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									>> I’m Ken Shapiro; I’m the Deputy Administrator for the Drug-Free Communities
program and you’ll notice there are a lot of people in suits that are in today and
that’s because there’s a lot of people from the federal government here today.
This is the first of 6 of these workshops that we’re doing in support of the Drug-
Free Community’s request for applications. And because it’s the first, we brought
a lot of folks in Washington down because we’ll be going across the country
doing these. We want to make sure that they’re doing it, first of all, understand
how we’re doing it and second of all, so that we’re consistent as we go across
the country, which leads me to the other things I needed to tell you; that the need
for our consistency, we must be fair to everybody, obviously. So, we need to be
consistent in actually, the delivery of these trainings and also in the answering of
questions. So, one of the things that we do when we do these workshops is to
insure consistency and fairness, is we put these index cards on the tables. And
some of you who were here earlier may have noticed there were some
microphones, standing mics out where it looked like you could come up and ask
a question. We took them off, took them away and it’s not because we want to
be completely controlling, but it’s because we want to make sure that the
questions that get asked, get answered and get answered properly. So, we ask
that what you do is you write down any question you have as you go. We will
stop very frequently throughout the day. We will take the cards; we’ll divvy them
up among the federal staff to the appropriate person. We will read your question
and then we’ll answer your question, and that’s the way that we’re going to have
to handle the questions and answers, again, so we can insure that we’re
capturing them for the audio recording and they’re audible. And most
importantly, we take all these cards as we do this tour and we collect them and
we end up back in D.C. in about 3 weeks with a pile of about 3,000 index cards,
and we type those up, actually Marjorie’s going to help with that. We type those
up and then we post them to the Internet, so that all the common questions and
answers from these workshops are on the Internet for anybody who’s thinking of
applying to see, and also for your reference. When you go home, people will
think of questions that we didn’t think of in this room when we go to Denver, for
example. So, those will be posted through the Drug-Free Communities Program
website, probably in about 3 or 4 weeks, right in the middle of the application
process. Let me introduce the folks who are here and they’ll all be at some point
standing up and talking to you, but we are all a resource to you throughout the
day. It’s a long day and it’s not the funnest day you’ll ever have, but we are here
to help and we’re happy. We’ll stick around during breaks, come up to us, asks
us questions if you have any. As I said, I’m Ken Shapiro; I work at the Office of
National Drug Control Policy. Jack Claypool, my boss, is in the back. He’ll be
talking to you in just a few minutes. He is the administrator of the program. Next
to him is Doug Tipperman; he’s a project officer at the Center for Substance
Abuse Prevention. Sitting and about to raise his hand is Mike Kozinski, project
officer at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Jennifer Clark, next to
him. Beth Ruiz, Edna Frasier is a Grants Management Specialist with SAMHSA
and there’s a lot of names and a lot of organizations and you’re probably
confused and we gave you an organizational chart and Jack will walk you
through it in a few minutes. Dan Fletcher is in the room, from CSEP and Zekiah
is here somewhere. Oh, hey. There’s Zekia. She works for SAMHSA grants
management and Evelyn Young is here, from the National Coalition Institute. In
addition to the federal staff, Marjorie and Ana worked at the registration desk
when you walked in, they’re the ones who made the meeting happen and
anything you might need throughout the day that’s not related to questions and
answers about the grant, they can help you with that. The bathrooms,
importantly, are kind of immediately that way, but there’s a wall in our way. So,
you kind of have to shimmy your way, get to the next hallway and just go that
way a little bit. We don’t have a lot of money to do these things, so we have
coffee, but we don’t have a lot of food for you. So, we apologize. I believe
before we break for lunch, Marjorie and Ana will tell you where you can get to a
quick lunch, so you can get back in time for the afternoon session. We gave you
a lot of materials, as you see, and we’ll walk you through on what you have really
quickly. In the front is an agenda, and as you see, we stop frequently for the
questions and answers. As I said, we’ll be wandering through. As you have a
question, write it and we’ll wander through from time to time and hold the card,
just pass it to us and we’ll grab the card and we’ll read it and answer it. The next
thing in your packet is an organizational chart. This explains, I just introduced all
the feds. This is going to explain who we are and what we represent, because
it’s sort of a unique program in that there’s a lot of different federal entities
involved in managing the program. Next is a map to show you where all the
grantees are currently, and you’ll notice, there aren’t a lot of dots in Louisiana.
