Autumn 2020
Public Policy Institute Insights
Friends –

October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This year, widespread uncertainty, anxiety, and unaddressed trauma put more of our friends and neighbors at risk for engaging in harmful behaviors, including substance abuse and misuse. This strikes at the heart of our prevention work.

To support and encourage our community members to cope with their challenges without drugs or alcohol during this time of crisis, we’ve expanded our substance abuse prevention team and initiatives, which you’ll read about in this newsletter. The pandemic has challenged us to deliver our services and resources in new ways, and we’re happy to report that we’ve been able to connect with more people through our online presentations and meetings.

COVID-19 and social unrest have added new risk factors into all of our lives. But learning, sharing, and connecting can help us weather these challenges and enable us to emerge from this period strong, safe, and healthy.

Kari Southern
Deputy Director
Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
PPI Adds to Prevention Team
PPI is happy to announce new additions to our team who will enhance our prevention work. Please get to know Alexandria, Hannah, and Jeremy:
Alexandria Kohn has joined MCSAP as coordinator. Alexandria interned with Anneke Mohr this summer for the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance. Prior to that internship, she worked in substance abuse prevention at Community Medical Services, a substance abuse treatment facility in West Allis. She is currently completing her Master of Public Health Degree with a focus on Community Behavioral Health at UW-Milwaukee. 
Hannah Lepper is now serving as Coordinator of the Southeast Region of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth. Previously, she assisted job-seekers with obtaining job skills and employment through Community Advocates’ FSET program. She earned her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and completed an internship with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office as a Victim/Witness Advocate. 
Jeremy Triblett has shifted to a new position as MCSAP’s Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator. You may know Jeremy as PPI’s Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, where he led trainings on youth and adult Mental Health First Aid, substance abuse, suicide prevention, and more. In his new position, he’ll complement MCSAP’s work by organizing twice-monthly virtual resource fairs on mental health and wellness and much more.
Prevention Events
Our prevention team has organized these community initiatives:
Youth Summits: To honor World Mental Health Day, Light & Unite RED Week, and Substance Abuse Prevention Month, our prevention coalitions participated in the Vision 2020 Youth Summit as well as the LGBTQ+ Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Summit on October 10. Both events provided a safe space for our youth to learn about stress, trauma, and substance abuse; connect to resources and adult allies; and recognize their strengths and talents. You can learn more about these events in our blog.

MCSAP Virtual Resource Fairs: Men's Holistic Health will be the focus of the October 14 virtual resource fair. You can sign up at this link. Recent topics include Holistic Health for Women, Suicide and Substance Misuse, and more. You can watch previous sessions on MCSAP’s Facebook page.

My New Friends PSA: We worked with Milwaukee youth to create a substance abuse prevention awareness video and materials that speak to them on their own terms. Bottom line: Choose your friends wisely.
Coming Soon! High in Plain Sight: Drug Trends Training with Jermaine Galloway: Nationally recognized substance abuse expert Officer Jermaine Galloway (the "Tall Cop") will cover current youth drug trends, from marijuana concentrates/dabs to vapes, drug-related clothing, and over the counter drugs. This fast-moving class will highlight current drugs our youth might be using, along with other drug-related popular culture items. PPI will sponsor two Zoom sessions of "High in Plain Sight" on Thursday, November 12.  

Healthy Housing in the News
Our policy team has been working to protect renters from eviction poor health, and instability during COVID-19. In September, the CDC created a federal eviction moratorium for renters who are struggling to pay their rent due to coronavirus. But as we explained to reporters, that temporary ban, while helpful, is not the long-term solution we’d like to see enacted. For example, the ban isn't automatic because tenants must apply for rent assistance and present a declaration to their landlord to be eligible for protection under the moratorium; without additional rent assistance landlords aren't assured of being paid through the end of the year; and the December 31 deadline creates the possibility of a surge of evictions in January 2021 due to unpaid rent during the temporary eviction moratorium.

Local and national media have highlighted Community Advocates' work to ensure that our community members are living in safe, healthy, and affordable housing throughout the pandemic and in the long term:

Good News about CARES Act Stimulus Payments
Our policy advocates have requested changes to the CARES Act to make ensure that all eligible individuals receive the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. Many didn't receive their EIP because they do not file federal taxes. Happily, as we advocated, the IRS has extended the deadline to November 21 to claim a payment. Go to this portal to check your status and register for your payment.
Community Advocates
2020 Board of Directors
President: Jodi Wire | We Energies
Vice President: Bryan House | Foley & Lardner, LLP
Treasurer: Sandra Samse | Johnson Keland Management
Secretary: Sharon Jordan | Direct Supply

Board Members
Sheree Dallas Branch | The Salvation Army
Anne DeLeo | Community Volunteer
Natasha Dotson | Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative
Valerie Gabriel | Community Volunteer
Erin Henry | Northwestern Mutual
Betsy Hoylman | Northwestern Mutual
Gary Ingram | Igary Events
Pamela Klein | Fresh Coast Partners, LLC
Jim Liedtke | Community Volunteer
Ashley Pavlic | Medical College of Wisconsin
Kate Venne | Brady Corporation
Lisa Kaiser | Community Advocates Public Policy Institute | 414-270-2999  | |