Monday, February 18, 2008

Capitol Hill Day
National Leadership Forum XVIII, Feb. 13, 2008
Safe Communities Coalition

Although 2008-09 will be the Safe Coalition's last potential year for federal funding under this particular Drug-Free Communities grant, advocacy for drug/violence prevention needs to remain on top of the agenda in Washington DC. If you've ever had a family member or friend succomb to the perils of this kind of devastation, you don't have to wonder why this is true.

We (members of the Safe Communities Coalition) marched on Capitol Hill again this year, as a reminder to Congress to keep the prevention money available to communities and coalitions across the nation. Even though next year will be our last year under this grant, we should not forget that coalitions just starting out still need this seed money to begin their community projects in regard to substance abuse.

At the CADCA Leadership Forum, we heard Dr. Drew Pinsky (Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew) speak about the myths of marijuana and stories of marijuana addictions. He talked passionately about the biggest marajuana myths...that it is not addictive, and that it is not a gate-way drug. Dr. Drew gave us first hand stories of young kids ruining their lives because of their belief in these lies. As a coalition, we will continue to educate the public about the truth surrounding these myths, and continue to work with those in this community who share similar missions. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our future generations.

We would like to thank all of you involved in making this community a safer and more responsible place to live. To all of the wonderful parents who stay involved, thank you! We appreciate the efforts of all members of the Safe Coalition, with special thanks to Santa Fe I.S.D., Hitchcock I.S.D., the city of Santa Fe, and the Mark Kilroy Foundation. Your support in our continuation of this effort will provide a better future for our wonderful youth.
As many of you know, the president has recommended severe budget cuts for most drug prevention and treatment programs in 2009. The Drug Free Communities Program is at the top of those cuts. We should do everything in our power as a coalition, to take charge and keep our own community clean, safe, and a grassroots level. Support local events, volunteer, make a difference! Contact if you would like to help by joining our coalition.
(above: Theresa Etzel and Gail Bixler-Thomas march on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, February 13, 2008)