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East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition Visits the Hill

The East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition was honored to meet Hawai‘i’s newest member of Congress, Jill Tokuda, while attending the 33rd annual CADCA National Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, this past February 2023. As the latest member of the Hawai‘i delegation, she brings a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table. We had the pleasure of meeting her and discussing important issues affecting our community, including the ongoing fight against underage drinking and its impact on our communities.

One of the many benefits of meeting US Representative Tokuda is that we had the opportunity to introduce her to our coalition and the work we do. She was impressed with our efforts and expressed her commitment to working with us to address substance misuse in our schools, from the vaping epidemic to underage drinking and fentanyl.  

A key message shared with US Representative Tokuda from our EHDFC Chair, Jacelyn Auna, “One key area is being solid in the community engagement as a coalition and how our influence and credibility is important in building a strong coalition for our community. The East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition is moving in the right direction through our One-on-One talk story tool. It will take the efforts and work of our coalition members to build a strong foundation where our community will have trust in all of us. In hope we can mirror our coalition’s mission and goals through the work done.”

Vonn Ramos, Executive Director of Hale ‘Ōpio Kaua‘i and Program Director for Ho‘okele Drug-Free Coalition of Kaua‘i, attended the meeting with EHDFC Chair Auna, Vice-Chair Camlyn Pola, and Coalition Coordinator, Sally Ancheta. Reflecting on the visit, he shared, “I was very honored to meet and congratulate Rep. Tokuda on being elected to represent Kaua‘i Island. It was great to share Kaua‘i’s efforts to open the Adolescent Healing Center and its vision to provide a continuum of care for our island youth and ‘ohana.”

We are grateful for our time with US Representative Tokuda. We know that partnering with our federal, state, and local lawmakers is necessary to make real progress in our fight against substance misuse in our communities. We can create a safer, healthier, and thriving East Hawai‘i by working together and leveraging our collective resources and expertise.

We encourage everyone to join our coalition’s efforts to combat underage drinking and substance misuse. Whether you can volunteer your time or donate resources, every little bit helps. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by substance abuse. To learn more about our East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition, please visit ehdfc.org. To get involved, please email Coalition Coordinator Sally Ancheta at sally@hiphi.org.

Visiting US Representative Jill Tokuda’s office in Washington, DC on February 1, 2023. From left to right: Jacelyn Auna (EHFDC Chair), Sally Ancheta (EHFDC Coordinator), US Representative Jill Tokuda, Camlyn Pola (EHFDC Vice Chair), and Vonn Ramos (Ho‘okele Drug-Free Coalition of Kaua‘i Program Director).
Sally Ancheta

Sally Ancheta

East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition Coordinator
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