more people to be screened and tested!

3. The City of Philadelphia will have a mandatory Sex Education course in all Philadelphia High Schools, with no one being allowed to miss it. All students will be taught the basics of human sexuality, encouraged to practice abstinence, and taught about both proper use of condoms and other contraceptives, as well as STD's that can result of unprotected sex. This will give teenagers a fair and balanced look at sex and allow them to make what they consider to be the proper choices in their lives regarding their own personal sexuality. In addition to that, all students will be given mandatory classes on how to properly raise a child.

4. Currently, the Philadelphia does not have much in terms of information about STD's in the City of Philadelphia, and very little to help educate citizens of STD's. We need a web site that has information and reports about reported STD's in both high schools, colleges, and the overall health of Philadelphia.

All of these measures are NOT to encourage sex out of wedlock, and they are NOT here to encourage people to have sex. Myself? I am not afraid to admit that, yes, I am a virgin. I went to Catholic School for 13 years, and I never received what I consider a proper education in terms of sexual health. It is because of this that I want to educate all high school students on proper sexual health.

We can not always rely on parents to do this job. Sex is one of the most difficult topics to discuss, but it is essentially a basic human function. We need to encourage those in this city who are most at risk and most likely to have unprotected sex to learn ways to protect themselves, their partners, and everyone else.

Without a doubt, what I want is controversial; not everyone is comfortable with having condoms in high schools, let alone a mandatory class in Sexual Health. I am the man who fights against the government telling us how to live, and that they are here to be a safety net. In essence, that is exactly what this is. The education is to teach everyone what sexual reproduction is and what it means. It is to educate teenagers of the risks involved in sex, and to encourage them to practice abstinence, but to ensure that they learn proper sexual health in the case they fall.

My policy is here to help, not legislate, sexual health in the City of Philadelphia.

This is a platform developed by talking to educators, parents, high school students, college students, and countless members of the community. I believe this is the best way tackle this issue, and I sincerely hope you will all join me in this.

I thank you very much for your time, and I sincerely hope you have a wonderful and productive day!

-Larry West

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