These last few days have been interesting on so many levels. First the presidential race has kept the nation on tenterhooks. Closer to home the vote count for Proposition 14, to refunded CIRM, has been painstakingly slow (by the way, painstakingly means “with great care and thoroughness” for which we thank all the vote counters). But now, finally, happily, we have a verdict.
It was close, desperately so. In the end the Associated Press called the race with the count at 51% yes, to 49% no. You can understand why so many of us were so nervous for so long. But now we have something to celebrate.
As Jonathan Thomas, JD, PhD, the Chair of our Board said: “We are thrilled to see Proposition 14 approved by the voters of California. We are proud of what we have achieved so far – the cures and therapies we helped develop, the billions we brought into the state in additional investments, and the tens of thousands of jobs we created – and we look forward to continuing that work.
“We are honored by the trust the people of California have placed in us, and by the support of our extraordinary patient advocate community and by the many Chambers of Commerce around California who have all recognized our historic achievements.
“We are already working on ways to repay that trust and bring stem cell and regenerative therapies to all the people of this great state, particularly for communities that have traditionally been overlooked or underserved.”
In a news release on the Californians for Cures website, Bob and Danielle Klein, who led the Yes on 14 campaign, were understandably delighted:
“The success of Prop. 14 sends a clear message from California voters that one of the most important investments our state can make is in the future health of our families. Over the past decade, California has made incredibly thoughtful and impactful investments in developing stem cell therapies and cures for diseases and conditions like diabetes, cancer, blindness, Parkinson’s, paralysis and many more; now we know this progress and work to mitigate human suffering, restore health and improve the human condition will continue. A special thank you to California’s voters and our supporters in passing this critical measure. Today would not have been possible without our historically unprecedented coalition of patient advocate organizations and individuals – the heart and soul of this campaign – who worked tirelessly to overcome all obstacles and help secure a victory for patients and their families, and deliver hope to those searching for a cure for generations to come.”
To all of you who voted for us, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To all the people who worked so hard to get Prop 14 passed, thank you. We are indebted to you.
OK, gotta go. We have work to do.