A local volunteer group has applied to the State of California to distribute more drug syringes in the City of Santa Cruz. This is an attempt to circumvent the County Health Department relating to the free syringe distributions to users of illegal drugs in our City. If approved, this will cause a further increase in syringes discarded all over the city, further concentration of drug use in the City, and further damage to our neighborhoods. The proposed program would duplicate services already offered by Santa Cruz County’s Health Services Agency and would operate without local oversight or control, allowing it to bypass local government, local concerns and local input. There is no valid reason to replace our county’s local and accountable efforts with a volunteer-operated program.

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SEP Application Opposition Petition

This petition is now closed.

End date: May 25, 2019

Signatures collected: 3521

3,521 signatures

By signing this online petition, your “signature” will send an email to the people that matter, the people making the final decisions on this matter. You may also customize and edit the wording in the petition to best fit your feelings on the matter.

Signing this petition sends emails to the California Department of Public Health and the County Board of Supervisors urging them to oppose and reject the application for the syringe program. Do this as soon as possible but no later than May 24th, 2019, and request that they oppose the application to distribute additional syringes in the City of Santa Cruz, by the “Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County, Harm Reduction Road Show.”

If you’d prefer to just send your own email instead of signing the petition, here is an email suggestion you can copy and paste into the body of an email.

Send emails to:

Subject: Oppose Syringe Distributions in City of Santa Cruz

I oppose the proposed application of the Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County, Harm Reduction Road Show for an expanded Syringe Service Program in the City of Santa Cruz. Our City is already overflowing with discarded syringes in parks, on the streets, and in our neighborhoods.

The Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency currently operates its own SSP that is subject to substantial community oversight. This proposed application by the unsupervised volunteer group would create a program with little oversight, control and accountability for the delivery of Health and Safety Programs within our community. Santa Cruz County officials have expressed a commitment to increase SSP program transparency and to increase drug and alcohol treatment programs. This request for State SSP Certification by an all-volunteer organization would directly impact the County’s ability to professionally manage and serve those in need. I urge you to oppose this request.

Please do not grant this application and instead respect local Santa Cruz County SSP program management to maintain SSP operations under the oversight of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

Furthermore, I urge the County Board of Supervisors to schedule an agenda item to vote to send a letter of opposition regarding this request to the California State Department of Public Health Syringe Exchange Program.

Yours sincerely,
Phone and/or email

A summary of the application to distribute the syringes in Santa Cruz and Watsonville to allow the distribution of syringes is posted on the State’s web site and can be found here.

All public comments must be in writing and submitted to CDPH at SEPApplication@cdph.ca.gov no later than 11:59 p.m., May 24, 2019.

Applications Open for Public Comment and Pending Applications
CDPH/OA welcomes comments on all proposed applications. Once an organization files an application via online or mail, CDPH/OA will deem the application provisionally appropriate or notify the applicant of the reason for rejection within 30 business days. If an application is deemed provisionally appropriate by CDPH/OA, a 45-day public comment period is required prior to State certification.

Please note that all public comments submitted to CDPH may be subject to release under the California Public Records Act. Submission of comments is voluntary and it is optional for submitters to include their name and contact information.

Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County

Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County, Harm Reduction Road Show (HRRS) proposes a syringe access program in Santa Cruz County. The program plans to offer mobile services in Santa Cruz, Felton and Watsonville and at fixed site at the Salvation Army in Watsonville.

HRRS is an all-volunteer community-based organization that focuses on public health outreach, emphasizing HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) prevention among high risk, underserved populations. In addition to sterile syringes, services will include syringe disposal and education on proper disposal practices; overdose prevention and naloxone distribution; harm reduction and first aid supplies; referrals to HIV/HCV testing, vaccinations, substance use disorder treatment, and services for people experiencing homelessness.

Days and hours at each location are subject to change after consultation and approval from CDPH, OA, as the need for services changes.

Service locations are:

Santa Cruz – area bounded by Coral Street and Harvey West Boulevard, northbound to Limekiln Street, and turning right on Coral Street to River Street. Sundays 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Felton – area bounded by CA-9 and Plateau Drive north to Graham Hill Road, east on Covered Bridge South Road. Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Watsonville – Salvation Army, 214 Union Street, Watsonville, CA 95076. Mondays 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Watsonville – San Juan Road and Porter Road east to Salinas Road, south to Stender Avenue, north to San Juan Road. Mondays 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

As required under California Health and Safety Code Section 121349, there is a 45-day public comment period, which will close on May 24th, 2019.

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