Let’s Talk About Drugs: The Opioid Epidemic and Why It Should Be A Core Political Issue for Democrats

Let’s Talk About Drugs: The Opioid Epidemic and Why It Should Be A Core Political Issue for Democrats

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Aug. 10 9:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Aug. 10 10:15 AM (Eastern)

Our communities are being torn apart by the drug crisis. Hear from top progressive candidates and elected officials from across the country about why this issue matters both morally and electorally—and why it’s an issue that speaks to corporate power, the lived economic reality of the working class, and social justice issues like policing, mandatory sentencing, and incarceration. We’ll argue that this should be a major issue and thematic focus for Democrats in 2018 and beyond.


Stephanie Taylor


Stephanie Taylor, Co-Founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) has spent the last 15 years working on labor, electoral and advocacy campaigns throughout the country. She is a former union organizer and a pioneer in the area of scalable field, using technology and field to achieve results. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Columbia, and is a PhD candidate in American history at Georgetown. Her campaigns have been covered widely, and her political commentary has appeared in Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieTaylor.

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Sammi Brown

Sammi Brown

West Virginia’s Activist turned West Virginia Legislator.
Former Labor Organizer. Elected in 2018 representing the district that encompasses my Hometown of Charles Town.
Since elected, I’ve championed Economic Justice through “Fair Shake Policy Initiatives, Second Chance and Expungement Legislation, and an acute focus on policy affecting Sexual Assault Survivors (Survivors Bill of Rights, End the Backlog).

Named a Rising Star by both PCCC and WV Citizen Action Group.
Appointed as Representative/Director for the State of WV through Women In Government.

Earned both Bachelors and MBA from Shepherd University.

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Cathy Glasson


Cathy Glasson is the President of SEIU Local 199 representing thousands of nurses, healthcare workers and school support employees across Iowa. She is a registered nurse who worked in the intensive care unit at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she led the effort to unionize her fellow nurses 18 years ago. She serves on the Executive Board of the two million member Service Employees International Union and has helped lead efforts to organize nurses and other hospital workers across the nation. 

Cathy grew up in Spencer, a small town in northwest Iowa. Her dad was a truck
driver and her mom worked behind the counter at the Sears & Roebuck catalog store. Her folks were able to make a decent living but those days are gone for most Iowans. 

Cathy is exploring a run for Governor because she believes working people have been getting beaten up in Iowa for too long and our elected officials have done too little to stand up and fight for them.

She is focused on a bold, progressive agenda that puts the needs of hard-working Iowans first. She supports raising Iowa’s minimum wage to $15, making it easier for workers to join a union or come together in employee organizations, a universal single-payer healthcare system to cover every Iowan and a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms to clean up Iowa’s polluted water. 

Cathy lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband Matt, a labor educator. She is a
proud mother and grandmother.

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Tom Perriello


Tom Perriello is the President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and former U.S. representative for Virginia’s fifth congressional district. While representing rural, urban, and suburban communities across central and southern Virginia, Perriello served on the Veterans Affairs and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. After leaving office, he conducted research and wrote commentary on the Arab Spring through a variety of nongovernment organizations. Prior to his service in Congress, Perriello managed teams working on conflict resolution and democratic transitions in Africa, Afghanistan, and other regions. Perriello has helped launch numerous non-profits including Faith in Public Life, FaithfulAmerica.org, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United. He is a native of Ivy, Virginia and a graduate of Yale University and the Yale Law School.

Other sessions: A Progressive Vision of Universal Basic Income

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