網頁

星期五, 6月 16, 2017

Ben Chin for Mayor talking about opioid

Hey Folks-
 
            In case you missed it on facebook, one of our top volunteers, Kiernan, started talking to a woman this week about economic development and housing.  When he got to the opioid epidemic, she stopped him and sadly said, “That’s why I’m raising my granddaughter.”  That same night, I talked to a woman who lost her sister to an overdose.  Earlier in the week, I talked to a woman whose husband is in jail, separated from family, not getting the treatment or support he needs, because of a heroin addiction.  On average, someone overdoses every other week in Lewiston.  These deaths may not be on the front page of the paper, but they should.  It's our job to make that happen.
 
            If you or someone you love has been touched by addiction and has a connection to Lewiston, please write back and let me know. We are getting ready to roll out or policies around these important issues, and want to gather together as many personal stories as we can to make sure people understand how important it is to come together as a community on this issue.
 
            Also, if you have anything that you’ve been reading, or are connected to a smart person who knows best practices on this issue, please write back and send them my way.  I’ve been doing my best to research what cities across the country are up to.  Sadly, Lewiston has done very little.  I’d love to be connected resources or people that you think are insightful.  Of course, these policy options must move us away from the, failed, cruel “war on crime” and “war on drugs” approach that have disproportionately incarcerated black and brown people.  
 
And before well-meaning people write back to tell me that it’s too risky to appear to be “soft on crime,” let me assure you: come out with me and knock on doors.  It’s not the nineties anymore.  I’ve talked to hundreds of people about this issue, and the vast majority support a public health approach, not criminalization. It’s time to say what we believe.  (And donations help us get the message out there!)
 
            Unfortunately, when I do get pushback, it isn’t about jail.  People typically say those struggling with addiction should just die.  It’s awful.  On Monday night, for example, a woman told me she thought people struggling with addiction were “weak” and deserved to die, so they could be “weeded out.”  It boiled my blood.  I am so tired of the politics that divides the world into the worthy and the unworthy, the people who deserve life, and the people who don’t.  Believing in equality means recognizing that every human being has hopes and flaws, possesses beauty, and makes mistakes.  We all deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  At the core, our campaign is about making that point on as many issues in as many ways as possible.
 
            So write back and tell me if you are willing to share your experience, or if you’ve read anything recently that I should be thinking about.  And please donate!  We’re cranking through materials talking to voters and can use all the grassroots contributions we can get!
 
            Finally, as Kiernan said in his post, “It's easy to get wrapped up in the competition of politics, of who's up and who's down and who said what. We would do well to remember what's truly at stake when our government makes decisions, and fight with blazing determination to make a better world for everyone.”  Amen.
 
 
-Ben