• Need-to-Know News: Nov. 30, 2012

    November 29, 2012

    Updates from Us

    • LAC wishes to congratulate Michael Botticelli who was sworn in on November 27th as Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to joining ONDCP, Botticelli served as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
    • This week, LAC joined a number of national and state organizations in the health, chronic disease and disability communities as a signatory to a letter urging President Obama to move forward with full implementation of the planned Medicaid coverage expansion and to reject any proposals that would permit partial expansion as an option for states.
    • Roberta Meyers, the Director of the National H.I.R.E. Network, will be appearing as an expert at a briefing of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The briefing will examine the impact of criminal background checks and the EEOC’s conviction records policy on employment of black and Hispanic workers. It will take place at the Commission's new headquarters at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 1150 in Washington, DC on Friday, December 7th at 9:00 AM. Interested members of the public are invited to attend.
    • Tracie Gardner, LAC's Director of New York State Policy, will give a presentation on "Health Care Reform and Parity" at a December 7th conference at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, NY. The conference, which is being presented by the Nassau County Heroin Treatment Task Force, is titled: "Drug Crisis on LI: Current Challenges and Future Solutions." CASAC credits are available to those attending the conference. Registration costs $10 and can be done at the door.
    • Anita Marton, LAC's Vice President, will be presenting at a summit at Crouse Hospital's Marley Education Center in Syracuse on December 10th. The summit, which is being hosted by the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers (ASAP), the New York Chapter of the Society of Addiction Medicine (NYSAM) and Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY), is called "CNY Communities Unite: Making a Stand against Prescription and Synthetic Drug Abuse." For more information and to register, visit asapnys.org.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Nov. 16, 2012

    November 16, 2012

    Updates from Us

    • LAC’s DC staff this week participated in a meeting of the Addiction Leadership Group (a convening of national drug and alcohol organizations) to thank outgoing Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK) for all of his work on behalf of the addiction field through his co-chairmanship of the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery (ATR) Caucus. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), also a co-chair of the ATR Caucus, participated in the meeting and discussed priorities for the new Congress that will begin in January. Legal Action Center appreciates all of Congressmen Sullivan and Ryan’s great work on behalf of people in need of treatment and those in recovery. We look forward to continuing to work with the ATR Caucus in the next Congress.
    • Dr. Robert Fullilove, the associate dean for community and minority affairs at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a member of LAC's board, was awarded the Allan Rosenfield Award for Public Health and Social Justice by the Public Health Association of New York City at its annual awards ceremony which was held on November 15th. The award is named after another long-term member of LAC's board who died in 2008.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Nov. 9, 2012

    November 09, 2012

    Updates from Us

      Roberta with KY Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, Michael Brown and Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, LaDonna Thompson

    • On October 30th, Roberta Meyers, the Director of LAC's National H.I.R.E. Network, spoke before the Kentucky Governor's Reentry Task Force, which is led by the Secretary of Justice & Public Safety, Michael Brown. Ms. Meyers provided an overview of national legislative and policy trends in reentry reform as well as information about available resources provided by the National H.I.R.E. Network and other national organizations that focus on reentry. The goal was to provide the Task Force with a menu of reforms to consider implementing in order to improve the reintegration of formerly incarcerated people in the state of Kentucky.
    • Anita Marton, LAC's Vice President, wrote a letter about the disenfranchisement of individuals with criminal records in New York State that was published in the November 10th issue of the New York Times. Ms. Marton's letter was written in response to an editorial in the Times that criticized laws in other states that disenfranchise individuals convicted of felonies and other offenses and pointed out that these laws are often made worse by misinformed government officials who tell people that they are ineligible to vote when they are in fact not.
    • With the elections completed, the federal government is expected to release a number of proposed regulations over the next few months on several important ACA provisions such as the Essential Health Benefits package requirements (including the mental health and substance use disorder coverage requirements), health insurance exchanges and Medicaid. The Coalition for Whole Health, co-chaired by LAC President and Director Paul Samuels, will be developing analysis and templates on these provisions as the proposed rules are released. It will be extremely important for state and local advocates to weigh in to ensure that the law is well implemented for people with addiction and mental health service needs.
    • Sally Friedman, LAC's Legal Director, will be presenting on "Legality of Denying Access to Medication Assisted Treatment" at the 9th Annual NYC Criminal Justice and Treatment Conference and Exhibit. The event, which is being organized by the Addiction Treatment Providers Association (ATPA) and the New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals (NYADTCP), will be held at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn on Friday, November 30th. CLE credits will be available for those attending Sally's presentation, as well as several of the other panels. You can register for the event here.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Oct. 26, 2012

