Signing this online petition sends a number of targeted emails with the text of the petition in email format to the state office reviewing the application, local police chiefs, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors, and the mayor, vice mayor, and city manager of the city of Santa Cruz.
The County of Santa Cruz runs a Syringe Services Program that last year handed out 593,174 needles to 578 IV drug users.
I oppose the Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County’s (HRCSCC) application dated November 20, 2019, for an expanded Syringe Service Program in the City of Santa Cruz and for mobile delivery services across the entire county. Our City and County are already overflowing with discarded syringes in parks, on the streets, and in our neighborhoods. We ask that you allow our locally elected leaders to continue to manage and operate our locally authorized Syringe Services Program (SSP) and deny the HRCSCC’s application. Please deny this application and defer to local authorities to continue their operation of a professionally managed County SSP with local oversight and accountability.
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.
Furthermore, this is the second HRCSCC application requesting State Certification to operate a SSP program independent of the County’s SSP. As you know, the HRCSCC withdrew their prior application after widespread opposition by Community Leaders, every Law Enforcement in the County, and Neighborhood Groups, as well as due to numerous inaccuracies in the HRCSCC application itself. Nonetheless, without any notable community outreach or coordination with the County, HRCSCC has submitted a second application for State authorization. Furthermore, this most recent request seeks to operate a mobile delivery service across the entire County. Therefore, I also oppose the most recent HRCSCC application because this proposed project in inconsistent with California environmental quality regulations.
Please do not grant this application and instead respect local Santa Cruz County SSP program management’s authority 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 during the 45-day review period.