6/27/19 – Thursday
Today I arrived at the office and finished up my work with the social media platforms. I started to focus more on other methods of outreach. Aside from social media use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I’ll also be working on more face-to-face contact.
My primary method of contact will be through directly talking to business owners in the community. My first area to target will be Chinatown, where I will use my proficiency in Mandarin to talk to the business owners there in hopes of both informing them about the concerning issues of youth substance abuse, as well as convincing them to work with us in our coalition.
I will also be calling and scheduling appointments with schools, churches, medical centers, and other organizations in the McKinley Park/Chicagoland area. I plan to discuss with them the importance of preventing drug and alcohol abuse among teens in our communities.
The reason that the drug use issue is so urgent in our community – whether it be McKinley Park, Chinatown, Brighton Park, etc – is that crime rates of been skyrocketing because of it. In the U.S., nearly 40% of all crimes are alcohol related. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in 2017 alone, 70,237 people died from a drug overdose. According to the FBI, every 20 seconds someone is arrested from a drug law violation. According to a research article published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 59.3% of the youth in custody are there because of drug related issues. Numbers don’t lie. Here are some more numbers on McKinley Park:
In 2018, there were 256 accounts of theft, 161 accounts of assault, 133 accounts of vandalism, and 49 accounts of burglary. These stats are for McKinley Park alone. Believe it or not, theft rates there are 25% higher than many other neighborhoods in Chicago.
Drug abuse among youth is an urgent issue, and we need to address it now. Today, my hours consisted mainly of research, as well as scripting emails. I hope that through my internship at McK-UDOS, I will be able to address these issues.