That’s one of the reasons that we’re here. We noticed that we weren’t getting a
lot of applications, and as a result, we aren’t getting a lot of grants in the state of
Louisiana. We noticed that last year. We came and did a workshop in this same
room, at this time last year to try to increase the number of applications. And
hopefully, the number of grantees from this state. We didn’t fund any
applications, so we tried to come back again. We did hear from a number of
people who were in the room last year that it was very useful, but I’m not quite
ready to apply. I hope some of you who are in the room were those people, and
that you’re sitting here now and you’re ready to apply. What I just said happens
every year and it happens a lot. People come to these and they realize, I’m not
quite ready, or my coalition is not quite ready to apply, and that’s perfectly fine. I
would recommend that you stay through the training because if you’re not quite
ready, but you wish to be ready next year, this will be a perfect way to
understand what you need to do over the next year. So, that when we release
the RFA next year, you’re in a good position to apply. Next, we have... Oh, I
think it’s only 162 PowerPoint slides. It’s a little intimidating. I’ll tell you why we
have done this. It’s really, it looks rude. This is a resource for you, when you get
home. We’re not going to read every single word off of every single slide. This is
meant to be, as much as anything else, a resource for you when you go to start
working on writing the application. This is something you can come back to and
reference. It’s also meant to serve people who don’t make it to one of the
trainings. They download this from our website, and when they do, again, it’s a
really good resource. I’m not going to stand here and read 162 slides to you
today. Some of them, we will read because of their importance. Next, you have
the whole reason you’re here. This is the request for applications. This is what,
if you decide to apply for one of these grants, you will respond to. This has the
questions that you’ll have to write the answers to. Next, you have what’s called
the PHS 5161, which stands for Public Health Service. It’s a form. It’s the
federal form you have to use to apply for this grant and Edna and Zekiah, in the
afternoon, will walk you through this, to try to demystify this difficult federal form.
Behind that, we have a little bit of a cheat sheet. There’s some slides in the
afternoon and because we wanted to save some rainforest in Brazil, we gave you
three slides per page, front and back, but as a result, some of those slides are
tough to read. Especially when we get into the afternoon when we’re talking
through some of the federal forms when you’re probably going to be, maybe,
falling asleep. So, we blew those up into full pages. So you have a few full
pages for your reference, and then the last thing, it’s just some useful websites
and links. Very importantly throughout the application process, if you decided to
start writing an application, is that you check the Drug-Free Communities
Program website under potential applicants or potential grantees pretty
frequently. We will be posting, as I said, the audio recording of today. We’d be
putting the questions and answers up. It’s a good place to look every so often,
so you can, as you’re working on your application to get up-to-date the
information. That’s all I have at the moment. So, Jack, if you want to come up
and explain what Drug-Free Communities is.

>> Good morning. Actually, I’m from South Carolina. So, I guess it’s safe to say,
good morning y’all here, isn’t it? I heard that when we were down listening to
jazz music last night. It made me feel like I was back at home again. So, it’s
great to be in New Orleans. Up until 2 years ago, I was doing exactly what you
guys are doing. I’ve got 20 years in the alcohol and drug field, 16 of that as a
Law Enforcement Officer and have done everything from prevention and
enforcement through treatment. So, I kind of worked the whole gamut, and
hopefully what you’re going to see today is an effort on behalf of the federal
government to make this program the easiest grant program within the federal
portfolio to apply for. So, we spent a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of
effort to try and put ourselves in your shoes and figure out how can we
communicate with you in a way that you can hear us and say, “Okay that makes
sense. Here’s what we’re going to go at our community level.” Now, how many
of you guys have alcohol or drug problems in your community? Okay, good. So,
you’re in the right place. Now, the running joke when I was in South Carolina,
and Dan will laugh at this is, we always have, what was the biggest lie in the
world was, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Right? And the
second biggest lie was, “We’re glad to see you.” Hopefully by the time we leave
today, you will have been glad to see us and we will have given you some
information that will you apply for this grant program. One of the things I love
about Drug-Free Communities is--and where’s the PowerPoint thing? Here we
go. One of the things I love about Drug-Free Communities is that it is designed
to be written by community leaders and not grant writers, is that the whole
concept behind Drug-Free Communities, that’s not going to work, is it? Let’s do
this. Nothing like technology, right? I’ll let Marjorie fix that because I’ve already
broken the machine. You got it? The concept behind Drug-Free Communities is,
if we bring all segments of the community gathered to address the problem in a
uniform fashion, we can do a better job than folks working by themselves, right?
