fresh voices from the front lines of change








Priscilla Robinson

The Numbers We Need To End Our Overdose Crisis

Governor Murphy just told us fewer New Jerseyans died last year from preventable overdoses than the year before. That’s good news. But we agree with Governor Murphy that 3,021 lives lost is not a number to celebrate. Because each of these lives was a mother, a father, a daughter or a son. We can, and must, do more to save lives in our state. We share the Governor’s belief that a “targeted, evidence-based and data-driven, whole-of-government” approach to the overdose crisis is the best one. But the treatments that have been proven to save lives are still out of reach for the majority of those who need them in New Jersey. Experts agree that the Medically Assisted Treatments (MAT) that ease addiction – like buprenorphine, also known as suboxone, and methadone – save lives. Yet they also know that New Jersey has a problem connecting people to this gold standard of care: only a handful of those who need MAT in New Jersey have access to it. We appreciate Governor Murphy’s call to establish an Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency. New Jersey communities impacted by addiction are also calling for increased transparency and accountability about how the state is addressing the opioid crisis – specifically, by tracking access to evidence-based public health interventions that prioritize saving lives and reducing harm and increasing funding, so any New Jerseyan anywhere has access to evidence-based interventions. "The numbers we need to see are huge increases in the number of people who have access to MAT and other life-saving services.” says Cheyenne Springer, a recovery coach and member of New Jersey Resource Project. In 2020, The NJRP will launch a statewide tour of those communities most impacted by our opioid crisis to educate and inform community members and leaders on how to get to the numbers we truly need to save lives.

House Presents Articles Of Impeachent

House formally notifies Senate of impeachment articles against Trump. LA Times: "With a solemn procession through the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, the House took the final, formal steps to pave the way for the third presidential impeachment trial in the nation’s history. But even before Thursday’s swearing-in ceremonies could get underway, freshly appointed House managers were predicting that newly released evidence against President Trump — with more possibly to come — would complicate Republican hopes of reaching a speedy conclusion. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) told The Times he expects new evidence to come out during the course of the Senate trial, adding a possible element of surprise to the proceedings. 'There’s going to be new evidence coming out all the time. And if this is conducted like a fair trial, then that new evidence should be admitted. If it’s relevant, if it’s probative, if it sheds light on the guilt or innocence of the president, then it should be admitted,' Schiff said.

Parnas Confirms Trump, Giuliani Scheme To Target Ambassador

Giuliani associate Parnas says Trump 'knew exactly what was going on'. NBC: "Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, says, 'President Trump knew exactly what was going on.' 'He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials,' Parnas, who faces campaign finance charges, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Wednesday night. 'I mean, they have no reason to speak to me. Why would President Zelenskiy's inner circle or Minister Avakov or all these people or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that's the secret that they're trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,' Parnas said."

VA Governor Declares State Of Emergency After White Supremacist Threats

Virginia governor declares state of emergency ahead of gun rights rally. NYT: "Bracing for the possibility of violence ahead of a rally to protest efforts to enact sweeping new gun control measures in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and announced a temporary ban on weapons on the grounds of the State Capitol. Thousands of protesters are expected to converge in Richmond on Monday to oppose a series of proposed restrictions on gun purchases expected to be taken up in the coming weeks by the Virginia Legislature, where Democrats control both chambers and the governor’s office for the first time in a generation. The governor said on Twitter that the authorities had identified credible 'threats of violence,' including from out-of-state militia groups and hate groups that planned disruptions. He said the authorities had also found extremist rhetoric online similar to what had been seen in 2017 before the Charlottesville rally, when white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in a deadly fight over the removal of Confederate monuments. 'Three years ago, Virginia and the nation watched horrified as civil protest was marred by violence and hate,' Mr. Northam said in his emergency declaration, adding, 'We must take all precautions to prevent that from ever happening again.'"

Judge Blocks Trump Plan For Local Officials To Reject Refugees

Judge Blocks Trump's Executive Order Allowing Local Officials To Reject Refugees. NPR: "A federal judge in Maryland has blocked the Trump administration's executive order allowing state and local governments to turn away refugees from resettling in their communities. In September, President Trump announced that groups that help refugees find places to live must first get written consent from local and state jurisdictions before resettling them. Immigration advocates challenged the executive order in federal court, calling it cruel and shortsighted. U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte said the executive order 'does not appear to serve the overall public interest.' In his 31-page opinion issued Wednesday, he wrote that the order gives states and local governments 'the power to veto where refugees may be resettled — in the face of clear statutory text and structure, purpose Congressional intent, executive practice, judicial holdings and Congressional doctrine to the contrary.' Messitte's ruling is a preliminary injunction, putting on hold enforcement of Trump's refugee resettlement order."

Progressives Urge Unity In Primaries And Beyond

Progressive groups urge Sanders-Warren unity to defeat corporate Democrats in primary—and then Donald Trump. Common Dreams: "The heads of six progressive advocacy organizations—some that have endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, some backing Sen. Bernie Sanders, and others who have remained neutral thus far—issued a joint statement calling for unity among the two candidates and their supporters on Thursday morning, arguing that the largest beneficiaries of this week's dust-up between the two campaigns are establishment Democrats, corporate defenders of the status quo, and ultimately President Donald Trump. The statement (which can be read in full below) was signed by the heads of Democracy for America, Our Revolution,, Sunrise Movement, Working Families Party, and Justice Democrats. It argues that the a best chance for progressives in the United States to defeat Trump 'does not lie with an establishment or corporate Democrat,' but rather with unified progressive front. While Our Revolution, RootsAction, and Sunrise are all openly backing Sanders, the Working Families Party has officially endorsed Warren. Justice Democrats and Democracy for America, meanwhile, have yet to throw their support behind any of the 2020 primary candidates in the Democratic field. Despite the divergent approaches to the primary, the groups called for unity to ensure that Trump is defeated in November and that a truly transformative and progressive vision can take hold. According to the joint statement, 'the surest way to defeat Trump is for the Democratic Party to nominate either Warren or Sanders, as these are the candidates best able to energize voters by providing a vision of a decent society and a fair economy. This vision is sorely needed, as is an administration that will implement far-reaching reforms toward a more just society.'"

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