I am a progressive Democrat, a description that will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me even a little bit. However, even as this is the case, I have always shown nonpartisan respect to each of the U.S. presidents who have served in my adult lifetime, based on their roles as Commanders in Chief. What I mean is that even when I have strongly disagreed with particular policies or actions by GOP presidents in years past, that didn’t change my respect for their position of sacred trust with the electorate that they served.

What this means in practical…


I’ve been a blogger for about 10 years, and like many bloggers, for the first few years that I published online, I began by using Google’s Blogger platform. However, as blogging became more popular, I started noticing that many other writers’ blogs had far more attractive interfaces, with beautiful designs and interactive features such as integration with the writers’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.

I began asking other bloggers I knew how they were creating blogs that looked and functioned so well, and I learned that the new kid on the blogging block was a platform called Wordpress, which offered the…


Henry holding his guitar in the weeks before he died. He wanted so badly to be able to play but his brain injury prevented it.

My son Henry was born a musician. In fact, even before he was born, I could feel him move and react in my belly when I played certain tunes; at the time, I carefully noted in his baby book that his in utero preferences leaned to Public Enemy, Big Star, Jonathan Richman, and Loretta Lynn. After I gave birth to my son, my firstborn, his father would sway him around the rooms of our shabby student apartment while playing “Box of Rain” by the Grateful Dead at full blast. This was how he soothed Baby Henry to sleep. …


The little girl is 10 years old; she’ll be 11 on the last day of this month. As I write this, she’s nearby, tapping away on her own little Chromebook, the one that Santa brought her last year. She has her tiny laptop perched on the countertop of her pretend produce stand. She picked out the imaginary grocery store stand just about six months ago when she had some money of her own to spend at Target. She likes to play store with the little produce stand, just as she still loves to play with each of her stuffed animals…


Our nation is in the midst of a public health emergency the likes of which we have not seen since the first decade of AIDS’ spread across America. And much like the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the victims of the current crisis are both vilified and ignored, the families of the victims are shamed into silence, and the public at large doesn’t know enough to protect itself.

I am speaking of drug overdoses, which are now killing tens of thousands of Americans annually, while leaving many thousands more mentally and physically disabled for the rest of their lives…


I began to suspect that something was very wrong the day I could no longer walk across the library at the law school where I was a first year student. Ten weeks pregnant, I had been fighting excessive fatigue, loss of appetite and night sweats for almost a month.

“Relax,” my midwife told me. “You’re just having a rough first trimester.”

I was inclined to believe her. At age 27 and in perfect health, I had no reason to consider that anything more than extreme morning sickness was plaguing me, and that was no big deal. …


Since losing my oldest child to a drug overdose when he was only 18 years old, I’ve given a lot of thought to fear and risk when it comes to parenting our children. In the years before my son Henry became really sick with his drug addiction, I remember that I worried about some things more than others when it came to my children’s health and safety, but mostly, to be quite frank, I was optimistic and confident that all of my children would grow up healthy and strong.

Now, looking back, I realize that I simply wasn’t scared enough…


The Case for Charging Dealers in OD Deaths

I strongly support harm reduction strategies for fighting the opiate epidemic, including the use of drug courts and diversion programs, recovery high schools, sober living communities, mass access to evidence-based treatment, medication-assisted treatment, needle exchange programs, widespread Narcan distribution and safe use zones.

However, unlike most other activists focused on harm reduction strategies, I also support incarceration for active dealers who kill people.

Harm reduction strategists will tell you that the War on Drugs has been a failureand in many, if not most ways it has been. Locking people up for marijuana…


When talking about the thousands of immigrant children from Central and South America currently detained and separated from their parents by the U.S. government, I’ve heard many people say that this situation is no different from those in which an American parent goes to jail, thereby separating her from her children. However this analogy is flawed. Let me explain why.

Let’s take two cases and look at how they’re handled in the U.S. today.

In the first case, let’s say that an American woman is arrested for shoplifting. After her arrest, she may be jailed for several days or even…


Responsible Parenting vs. Overparenting

I just finished reading an essay about why one mother never uses a baby monitor, in which she writes:

I developed a habit of lolling around bed in the morning, not responding to my daughter’s cries down the hall until they progressed from gentle mewling to outright fury. And in that spirit, I refused to buy a baby monitor.

These days, it seems, there’s no such thing as an off-duty parent. …

Katie Allison

Mother of 5. Opiate epidemic activist. Chicken keeper.

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