I’ve seen a couple folks in here that are in Law Enforcement. If you’re Law
Enforcement in the room, raise your hand. Okay. If you’ve got kids who are in
your community, who are getting drunk every night, and you decide you’re going
to crack down in your community and you’re going to go deal with those kids or
with the people who are providing them alcohol, where did the kids go? They
alter and adapt, right? They go to the next community or if they’re getting it from
the grocery store and you crack down on the grocery store, they’re going to start
getting it from parents, siblings, et cetera. Marjorie, that’s still not working. There
we go. So, the concept here with Drug-Free Community is how do we bring
everybody together, so that folks are working on the same page, that you’re
training your merchants on how to sell alcohol; that you’re providing Law
Enforcement the resources and the support to go out and enforce either
beverage sales and service laws or go after the kids who are drinking or who are
using drugs, that you have the same message that the parents are hearing when
they’re in church. It’s the same message the kids hearing when they’re in school.
So, how do we kind of bring a uniform approach, so everybody’s on the same
page? So, what we’re going to do today is, we’re going to kind of walk you
through the application process. As Ken said, we apologize that there’s a lot of
slides, but we want to give you information you can take back to your community.
So, when you sit down with the folks that you work with at the community level,
he said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to apply for...” Then, everybody can be
on the same page. Let me give you a couple of caveats as we get started, okay?
First of all, 1 in 5 of our applications never makes it to peer review. One in five
never makes it to peer review because the application fails to meet basic
eligibility criteria, and we’re going to talk about those eligibility criteria. Ken is
going to walk you through that. Pay really close attention. We only require a 25-
page narrative for this grant. We have one applicant last year who gave us over
500 pages in their application and they didn’t go to peer review because they
didn’t have one of the required 12 sectors, okay? So, pay really close attention
as we go through this to the basics. Second thing is, remember who you’re
writing for. That the people who peer review these grants aren’t federal
government employees. They are community coalition leaders across the 50
states. So, when your grant comes in and it passes through the initial eligibility
screening, it goes to peer review. There are 3 people who do what you do
somewhere else in the country, who are reading your grant application, alright?
You’re not writing for a collage professor, you’re not writing for a federal
bureaucrat. You are writing your grant application, so somebody who does what
you do, can read it, understand it and score it, alright? We really get tripped up
in trying to out-think this sometimes when we’re doing grant applications, I had
three drug-free communities grants in my community and it was really hard to get
folks to think in terms of the basics of how this works. So, with that in mind,
we’re going to start with the platform, to kind of give you the 35,000-foot view.
What is Drug-Free Communities, how do all these agencies work together, and
what makes sense with it? Okay. Two primary goals for drug free communities.
Strengthen your community; prevent youth drug use, alright? Strengthen your
community and prevent youth drug use. The mantra we use is, local problems
need local solutions. We don’t prescribe for you what your problems are and
how you need to go after those problems. We don’t tell you that you have to deal
with youth alcohol use. We don’t tell you, you have to deal with
Methamphetamine or ecstasy or marijuana or cocaine or heroin or anything else.
You tell us what your problem is and how you’re going to strengthen your
community and how strengthening your community is going to help you keep kids
from using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Okay? So, there is no box that
you’re trying to fit in that, hey, this is a Meth grant or this is an alcohol grant.
Whatever your problem is in your community. Okay? We talk about community.
