Friday, September 28, 2018
Citizen Action and SOPHIA/WISDOM attend national conference on addiction
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizing Director Angelique Rogers and SOPHIA Youth Activist Maria Barajas represented Wisconsin this week at Community Catalyst’s 2018 Gathering for Action on Addiction in Atlanta. The convening included structured roundtable conversations in which participants from across the country harnessed their collective energy and expertise to address current challenges for substance use disorders advocacy. Some of the discussion topics included the latest developments across the country grounded in the work on youth prevention, treatment and recovery support, and diversion of people with substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system to appropriate community services.
Starting in the 1990s, pharmaceutical corporations fueled an opioid epidemic which continues to spiral out of control. Fortunately, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that substance addiction is a medical condition that can be addressed through prevention, early detection, and treatment. The advances in our scientific understanding of addiction mean it is within our power to respond effectively to the opioid epidemic, and the ravages of drug and alcohol addiction generally, with a public health response similar to how we counter an outbreak of flu or measles.
The War on Drugs has fueled racial inequality and oppression while doing nothing to address substance addiction in our urban areas. Now that the opioid epidemic has spread rapidly in the white community, Wisconsin policymakers have doubled down on the failed War on Drugs which inappropriately responds to substance addiction as a criminal justice issue, increasing addiction while fueling mass incarceration. In Wisconsin, there has been a 600% increase in opioid overdose deaths since 2000, and the number of people incarcerated has more than doubled since 1995. The drug war approach, which has targeted communities of color in urban areas for half a century, is now fueling the rise in overdose and incarceration of economically distressed rural communities as well.
Day in and day out, we’re facing threats to social justice and to moving our agendas forward. Responding with a proactive agenda is tough, but we can do it. Stay tuned for more information about Citizen Action’s Youth Substance Use Prevention campaign and how you can get involved in 2019.
Citizen Action Co-op Members Gathering to Fight for Healthcare-for-All!
This week, events and meetings were scheduled in Milwaukee’s Walker Point neighborhood, Brookfield, Thiensville, Franklin, at Milwaukee’s Zablocki library and more to plan through how we will build a momentum to ensure BadgerCare is an option for all! Members in Brookfield discussed a new pathway that shows how the next Governor of Wisconsin could create a state-based version of Medicare-for-All through available federal funds without needing to ask permission from the Trump Administration! Health professionals in Milwaukee spoke to the importance of informing our coworkers and patients about the importance of registering to vote, and the dates that one could early vote! We all agreed, no matter where we lived, to make a difference we need to support progressive candidates for office! To get active in Southeastern WI, reach out to Kevin Kane at Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org!
North Central Members Get Out for State Legislative Races
North Central Organizing Co-op members have been actively volunteering for Citizen Action endorsed candidates in the region, including phone banking, postcard writing, and canvassing.
All endorsed candidates could use some help making calls, knocking doors and distributing yard signs. Please look below to help a state legislative race in your district or call Joel Lewis at 715-551-2525 to see how you can help Citizen Action’s endorsed candidates win on November 6th! As a reminder, early voting should have opened this week in most areas.
Bailando con Acción Fundraiser on September 23rd
Accion Ciudadana held a fundraiser on September 23rd where 17 different dancing groups performed. Thanks for everyone for coming and participating.