    October 26, 2012

    Updates from Us

    • We held our annual benefit last Tuesday at the Tribeca Rooftop. The event was a huge success, raising a record $656,000 and attracting more than 300 attendees. Our honorees, Elizabeth Sacksteder, the Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations at Citigroup Inc., and Jim and Sue Cusack, who founded the Villa Veritas Foundation and are pioneers in the field of addiction treatment, spoke movingly about the importance of LAC's work.
    • The elections are just over a week away. Don't forget to vote! And, remember, a criminal record is rarely a barrier to voting in New York State.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Oct. 19, 2012

    October 19, 2012

    Updates from Us

    • Legal Action Center's 2012 Arthur Liman Public Interest Awards Benefit is next Tuesday, October 23 at 6pm at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. Please join us! For more information, click here.
    • The elections are two and a half weeks away. Don't forget to vote! Remember a criminal record is rarely a barrier to voting in New York State. For more information on who can and cannot vote in New York, click here.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Oct. 12, 2012

    October 12, 2012

    Updates from Us

      Legal Action Center's 2012 Arthur Liman Public Interest Awards Benefit will take place on Tuesday, October 23 at 6pm at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.
      We are so proud of our amazing honorees:

      • Jim and Sue Cusack founded the Villa Veritas Foundation and are pioneers in the field of addiction treatment. They developed the first free-standing residential facility in New York State to house people with alcoholism and people with drug addiction together.
      • Elizabeth M. Sacksteder, who is the Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations at Citigroup Inc., has a long-standing commitment to community involvement and pro bono legal services on behalf of low-income, underserved populations.
      Information about sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets - as well as a complete list of our benefit co-chairs - is available at http://www.lac.org. A PDF copy of the invitation is also available by clicking here.

    • Important reminder: As we try to do before each election, we will be sending weekly reminders about voter registration. With the election approaching, we want to remind all of our readers to register to vote. We also want to inform our readers that a criminal record is rarely a barrier to voting in New York State. Only individuals currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and those currently on parole who have not been issued a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct may not vote. For a notice explaining who can and cannot vote, click here. To get a registration form or to find out how to register, click here.

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  • Need-to-Know News: Oct. 5, 2012

    October 08, 2012

    Updates from Us

    • Reminder: Just over two weeks to go until our 2012 Arthur Liman Public Interest Awards Benefit, coming up on Oct. 23. Purchase tickets or make your gift today!
    • Gabrielle de la Gueronniere, LAC's Director for National Policy, attended a Behavioral Health Leaders Briefing at the White House on September 24. The briefing brought together stakeholders in the substance use disorder and mental health communities to discuss issues related to health reform and parity. The event was organized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and led by senior officials from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed the group, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that people with mental health and/or substance use disorder service needs receive good access to quality care. Additional speakers, including SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde, and senior officials from the White House, HHS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provided updates to the group on how various agency initiatives are seeking to address the needs of people with mental health and substance use disorder service needs.
    • The Mayor recently released the first year's report on the Young Men’s Initiative, "NYC Young Men's Initiative, Annual Report 2012". LAC (together with our partners at the Bronx Defenders, Youth Represent, the Community Service Society, NYC Probation, Correction and the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator) was mentioned for our role in working to help individuals clean up their rap sheet and promoting policy changes to reduce such errors in the future.
    • Important reminder: As we try to do before each election, we will be sending weekly reminders about voter registration. With the election approaching, we want to remind all of our readers to register to vote. We also want to inform our readers that a criminal record is rarely a barrier to voting in New York State. Only individuals currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and those currently on parole who have not been issued a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct may not vote. For a notice explaining who can and cannot vote, click here. To get a registration form or to find out how to register, click here.

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