According to Machiavelli, a famous historian, “[t]here is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” This seems so true with so many different sayings made famous over time, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” or “that’s the way we’ve always done things”. When things are comfortable it can be very hard to change no matter the situation.
This can be especially true when talking about a business; however sustainability needs to be kept in mind. Complacency shouldn’t be an option because something that may have worked before might not in the future. We must always be looking for ways to better ourselves in order to grow.
That is the theme of this post, growth. Reading this you may be familiar with Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition (JCDPC) and you may not. In either case knowing a bit of history couldn’t hurt. You might not know that we weren’t always under the previously mentioned name. You might also be confused as to why the word PRIDE is located in many places where our coalition’s name should be.
The coalition was formed in 2007 under the name Jefferson County P.R.I.D.E. (Partners Responsible for Increasing Drug Education). This coalition grew from a smaller coalition to turn county-wide. Here began the work which was funded by the Drug-Free Communities Grant, a ten year grant to target alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drug use. At the current point in time, the coalition is in year eight of ten of this grant. Two years is short-term when planning for the future of any business or organization so the coalition and staff have been discussing how to sustain and really grow.
Due to an overwhelming response from community members and partnering organizations, Jefferson County P.R.I.D.E. voted to officially change the name to Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition in May 2016. Members and staff felt that the previous name caused confusion in the community regarding our mission and vision and required extensive explanation during introductions. With a newly structured Executive Board overseeing the coalition, it was also expressed that changes were needed to compliment recognition in Jefferson County and that future growth we keep mentioning.
Moving forward we know that confusion will happen among those that are familiar with our work previously and those just learning of our cause. To help combat this we started a soft launch of this name to help grow our current members and supporters and gain new ones. Attached is a one page document really describing who we are and what we do. This new name will help support not only our growth but also our goal of a permanent presence in Jefferson County, Missouri. And until drugs are no longer a problem and eliminated from our county, we will never stop fighting for our cause “to motivate Jefferson County to change the culture of substance abuse acceptance”.