The World Affairs Council of Orange County & California State University, Fullerton present:
Unraveling the Deadly Grip of Fentanyl on America & The World
State Senator Tom Umberg
California is facing an unprecedented drug crisis both in scale and nature, requiring timely legislative responses. Fentanyl, a type of synthetic opioid, is responsible for over two-thirds of drug-related deaths, which spiked last year to 21,000 in California alone. The crisis is especially prevalent in Orange County, with deaths by fentanyl overdose reported to have gone up by 177%, and more potent analogs of fentanyl continued to be found. Moreover, fentanyl is often unknowingly consumed by individuals who believe they are taking other drugs, meaning that the fatal risk of a fentanyl overdose is not taken into consideration by those accidentally taking them, resulting in preventable deaths. Fentanyl precursors are largely sourced from abroad, in places like China and India, which are then shipped to Mexico, where most production takes place. Collaboration with these countries to crack down on fentanyl’s production and movement is integral if wish to halt the fentanyl epidemic in the United States.
To tackle this urgent crisis, Senator Tom Umberg proposes several legislative measures: Senate Bill 60, aimed at preventing drug sales on social media, a main outlet for illicit drugs for the youth; Senate Bill 250, expanding the 9-1-1 Good Samaritan Law and providing fentanyl immunity, encouraging people to report their dealers; Senate Concurrent Resolution 39, establishing National Fentanyl Awareness Day; and Senate Bill 44, also known as Alexandra’s Law, which aims to hold fentanyl sellers accountable for homicide and prevent fentanyl-related deaths through warnings.
An In-Person Dinner Event
Date & Time:
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
5:30 PM: Dinner & Reception
6:30 PM: Main Program & Q&A
CSUF Titan Student Union
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831
**If you purchase a non-member ticket, the amount you paid will go towards a WACOC membership of your choosing
Young Professional Members: $35
Thank you to our community partner, ClearSaves!
ClearSaves is an altruistic nonprofit endeavor fervently committed to engendering positive change within society by championing harm reduction. Through its innovative modus operandi, ClearSaves aspires to furnish the populace with vital resources that facilitate the safeguarding of human lives from the perilous peripheries of the opioid crisis.
Check out the ClearSaves table at our event for resources and information on how you can help.
Thank you to our community partner, FentanylSolution.org!
FentanylSolution.org’s mission is to deliver comprehensive education, powerful advocacy, and unwavering community support to eradicate fentanyl deaths in the United States. Let us know how we can partner with you or your organization to make a difference.
Check out the Fentanyl Solution booth at our event for more information and resources on the fentanyl crisis!
Thomas J. Umberg
State Senator Thomas J. Umberg is the Chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, former federal criminal prosecutor, four-term state legislator, small business owner, and was the Deputy Drug Czar for President Clinton.
Senator Umberg began his military service at the Korean DMZ and was deployed overseas for three tours – totaling over five years. In addition to his overseas deployments, Colonel Umberg was assigned as a paratrooper with the Army Special Operations Command and the XVIII Airborne Corps.
As a federal and military prosecutor, Senator Umberg prosecuted numerous white collar, civil rights, murder, and sexual assault crimes. He successfully tried over 100 cases to verdict or judgment.
Senator Umberg served as Deputy Drug Czar for President Bill Clinton where he was responsible for foreign drug interdiction, counter-drug intelligence, and international drug policy. Umberg has a deep understanding of the strategies and resources we need to stop the current opioid epidemic and to put an end to senseless gun violence in our communities.
Senator Umberg also served three terms in the State Assembly, representing central Orange County. During this time, he worked across party lines, authored 76 laws, and brought more than $563 million in funds to Orange County.
Senator Umberg founded and built a successful veteran-owned small business in Orange County, recognized as one of California’s preeminent boutique law firms by Best Lawyers and The Daily Journal. Senator Umberg knows how to run a business and is a strong advocate for local business owners helping them to cut red tape and streamline unnecessary regulation.
Senator Umberg and his wife, Brigadier General (retired) Robin Umberg, have three children and seven grandchildren.
University of California, Los Angeles – Bachelor of Arts
University of California, College of Law, San Francisco – Juris Doctor
US Army War College — Master of Strategic Studies
Chair of Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary
Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Senate Housing Committee
Senate Transportation Committee
Joint Committee on Rules
Dr. Lohuwa Mamudu
Dr. Lohuwa Mamudu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at California State University Fullerton (CSUF). He is a Statistician/Data Analyst/Data Scientist, Epidemiologist, and Research Consultant. His research is data-driven and interdisciplinarily focused on statistical/analytical modeling and applications of qualitative and quantitative statistical and machine learning methods and algorithms. He collaborates with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Tennessee Cancer Registry (TCR) as a Freelance Data Analyst and researcher, working on cancer disease outcomes and disparities (breast, lung cancer, etc.), infectious disease, chronic disease, and immigration health disparities (depression, anxiety, and psychological distress) in the United States. He is a Co-Investigator of a multi-year NIH-funded project on Neurocognitive, Aging, Analytic, and Research Education (NAARE) program at CSUF. He is an Associate Editor of the Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) Journal at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Mamudu is a research Mentor/Advisor. He is an Author and Co-Author of several research articles. He organizes, facilitates, and instructs in academic and research workshops. His long-term research goal and interest will focus on big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in public health research.
Judge James Gray (ret.)
Jim Gray retired after serving as a trial court judge for 25 years here in Orange County. After graduating from UCLA he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, and after graduating from USC Law School served as a criminal defense attorney in the US Navy JAG Corps. Thereafter he was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. While on the Court he founded Peer Court, which now takes real juvenile delinquency cases to 14 Orange County high schools, where they empanel a jury of high school students who ask questions to the subject, who has already acknowledged involvement in the offenses. Then that jury recommends a sentence to a real judge and, if the subject successfully completes the sentence, the underlying charges are dismissed, and the subject does not have a record. Judge Gray is committed to the WACOC, and is one of its prior chairs.
Felbab-Brown, Vanda. “Addressing Mexico’s role in the U.S. fentanyl epidemic.” Brookings Institution. July 19, 2023.
Klobucista, Claire and Alejandra Martinez. “Fentanyl and the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.” Council on Foreign Relations. April 19, 2023.
Ferguson, Tom. “China’s opioid challenge: All is fair in law and war.” Atlantic Council. August 5, 2022.