The Resolutions Committee of the Democratic Party of Orange County has passed a resolution calling on Santa Ana to restore approval for the Orange County Needle Exchange Program (OCNEP). The program would set up in the Civic Center on Saturdays and had provided hypodermic needles to as many as 12,000 people since early 2016. According to the OC Weekly:
Every Saturday from noon to 3pm, people fled the Civic Center in Santa Ana to get syringe-waste buckets, clean needles and syringes, tourniquets, doses of Naloxone—the overdose reversal drug—and access to basic health care, like STD, HIV and Hepatitis testing.
The city, however, wasn’t pleased with attendant problems such as the carelessness shown by drug addicts in disposing of the needles once they had used them. Again from the OC Weekly:
Santa Ana City Councilman Jose Solorio says OCNEP wasn’t approved for a permit because it created major health hazards, giving the City many reasons to deny the application. “There was an ever-increasing number of public health concerns and complaints from children and parents about finding dirty needles in the city’s main library.”
Enter radical progressive political activists Mohammed Aly and Jeff LeTourneau:
There’s a great deal of talk about Orange County turning blue, and the trend in registration numbers lends some credence to such talk. But at its heart, the Democratic Party of Orange County remains an organization whose politics are considerably more radical than those of workaday OC voters – as illustrated by its rush to defend giving free needles to intravenous drug users.