Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Save Our Aberdeen Please (SOAP)
The personal, the leader and activist - Kacey Morrison.
If you have been part of or watched a debate about the Syringe Exchange Program or the issues of addiction or homelessness, you likely have already met or heard of Kacey Morrison. If so, then there is no doubt you know where she stands on the issues.
Who is Kacey Morrison?
Kacey lives in South, Aberdeen. She is a graduate of Aberdeen High School, married her high school sweetheart of 18 years and has two amazing children. She has two siblings, an older brother that served in law enforcement before he unexpectedly died a few years ago at the age of 36. He has been an inspiration to their entire family. She also has a younger sister that guides at-risk youth in Utah.
Kacey has worked a variety of jobs over the years, but is currently working in her most important role; a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. She also serves as the Secretary for the GHGOP, she is an elected Precinct Committee Officer for Aberdeen 111 and was awarded Precinct Captain of the year for her efforts. She is one of the founding members of the citizen group "Save Our Aberdeen Please."
I asked Kacey why she decided to get involved with homelessness and addiction issues. She said, "The event that catapulted me into local activism was the bungling of the homeless issue in Aberdeen by our former mayor." You can see her presence at local City Council meetings, County Commissioner meetings and at other local events.
Kacey is not only in the fight because she philosophically believes in it, but she has experienced a personal tragedy as a result. She lost one parent to drug abuse, mental illness, and homelessness and her other is currently on that same path. "I know the roadblocks that I have run into trying to get REAL help for them and I have seen the perpetual revolving door of services and enabling social programs that have turned our local economy into a 'homeless-industrial complex' of sorts. I felt I could bring my experiences to the discussion and advocate for a better path forward."
The Syringe Exchange was another issue for her. Her family and others in the community regularly find discarded needles in city parks and on trails. A quick search of her social media and you can see the large volume of needles she collects as. She said, "it enraged her to see local officials denying this was a problem." She went on to say that, "the frustration only grew" when she saw how grossly mismanaged the county's Syringe Exchange Program was.
I asked Kacey what she finds most challenging about leading her cause. She said, "Government officials that dismiss your concerns or seem to bend to the will of a vocal minority rather than do what is truly in the best interest of the community."
One other frustration of hers is the misguided notion that she hates homeless people or is anti-homeless. It is clear that she cares and loves people. Not only does she have strong principles she has been touched by this personally with the tragic loss of a parent. She said, "there is a perception by some that I am part of a 'anti-homeless, far-right extremist hate group'. It breaks my heart because it couldn't be farther from the truth. Each and every one of us has a story to share about how addiction or homelessness has affected our lives or the lives of our loved ones."
She worries that she is not doing enough to effect meaningful change. I would say, Rome was not built in a day, but one brick at a time. She is the cornerstone.
She said that, "If everyone took the time to write one letter, attend one meeting, pick up one bag of trash, or volunteer time with a cause they are passionate about, our cities would be transformed in a profoundly positive way."
I asked Kacey about solutions. She said, "We need to get back to a limited role of government. It can't be the cure for all that ails society. Government rarely makes anything they lay their hands on better. It needs to get out of the way and let the people in the community who best know the issues and the people, take charge in addressing how best to deal with these matters."
She said, "enabling programs have failed. Time for something new. A hand up, not a hand out is what is needed. The whole cultural paradigm needs to shift. We are starting to see this with the citizens. It's time for elected leaders to get the memo."
Regarding the Syringe Exchange Program, Kacey says that, "The government calls this compassionate 'harm reduction and disease prevention', but I say call it what it is...it's enabling and government sanctioned, tax-payer funded assisted suicide. Maybe that's controversial. I don't think so. These are human beings that need real help, compassion, and rehabilitation. Period."
Who was a great influence on you?
Her name is Patty Thomas. She is a fierce advocate for her community, her family, and for conservative values. She is compassionate, never backs down, and knows how to use her voice forcefully and for good. There is no way I would have been able to find my voice and the courage to use it without her guidance and support. She truly is a treasure to the community and to me personally.
Without looking at the data, you would probably guess that the greatest fear among humans is death. You would be wrong. It is public speaking. Kacey said that her biggest fear was "public speaking and I had paralyzing social anxiety. My oh my how things have changed!"
Is the movement growing or shrinking?
She said, "Over the past year we have seen our cause grow and membership in our group along with it. I feel the elections of the past year tell the tale." It does appear that the movement is growing. There are more activists, volunteers and even the political landscape has changed. What she is doing is working.
Join the cause:
"Just do it. It is so rewarding. Advocating and working toward a cleaner, safer, and healthier city will pay dividends well into the future for our kids and our grand-kids. I want everyone to feel the sense of pride that I feel about Aberdeen, its people, and its future. We live in a remarkable community!"
If you follow Kacey on Facebook. You will see a passionate individual working with other dedicated volunteers making a difference. They are people that care.
Picture includes: Aberdeen Mayor, two County Commissioners, Washington State Senator, business owners, entrepreneurs, activists, volunteers and community members.
Anyone that can get city, county and state representatives together for a picture in the rain before picking up trash, syringes, and other garbage, is a leader.
A local pastor said this about Kacey. "An intercessor in not just one who prays but one who gets in the way. When you get in the way no one can ignore you. It makes people uncomfortable but that is what warriors do. Most people don’t like warriors but it’s the warriors that change things one way or another."
No, Kacey didn't need city, county or state public grant dollars to improve her community. She didn't run to government officials for your tax dollars. She makes her community better at no cost to you or me. She embodies public service, she is a leader.