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TRIBUTE TO DEBORAH OSAKUE
(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E753-E754]
                       TRIBUTE TO DEBORAH OSAKUE

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. PETE OLSON

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to interact with some of the 
brightest students in the 22nd Congressional District who serve on my 
Congressional Youth Advisory Council. I have gained much by listening 
to the high school students who are the future of this great nation. 
They provide important insight into the concerns of our younger 
constituents and hopefully get a better sense of the importance of 
being an active participant in the political process. Many of the 
students have written short essays on a variety of topics and I am 
pleased to share these with my House colleagues.
  Deborah Osakue is a senior at Hightowner High School in Fort Bend 
County, Texas. Her essay topic is: In your opinion, why is it important 
to be involved in the political process?

       Our constitution was framed according to the Lockean social 
     contract that government should have the ``consent of the 
     governed''. As an African American female, I know that people 
     have died and have spent their lives fighting to give me an 
     opportunity to participate in the American political process. 
     If I abstain from the political process, these people would 
     have fought and died in vain. I owe the likes of Susan B. 
     Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King the respect 
     of my participation in a democracy they toiled to create. The 
     American system of government gives its citizens one crucial 
     responsibility: to vote. Men and women have died on foreign 
     and domestic soil all so that I can be free. To abstain from 
     the democratic process is to spill their blood in contempt. 
     It is undeniable that the practice of gerrymandering has been 
     used to oppress minority voices. I know our political

[[Page E754]]

     process is not flawless, but I also know that it is my 
     responsibility to improve it.
       Mahatma Ghandi once said, ``You must be the change you wish 
     to see in the world.'' I am responsible for creating the 
     America of tomorrow. I must be involved in the political 
     process in order to do so. I grew up observing the disparity 
     between the quality of public education provided to students 
     of lower and higher income homes. I spend a good amount of 
     time each day watching the news and reading about what is 
     wrong with the world. According to Beyond ABC 2012, an 
     assessment of children's health, about eight percent of 
     children in the U.S. have no medical insurance but the 
     percentage of Texas children without medical insurance is 
     significantly higher at fourteen percent. According to the 
     National Institutes of Health, twenty percent of Americans 
     suffer from a diagnosable form of mental illness and yet the 
     problem of mental illness remains largely unscathed. These 
     problems will not simply fix themselves. It is up to me to 
     exercise my rights as a citizen to change my city, state and 
     nation for the better. If I do not make an effort to fight 
     for what I believe in, I cannot expect others to do so for 
     me.

                          ____________________




    

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