Community can be defined in a whole lot of ways. There are drug-free
communities grantees, one that covers 4 states in the Southwest, a big coverage
area. There’s other drug free communities grantees that are about the size of 3
city blocks. That’s their definable area. The footprint we use in South Carolina
where I was; is we used our local school districts. I had 2 counties with 7 school
districts. We picked them off a school district at a time. So, we talk about
community, we want you thinking in terms of how can I define it, so that I can
gather enough data to figure out what my problem is and make an argument that
I’ve got a problem and also, where can I draw people from that can actually help
me do something about the problem. Okay? So, first of all, don’t, when I say,
“community,” don’t think it’s going to be your whole town, your whole county, your
whole parish, your whole state. You can define for us what that community is.
You define in your application what the boundaries of your community are, and
what you’re trying to do is reduce youth substance use and over time, adult
substance use, because we’re keeping more kids from using drugs. Now, the
really great news is, is over the last 5 years, youth drug use is down 24%
nationally. Eight hundred and sixty thousand fewer kids are using drugs today
than they were 5 years ago, and that’s due in large part of work that 770 other
grantees who are currently in the Drug-Free Communities Program are doing in
49 states. We currently have grants in every state but North Dakota. And
because communities are pushing back and they’re looking at what their local
problems are, and they’re not trying to make some federal program fit their
community, but we’re providing the resources their community needs. So, we
got 860,000 fewer kids that are using drugs today than they were 5 years ago.
Now, this year, the President asked for and Congress appropriated $90,000,000
for the program. Of that, 19 million will go for a new competitive grants this cycle.
So, we anticipate awarding about a hundred and fifty grants this year. As you
can see from the RFA, the deadline is March 21st, we just released it, I guess,
about a week ago. So, it will be open for the better part of 2 months, and there
will be, as Ken said, this is 1 of 6 workshops we currently have, what, in 470 or
so folks registered. By the time it’s over with, we will probably have 5 or 600
people in these workshops, not including folks who come online and download
the information and look at slides and stuff like that. So, this year is a little
different for us also, in that historically, the program is ten years old. This is the
first year we’ve offered $125,000 per year. It’s usually 100,000 a year. Okay?
Because Congress gave us an increase in the appropriation and when they
reauthorized us and I’ll explain the procedure for appropriations and
authorizations, as required by Washington. I didn’t get. I’m pretty sure I still
don’t get it but I can talk about it a lot. So, Congress gave us enough money that
we can actually increase the grant award and we can put more grants in the field.
Okay, where is the sensor for this? It’s on the laptop? Okay, there we go. Now,
let’s talk a little bit about what a funding cycle is for Drug-Free Communities.
When a community competes for a grant, you then enter a 5-year cycle. Once
you get a grant award, you are in cycle for 5 years, and unless you
misappropriate your money, unless you resign your grant, unless you have a
problem, once you compete, you’re in for 5 years. You have a continuation
process, these Project Officers that Ken introduced earlier and the grants
management staff who will review your semi-annual reports and your annual
reports, they’ll look at your continuation application, but you’re not in the
competitive process. If you’re coming in, in your first year, you’ve never had a
grant before, if you never had a DFC grant, if you have had a lapse in funding or
if you finished the fifth year of your grant, once you finish 5 years, you have to
start over, compete again beginning year 6 for another 5-year block. Do we have
anybody in here who has had a grant? Okay, we’ve got a few folks and then we
have some in Florida and couple other places that are with us. These folks,
when they apply, by law, we cannot look at them any differently than we look at
those of you who are applying for year one. By law, they get no special credit for
having been in the program for 5 years. That may sound odd, but that’s the way
Congress wrote the law, okay? So, they have to compete against everybody
else who’s coming in for another 5-year cycle. So, if you’re in one of those 3
categories, then you need to be in the room today. You’ve already had 5 years,
you’re going for year 6, you’ve never had one, or you’ve had a lapse in funding.
