January Newsletter (31/01/12)
welcome to 2012, which is sure to be a big step forward for the drug law reform movement!
In early December, we marked World AIDS Day by producing a briefing accessible to young people, which you can read here. We also organised a stall with a giant needle gimmick to raise awareness of injecting drug users and their needs, pictures of which are available here.
In late December, we organised our first submission to an official inquiry into drugs by the Home Affairs Parliamentary Select Committee, which we made available to everyone to edit until early January. The final document which we have submitted is currenly unavailable due to the procedures of the committee, but we will get it up when we can. This report will hopefully mark the beginning of our serious involvement in promoting the voice of young people to policy-makers.
This month, we have finally finished designing and implementing our volunteering process, and we are now actively looking for volunteers who have never been involved in Re:Vision or drug law reform before to join our cause. If you or someone you know may be interested in giving us some time, whether writing, speaking, running stalls or helping us out with our campaign, please do make use of our volunteering form here.
Our work slowed this month as while we are now rapidly approaching a 50-50 mix of students v. non-students, several key people are now working at their exams and we couldn't ask too much of them. But exams are now over!
Some changes at the top
As you know, the Core Team is the governing body of our organisation, which takes decisions on the day-to-day running of Re:Vision. Several Core Team members are also Trustees, whose legal responsibility it is to ensure the long-term strategic and financial well-being of our charity. The Core Team is made up of Sarah, Andi, Liz, Jesse, Kay, Joe, and now Dan, who joined last month. Previously they haven't held meetings because we have tried to organise mainly through the internet. However, our December trustee meeting lasted seven hours and we realised that we need to hold more meetings in order to not have seven hour meetings.
We will now be holding monthly Core Team meetings in January, February, April, May, July, August, October and November. Trustee meetings will be held quarterly in March, June, September and December. The Core Team meetings are open for any member with a Volunteering Agreement to attend and participate - please speak to your mentor if you would like to do this.
Switching to monthly meetings should make us a great deal more responsive to ongoing events and feedback from our core membership, so this is going to be a great step forward.
In the news
The list of people who are supporting serious drug law reform gets longer by the day, and more vocal. Richard Branson, billionaire entrpreneur and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, recently blogged about the need to end the war on drugs and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee as well. Congressman Ron Paul, candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. President, is vigorously defending his support for control and regulation in the full glare of the media.
The Global Initative for Drug Policy Reform, run by the Beckley Foundation, and the Count the Costs campaign, overseen by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, are actively bringing together a wide range of NGOs, many of whom have no primary mandate to campaign for drug law reform. This is a really good time to be a drug law reformer, and as young people, with a voice and a vote, we can really make a difference. Support us today.
What you can do
We need a range of volunteering skills, as well as people who want to do odd-jobs and some promotion for us. You can be any age, please get in contact. We're especially looking for anyone who might have a background in both drug policy and teaching.
Write your submission to the Home Affairs Committee
We sent in our submission on time, but then the Home Affairs Committee helpfully extended the deadline to the 5th of February. This is your opportunity to make your own submission to Parliament about how you feel about drug policy! We have provided a form that you can fill out, with some useful prompting questions that you can use: put in whatever you want, then we will send them all off for you. No fuss, no muss! Fill out the form here.
We run a very tight ship, but as our organisation grows and we're buying boring stuff (like public liability insurance) that other sources of income can't cover. Please donate today to help us focus our attention on things that matter (like the volunteers covered by our public liability insurance)! Here's the donation button.
Thanks for reading,
- Re:Vision activists