Public Forum to Curb Underage Access to Alcohol

posted Aug 11, 2013, 9:40 PM by BHC Staff
The Coastal Connections Youth Organizing Project (CCYOP) will host a public meeting to present their solution to the unaddressed issue of prolific access to alcohol by teens and the effect on our community on August 14, 2013, in the Rural Human Services Community Room A from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

CCYOP is an organizing committee composed of ten local youth from diverse backgrounds who were selected to participate in a summer youth internship program based on their commitment to explore issues relevant to youth and organize for policy change. The group was chosen from the larger population of youth and young adults who are connected to Coastal Connections, the youth and young adult resource center in Crescent City.

The student leaders participated in a structured research process utilized by People Improving Communities Through Organizing (PICO), to better understand the power structures that influence their daily lives. They held one to one conversations with over fifty of their peers to explore the issues that impact them most. They also met with public officials and policy experts. Through their research they confirmed that easy access to alcohol is an issue that negatively affects many of the 200 youth represented at Coastal Connections.

As one Del County youth stated, “Our generation is being affected by the issue of teen alcohol abuse. The theft of alcohol was so easy that [my friends and I] would go to steal alcohol at least twice a day from local stores, including Safeway.”

According to the California Center for Rural Policies’ (CCRP) report entitled “Community Wellness Vital Signs: Core Community Wellness Indicators for Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands v1.2,” 45% of 9th graders in Del Norte County have reported some type of alcohol or drug use in the past 30 days, compared to only 31% of 9th graders in California. Similar trends were observed in 7th and 11th graders.

CCYOP is working with Josh Norris, a youth community organizer with a regional organizing network that is part of Building Healthy Communities. The organizing network is working in six communities across Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands and Humboldt. It is comprised of families, elders, youth, and individuals of diverse racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, lifestyles, abilities, and economic capacities who are united by common value that residents’ power can create change.