Alright, I’ll tell you what, I’m going to skip that and go to the really big nice
flowchart. Just trying to make sense of this. Okay, at the federal government,
nothing is easy right? We have a whole lot of folks who are trying to work
together the same way we’re asking you to at a coalition level locally, to try and
help support you. So, let me kind of walk you through how all these fits and
what’s going on with the Drug-Free Communities. First of all, Congress created
the Drug-Free Communities Program in 1997. So, this is the first year we’ve had
folks maxing out at 10 years of funding. So, we’ve been around for 10 years, we
currently have 770 grants in the field in 736 communities. So, pretty good size
footprint, out of 435 Congressional Districts, we are at about 327. So, pretty far
reach across the United States. We’re serving everything from Native American
communities, inner city communities, urban, suburban, and rural. We’re dealing
with everything from steroid use, prescription drug use, Methamphetamine,
marijuana, alcohol, tobacco. You name it, our grantees are covering pretty much
every base you can imagine in helping prevent youth drug use across our
country. Now this year, Congress appropriated $90,000,000 for the program,
90,000,000. By law, the program operates on an 8% administrative cost. So,
$0.92 out of every dollar Congress appropriates for this program, go directly to
community coalition funding. Ninety-two cents out of every dollar they give us,
go straight to communities to strengthen the community and prevent youth drug
use. That’s pretty good. We think that’s about the best there is in the federal
government. We kind of dare anybody else to try and do an 8% administrative
costs for this. Now let me talk to you about how that been breaks out. When
Congress appropriates the money, the money’s appropriated to the White House,
okay? And the Office of National Drug Control Policy is the agency within the
Executive Office of the President that manages this program. Many of you hear
our boss, John Walters, referred to as the drug czar, alright? Official title is,
Director of White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the reason
Congress gave this grant program to the White House and not to some other arm
of federal government or a not-for-profit is because Congress had a desire to see
that this had extremely high profile in our country, because they recognized that
youth drug use is a threat to our communities, it’s a threat to our kids and they
wanted a high profile for it. To give you an idea of the profile that it’s got, in
December, a number of us were together and some of our community coalitions
that are funded around the country were together sitting around the table with the
President of the United States, talking about the successes they have had
locally, when we released our latest round of monitoring the future youth drug
use survey data. A little bit later on today, the President and the drug czar are
going to be talking about youth prescription drug abuse in a meeting in the Oval
Office. So, this is at the highest level of our federal government and the reason
it’s there is because our government has a desire to support communities, to
focus on youth drug use. Now, we at the Drug Policy Office spend this year
about 2.7 million administrating the program. That includes 1.5 million for the
national evaluation and we’ll talk about that in just a couple of minutes. Four and
a half million of that goes to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, SAMHSA. They are a unit of the U.S Department of Health and
Human Services and their mission is to focus on addictions issues. So, we
thought it was a great marriage. They exist to give federal money to
communities and to states, to help fight substance use and the mental illness
issue, okay? So, we partnered with them, and their Project Officers are our
grantees’ first line of contact. So, we saw Yvette and Doug and Mike and the
others. Their job is to be the face and voice of the federal government to our
communities. Our grants management staff at SAMHSA make sure the money is
well-spent, to make sure you have a good policy procedure control on how you
use your money, okay? This year, 82.8 million of the appropriation goes directly
to communities. It goes directly out in grant funds. The bulk of that will be in
continuation funds. We’ll have 536 communities, is that right Ken? Five hundred
and thirty-six this year that will be in 1 of those 2 5-year blocks. The first 5-year
block and the second 5-year block, non-competing, what we refer to as
“continuation grants.” So, we have a whole lot of money tied up, giving those
folks grant funds. The third arm of the partnership is the National Coalition
Institute and Evelyn is here from the National Coalition Institute, as part of the
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, CADCA. CADCA is a national
membership and advocacy organization who helps support community coalition
development and pushing back against drug use. And, so, we actually have a
two-million-dollar contract with them, to provide training and technical assistance
to our grantees, so that when you guys get funded, you’re not out there by
yourself. We have folks who are providing you training and technical assistance.
