Press Release  | 12/16/2002

Drug Treatment Initiative Supporters to Demonstrate at D.C. Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 17th at NOON

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D.C. Council Urged to Show Strong Support for Measure 62, Which Passed with 78 Percent of the Vote
Treatment Providers, Civil Rights Activists and Those in Recovery

Washington, D.C. -- Supporters of the recently passed D.C. initiative allowing for drug treatment instead of jail for certain non-violent offenders will gather at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania, NW) at noon on Tuesday, December 17 to bring attention to an important council meeting on the measure. Those in support of Measure 62, which passed by 78 percent of the vote in November, are demanding that the Council not serve as an obstacle to its successful and expedient implementation.

"The Council should listen to the people," said Opio Sokoni, Measure 62 implementation coordinator, pointing out that the initiative passed with high numbers in each ward. "They have an opportunity to bring this city together by demanding much needed treatment from Congress and preventing 78 percent of D.C. ballots from being dumped in the trash."

Specifically, Measure 62 supporters are urging the Council to:

  • fund Measure 62
  • show strong support for the funding & passage of Measure 62 in the U.S. Congress*
  • the Council should make sure that those parts of the measure that do not require funding are implemented
  • find ways to divert non-violent, low-level drug offenders into treatment rather than jail, as the Measure intended

Speakers at the demonstration on Tuesday, December 17 at NOON will include: Carmelita Witherspoon, D.C.'s "Mother of Recovery"; Angela Arboleda from the National Council of LaRaza, Jonathan Hutto from D.C.'s Statehood Green Party, Demetria McCain from D.C. Critical Resistance and attorney Opio Lumumba Sokoni.

Supporters have also been asked to call or e-mail their elected officials.

* Because D.C. is not a state, Congress has the opportunity to disapprove any local legislation.





Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 or Shayna Samuels at 212-613-8037

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