Understanding Your Influence

Influence: the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.

Coalitions and the dedicated people who work with them have far-reaching influence in their communities. Working to change laws, regulations, ordinances, and policies is frequently involved.

Policy change is often the fastest way to see population-level impacts and enhance drug-free environments for youth and families. You can make a difference at the local, state and national level.

During the hour-long broadcast Understanding Your Influence, learn how to find your inner advocate and how coalitions can use the power they have to create positive change in their communities. Find out what coalitions can and can’t do as far as advocacy and lobbying are concerned. See how changes to laws and policies can improve enforcement, reduce access and availability of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and increase social disapproval of drug use.

We’ll also visit the Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition in El Paso, TX and find out how it used its influence to pass an ordinance to help control drug use and the violence associated with it.

Key Concepts:
-       Understand the difference between lobbying and advocating
-       Learn what coalitions can and can’t do with their funds
-       See how statewide and local coalitions change laws and policies
-       Gain new insight and communications tools to be an effective advocate

Content Providers:

Heidi Bainbridge, Coalition Coordinator, Van Buren County SAFE Coalition, Keosauqua, Iowa

Heidi Bainbridge has been a part of the SAFE coalition since 2003 when she began as a volunteer. She became the coordinator for the organization and the Project Director for the Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant in 2006. In February 2011, the coalition was honored with CADCA’s Got Outcomes Coalition of the Year Award. 

Bainbridge is an IC&RC board Certified Prevention Specialist with a BS in Exercise Science and Wellness from Iowa Wesleyan College and is currently pursuing her masters in Prevention Science through the University of Oklahoma.

Sue Parr, Chair, Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCoVA)

Sue Parr is the chair and founding member of Community Coalitions of Virginia (CCoVA), a statewide coalition made up of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery professionals.

Prior to being elected chair of CCoVA, Parr served as the chair of the legislative/public policy work group. In this position, she worked closely with local & state officials and was instrumental in obtaining a statewide ban of the K2/Spice and Bath Salts drug products.

Parr also serves as the Project Director for the Bragg Hill Community Coalition, a Drug Free Community coalition, in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Parr studied public relations and political science at University of Mary Washington.

Sue Thau, Public Policy Consultant, CADCA

Sue Thau is a Public Policy Consultant representing Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). She is nationally recognized for her advocacy and legislative accomplishments on behalf of the substance abuse prevention field.

Thau has an extensive background in public policy and has held high positions at the federal, state, and local levels. Before joining CADCA, she was a Budget Examiner and Legislative Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, in the Executive Office of the President for more than ten years.

Thau has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Human Development and Family Studies and a Master's Degree from Rutgers University in City and Regional Planning.