Greetings from your Inter-Chapter Collaboration Committee! We are excited to share our progress with the SSDP family. The minutes from the September ICC call can be found here. All SSDPers are invited to join the committee by joining our Slack.
SSDP Mission Statement Revision: Resolution at Conference
Earlier this year, board member James Gould ‘15 suggested revisions to SSDP’s mission statement. The Board ultimately decided that this type of decision rests in the hands of our members. The Board’s commentary can be found in this document, and we invite members to share their thoughts as well. These considerations will culminate in a Resolution brought before the entire organization at our next conference in Baltimore, MD.
People for Sensible Drug Culture (PSDC)
PSDC seeks to meet our non-student peers where they’re at by entering community cultural spaces to connect individuals interested in drug culture to policy reform, harm reduction, and the Psychedelic Renaissance to SSDP and related ally organizations.
The PSDC x Be Interactive campaign officially launched on August 15, 2019, at Be Interactive’s benefit show in Nashville. Since then, SSDP promoted the PSDC campaign at Bass Center over Labor Day weekend. We gathered 80 PSDC sign-ups and were honored to be featured in Be Interactive’s Instagram story. PSDC’s current campaign encourages people to vote for “addiction” as the next Be Interactive grant theme. Voting is continuous, and themes are selected at the beginning of each financial quarter, so we anticipate grant theme announcements in October and then again in January. If “addiction” is identified as a grant theme, PSDC will apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to support our 2020 mission to center drug policy in the minds of candidates, politicians, and the electorate as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the War on Drugs.
The PSDC x Be Interactive campaign has been shared within the DanceSafe chapter leadership network, and we have reached out to SSDP chapter leaders about the campaign. As of mid-September, our outreach campaign strategy has been streamlined with the addition of a PSDC Phone2Action campaign. Transitioning to Phone2Action addresses some of our most pressing communication challenges, including the inevitability of social media noise and our peers’ inattention to email. Phone2Action capitalizes on the immediacy of direct outreach by simplifying the voting process and encouraging direct sharing of personal information. PSDC x Be Interactive will continue to grow organically this summer, followed by an email blast in October, and a social media push in November.
Imagine Music Festival is the next event hosting the PSDC x Be Interactive campaign. PSDC collaborated with Snowzilla Arts to create promotional materials for the campaign, and we are so excited to share our heartbee with you <3. Snow will be live painting over the weekend at Imagine, and the Georgia DanceSafe chapter will sell raffle tickets as a fundraiser. Artists interested in donating their skills to People for Sensible Drug Culture are invited to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other upcoming events include Lost Lands, Resonance, Hulaween, FreakStyle, and New Year’s Eve 360.
US 2020 Elections
The 2020 US Elections Working Group seeks to center drug policy and harm reduction in political conversations amongst presidential candidates, politicians, and the US electorate.
The 2020 US Elections Working Group is sending an SSDP delegation to attend the Iowa Harm Reduction Summit, which will include a Democratic presidential candidate forum titled “The Opioid Crisis in America.” This is a powerful opportunity to get candidates on the record on a broad range of harm reduction and drug policy elements, and we look forward to sharing our experience after the event.
The working group is developing a comprehensive strategy for the 2020 elections. We intended to develop a platform that includes policies that define an end to the War on Drugs.. Inspired by the five-point plan developed by the Drug Policy Alliance to #EndOverdose in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, members of the committee are seeking ways to work with DPA in making drug policy reform a key issue in the 2020 U.S. elections.
Defining a landmark platform to end the War on Drugs in 2020 is a powerful organizing strategy which is highly aligned with the sense of political revolution in the air. If this direction is pursued, SSDP’s campus and community organizing capacities will prove instrumental in mobilizing young people for political engagement in 2020. This strategy can also be scaled down to be relevant to federal Congressional races, state-level Congressional races, and even local political races. We are in the process of adapting the On the Record campaign toolkit to include a guide for collecting information from politicians using social media. We intend for this to be completed by the beginning of December.
RAMCOT (Resource Assessment and Manual/Community Organizing Toolkit)
The RAMCOT working group will collaborate on updating SSDP’s resources as well as create new ones to increase accessibility and support our members in organizing and activism. The group also researches ways to appeal to as many learning styles as possible in the development of the resources. DePaul University chapter president and working group lead Evan Hazlett detailed RAMCOT’s developmental process and goals in this blog.