Now, there’s a whole lot of other details in the slides, you don’t need me to read
that to you. So, we’ll buzz through those, they are the partners, we talked about
that. ONDCP, we told you about who we are and what we do, SAMHSA, the
National Coalition Institute. The one part that we didn’t spend much time on is
BATEL. BATEL has the national evaluation contract. Part of what we require all
of our grantees to do is twice a year, you have to submit data to us on what’s
going on in your community. What successes have you had, what can you
articulate in terms of decreases in youth drug use, decreases in perception of
harm from drug use, and the reason we had you doing that is first of all to make
sure that our money is well-spent, it’s reasonable right? Those are your tax
dollars. The second reason is, is we can pile all that data across all the sites, so
that we can report to the President and the Congress on whether or not the
program works. And the fact that we are pushing back against drug use, that it is
down 24% and we can show the role of community coalitions in that because that
helps secure the future of the program. It helps more folks like you enter the
program, okay? Alright, let’s talk real quick about a community coalition and then
we’re going to get into the eligibility criteria. When we talk about funding a
community coalition, we’re not funding one group or one sector. We’re not just
funding prevention at the local health department. We’re not just funding
enforcement at the local Sheriff’s Department or Police Department. That part of
what Ken will talk about, when we do eligibility criteria, is we’re going to talk
about the twelve sectors that law requires in order for you to get funded, and the
reason for that, is we want to get everybody in the community on the same page.
Now, how many of you guys, everybody in your community agrees with you,
youth alcohol, tobacco, drug use is a problem? Good, you’re in the right place.
Where I was from, we had a really big challenge. I was from Columbia, South
Carolina, it’s the capital of the state and the 2 counties I served had about a half
a million people in the 2 counties and the biggest alcohol and drug problem we
had was middle income, upper-middle income, suburban kids going out and
getting drunk all the time. We had more kids getting killed that way, we had more
problems with those kids in terms of car crashes and hospital ER admits and
everything else, and when you went out in those communities and you talk to
those parents, what do the parents say? “Oh no, no. Drug problem is in
downtown Columbia.” Well, okay, there’s a sales problem in downtown
Columbia, but it’s because the Lexus you just bought your kid, he loaded up 5 of
his best friends. They drove to downtown, to buy their drugs. Okay? So, the
reason we want you to bring multiple sectors together, is you’ve got to be able to
tear apart and figure out what is your story locally. If all you look at is where our
people being arrested for drug sales, that doesn’t tell you where people are using
drugs, does it? Now your hospital ER admit data may tell you that when you
overlay it. So, you figure out, okay. Here’s what they’re selling, but hey, all the
folks are OD’ing, they live 20 miles over here. Alright? So, when we bring these
sectors together, when you have healthcare and clergy, I had a head of a head of
a Presbyterian church in our community call me up one day. He says, “I had 6
kids sitting outside the church for Wednesday night bible study and they were
smoking dope on the back step of the church.” It happens in every community.
We had a high school in our community that realized that hey, when all the kids
were doing homecoming floats, they were having keg parties. So, what did they
do? Instead of having floats for homecoming, they opened the school and each
class had a wing of the school and they decorated a wing of the school. So, you
had parents, teachers, and administrators watching what was going on, so they
couldn’t bring kegs into the school, right? So, what did they do as soon as they
left the school? Keg party. Yeah, but the upside is that they were all going to
one place. It was really easy to follow the trail of cars, okay? When you have
folks who are working together like that, you figure out, hey, MySpace and
Facebook, and all these other great resources that are out there for us as
community leaders because we figure out who’s using, where they’re using,
when they’re using and if you pay attention to Facebook and MySpace and
others, you can actually get invitations to their party. It’s not such a bad gig,
okay, but if parents aren’t paying attention to that, if you don’t have parents
included in the community, how can you expect kids to be included in there?
How can you expect the church to be included? There’s got to be pressure
across the community, and when your local Sheriff arrests senator whomever’s
child, there’s got to be somebody who stands up and says, they don’t get special
treatment. And that community coalition, that group of people who come
together, become the voice of what you want to have happen in your community.
That’s what a coalition is about. When you bring everybody together, when you
have prom season, you got prevention folks who are going into the schools,
talking about the dangers of substance use. You got folks working with the
hospitality industry, bars, restaurants and hotels, not let mom and dad rent hotel
rooms for the kids to have after-prom parties. You’re going and you’re making
sure everybody who sells alcohol actually has training on how to check IDs.
