National City-County Taskforce on the Opioid Epidemic Statement on ONDCP Funding Cuts

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The National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic sent the following letter to President Donald J. Trump regarding the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:

May 18, 2017
President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C., 20500

Dear President Trump:

As city and county officials appointed by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) to assess the local response to the opioid epidemic, we write to voice our strong support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and its Drug-Free Communities and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs. We have been heartened by the Administration’s prioritization and stated commitment to addressing this epidemic, and we urge you to work with lawmakers in Congress to ensure that ONDCP and its grant programs continue to receive the funding needed to carry out their instrumental role in our collective response to this tremendous challenge.

Throughout our work, ONDCP’s unique value within the federal government has been evident, as the office has served as a single source of expertise on a broad range of drug-related issues, as well as a convener and coordinator of experts at other federal agencies. The Drug Free Communities program and HIDTA, meanwhile, are recognized across the country as pivotal pillars of support for local and regional partnerships that work to decrease the demand for, and the supply of, drugs in our communities. Drug Free Communities programs have had a demonstrated and measurable impact in lowering rates of drug use among youth by helping local leaders partner to develop effective prevention strategies uniquely suited to their communities. The HIDTA program, meanwhile, fosters collaboration between law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal level to design and implement initiatives that confront the unique drug threats in each area of the country.

In summarizing our assessment of the local response to the opioid epidemic in A Prescription for Action – the report and recommendations we published after months of meetings and discussions with local officials and experts throughout the country – we wrote that “to stem the tide of this epidemic, we must build partnerships across our communities and with our counterparts at the local, state and federal levels.” ONDCP and its grant programs have played a pivotal role in helping to establish and strengthen these partnerships, and weakening these programs would undoubtedly weaken our nation’s resilience and response to the opioid epidemic at a time when communities across the country continue to face unprecedented levels of overdoses and fatalities.

We urge you to protect and strengthen ONDCP, the Drug Free Communities Program and the HIDTA program, and we thank you for your partnership as we work to overcome the worst drug crisis in our nation’s history.


Judge/Executive Gary Moore, Boone County, Kentucky – Task Force Co-Chair
Mayor Mark Stodola, Little Rock, Arkansas – Task Force Co-Chair
Councilmember Walt Allen, Covina, California
Executive Director Geoff Beckwith, Massachusetts Municipal Association
Commissioner Doug Corcoran, Ross County, Ohio
County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County, Pennsylvania
Dr. Vidya Kora, Commissioner, LaPorte County, Indiana
County Council Member Waymon Mumford, Florence County, South Carolina
Councilmember Joel Navarro, Tempe, Arizona
Supervisor Leticia Perez, Kern County, California
County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Erie County, New York
Commissioner Greg Puckett, Mercer County, West Virginia
County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, Ohio
Police Chief Nick Willard, Manchester, New Hampshire

CONTACT: David Jackson, 202.942.4271