Seventh and Eighth Graders Prepare for State Capital Meetings

Andres David Lopez
Yesterday, we came together for our Upper School Activism Assembly. Student leaders presented data on drug abuse, provided context on the war on drugs, shared about harm reduction strategies, and encouraged brainstorming.

Students introduced us to the work of OnPoint NYC which offers harm reduction services in East Harlem and Washington Heights.

Nassim collaborated with seventh and eighth graders on a letter about how New York can better address the root causes of substance use disorders and overdoses in the state. Soon, students will distribute their letter and take the signatures they collect with them to Albany on May 14 for meetings with elected officials.

Our student leaders identified proposed legislation they want to support, including the Safer Consumption Services Act, which is a bill to establish an authorization process for overdose prevention centers to open and operate. The bill is sponsored by State Senator Gustavo Rivera, chairman of the New York State Senate Health Committee, who represents the Bronx.

Our two partner organizations, VOCAL-NY and the Drug Policy Alliance, are excited to go with us to Albany.

“In fact, the Drug Policy Alliance paid for the bus for us to go up,” Nassim said. “They're really thrilled with what the kids are saying … So, I think the students should be really proud that two of the top organizations in the field are really excited about what they're seeing and want to work with them.”
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