They may even have ID scanners. If they get arrested for selling to a minor, are
they fired or are they provided training, are they trained beforehand? There’s so
many things that a coalition can do when you look at it, at that kind of global level
and that’s part of what we want you to do with Drug-Free Communities, is how do
you bring everybody together? Inform, I’ll just skip pass the next line, but how do
you bring everybody together to form a network, a formal agreement and say,
“Here’s what we agree to do...” And the important thing about agreeing to what
you’re going to do is when you have representatives in twelve sectors, twelve
passionate people all sitting at the table at the same time, if you hadn’t written
down the game plans yet, here’s what we’re going to do and how we’re going to
do it, it’s really easy to get fired up in a meeting and start doing things other than
what’s making a difference, right? So, part of what we’re doing with Drug-Free
Communities is we’re not only helping you pull the coalition together. Build that
community, inform the community because we don’t want you doing individual
programs. We want you creating population level changes in a community. In
other words, we want to see it happen is, we want to see more laws, rules,
norms, more public education, and public information. We want to see a higher
level of understanding of what the problem is in your community and a higher
level of commitment to doing something about that problem. And when you have
a community coalition, when you’ve got a group of people that are together
working on that, man, life gets a whole lot easier. We were trying to crack a nut
in my community. I live in the fastest growing county in the state of South
Carolina with the best school district in the state, and I was having a really hard
time getting business leaders to realize they had to do something because our
kids were out smoking dope and getting drunk every single night. So, the
president of the local bank stood up in a chamber meeting one night. He said,
“Guys, do we have the best county?” They say, “Yeah, yeah.” It was like a
cheerleading session. “We have the fastest growing economy in the state?
“Yeah, yeah.” Now, South Carolina is like Louisiana. We’re poor. Okay. So say
we have a fast growing economy, that’s a big thing itself. So, he got them all
pumped up because, “Guys, guess what? The economic engine that’s driving
growth in this community is our school district. People are moving here because
we got a good school. If we let our kids use drugs, and everything that’s going
with that, then the economic engine dies, we might as well shut the bank down,
all the business down and all you guys out building houses can just hang it up
and go somewhere else.” But to have the president of the bank stand up and
challenge the business community to put up or shut up and get involved is a
whole lot more credible than the Police Chief or the head of the hospital or the
head of your substance abuse treatment program, when you bring that
collaborative together, you have a richness and diversity in ideas, talents and
voices. It can actually help you make a difference at the community level and
pushing back against drug use. That’s what Drug-Free Communities is about.
What we’re going to spend the day doing today is helping you figure out what are
the check boxes you got to go through to have a community coalition? What do
we look at in terms of eligibility? Ken’s going to walk you through that in just a
second. We’re going to talk to you about filling out the forms of all that other sort
of great stuff. Let me encourage you, please write down questions as they come
to you and once you get them, just kind of wave your card in the air. We’ll walk
by and pick those up. We can't answer detailed questions related to, “Well, hey,
how do I do this one specific piece for my community?” We can talk about the
global stuff, we can give you guidance as it relates to the RFA and we can help
you decipher the RFA, where it might be confusing to you. What we would also
offer to you, and we met with Senator Landro’s staff when we came down here,
is particularly those of you who are here in Louisiana. If there are ways, once
this RFA is closed, that you need help trying to figure out how do we build
stronger communities, how do we get more community coalitions ready to be
Drug-Free Communities grantees, then let us know and we can come back after
March and we can do detailed help and technical assistance with you, okay? I
lived through Hurricane Hugo. It’s our goal to help communities and to help kids
across our nation, but we certainly understand the special needs that exist here
in Louisiana. So, that offer is actually open to everybody. We’ve gone, I think,
this year to 25 or 30 different states trying to help folks with technical assistance
and training, stuff like that. So, we’re glad you’re here. I appreciate the
tremendous amount of work that it takes to pull a community together and to
keep a community together, when you’re trying to address a problem that it can
be as difficult to deal with as youth drug use. We’re going to take a minute or
two, nope. Josh, we’re in good shape? Great. Then we’re going to turn over to
Ken and hit the eligibility primers. Ken?

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