JoJo reveals the deeply personal reason why she makes it a point to vote for politicians who will implement public health programs to aid opioid addicts. "I vote because I want to see reform in the way that we deal with addiction in America," the pop singer says in the latest installment of Vevo's "Why I Vote" series. JoJo lost her father to a drug overdose last year.
"I see [the opioid epidemic] destroying communities in New England. I see it destroying families. I see the way it's broken my own family," JoJo says. She became aware that her father was struggling with drug addiction when she was a teenager. "I don't feel like he had the resources or tools available to help himself," the singer says. "I don't want other families to be broken up and have their lives ruined."
JoJo praised programs that seek to work with addicts rather than condemn them and punish their behavior. "Throwing an addict in jail is not doing anything to help the problem," she asserts. "We're wasting our money. We're misusing our resources." One such program in Gloucestor, Massachusetts, incentivizes rehabilitation by allowing addicts to turn in their drugs to the police station without threat of arrest, she says. Instead, the police put the recovering addicts in social service programs that allow them to get better without imprisonment.
"It's important to elect politicians who will make a difference with drug abuse and addiction," JoJo says. "It's affecting all of us. As corny as it sounds, literally every vote counts."