Over the last few weeks throughout my campaign for Shamokin City Council, I’ve gotten the pleasure, or displeasure if you will, of speaking to mothers and fathers who had to bury a child. I’ve also spoken to aunts, uncles and grandparents who are now raising children because one or both parents are deceased due to a drug addiction.
Some of these stories are heartbreaking. I even felt myself becoming upset at some of the gruesome details of the stories and events from family members leading up to their death. It is truly saddening to see what our area has become.
I’ve been attending Shamokin City Council meetings and work sessions faithfully since August 2016. I have a better attendance record than some of the elected officials over that time. Over a year ago, I challenged the city council to come out with a plan to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic in the city of Shamokin. Since I’ve been attending these council meetings, not once has our government addressed this issue. We cannot fix the problems here if we don’t speak of them.
These families deserve answers. These addicts deserve help, and these drug dealers deserve to be behind bars. How many mothers and fathers need to grieve the loss of a child until this becomes a topic of discussion in our area? How many children need to lose one or both parents before we address this? I believe this is the most important issue that plagues our area today and it must be taken seriously.
If I am elected to Shamokin City Council this year, this issue will be at the forefront. I will help addicts seek the help they need, and make sure our area is being rid of the dealers. This is the last place drug dealers will want to come to pedal their poison. Beware, we’ve got a brand new jail up the road waiting for you!
Joe Leschinskie, Jr.