Mr. Lopez Goes to Washington

Posted on February 26, 2018

Going to Washington for the first time for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) conference was incredibly eye opening. Other than knowing how cold National Harbor is and how wet it can get; other thoughts have stuck in my head. It is a pleasure for me to bring these ideas back home to help empower the people of our community. Here are the main points I have taken out of CADCA.

“Don’t Look Over Your Shoulder.”
Don’t look over your shoulder is a lesson taught to me by General Barrye Price, a highly successful, highly decorated retired US Army General. What this means is to always have confidence in yourself no matter what you want to do. Never look back because you will lose sight of what is in front of you and believe in your own intuition that you can become anyone you desire to become. It also means to forget about your past and focus on your future.

The Capitol is Incredibly Busy
After a day at the Capitol with all sorts of coalitions I have realized how crazy busy the life is. From waiting in the rain to find an entrance to waiting in line and having security search everything to fighting for a spot in elevators and being crammed up in the hallways. It takes a day at the capitol for people to realize that everyone has their hands full down there and we should appreciate them for all that they do but also communicate with them more often and keep them accountable for helping our communities all over the United States.

“Compete With Yourself and the Standard. Not With Each Other.”
This was one of General Barrye Price’s keys to success. When he talked about this to a room filled with youth I could feel the inspiration in the room. What I gained from this quote is we, as a community, must work together to accomplish everything we want to see in our community. To quote Ryunosuke Satoro, “Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

These are just the three takeaways I felt were most meaningful to me. I do plan on speaking to our youth and families about everything I have learned at CADCA. I also wanted to thank Michelle, Mikayla and everyone on the ERYC staff for being extremely supportive. I am truly grateful for everyone in the fight with me to improve our communities, without all of you I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Gerry inspires us every day with his quiet leadership, thoughtful insights and plan to jump in and help where needed.

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