November 22

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

John F. Kennedy famously spoke those 22 words during his inaugural address on January 20, 1961. We still recognize that quote - one of the most well-known excerpts from a speech in American history - just as we remember the significance of a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and the horrifying event at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas that took the president’s life and brought this nation to a standstill 50 years ago today.

As we reflect on the life of President Kennedy, it’s important to remember his legacy - the contributions he made to our country and his vision to move America forward. The words of President Kennedy’s inaugural speech still serve as an inspiration to me, challenging me daily to be the best public servant that I can be for this Commonwealth.

This morning, I had the opportunity to tape a "Kentucky Newsmakers" segment with Bill Bryant at WKYT. It’s always great to catch up with Bill and talk with him about the latest news and initiatives from the Office of the Attorney General. You can look for our segment to air on WKYT this weekend. Earlier this week, I also sat down for interviews with The Hazard Herald’s Cris Ritchie and WYMT’s Steve Hensley in eastern Kentucky. If you live in the area, be sure to check out "Issues and Answers" on Monday night to watch my conversation with Steve.

During my trip to eastern Kentucky, I traveled to Hindman to present our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program at Knott County Central High School. We reached more than 600 students that day, encouraging them not to be the next generation lost to prescription drug abuse. I was happy to share our message with the kids, and I thank Principal Robert Pollard for allowing me to speak at his school.

Joining me as guest speakers at the Knott County school program were two representatives from Operation UNITE, Carl Varney and Paul Hays. UNITE, which is a valued partner of the Office of the Attorney General, serves 32 counties across southern and eastern Kentucky, working tirelessly to rid communities of illegal drug use and educate the public about the dangers of using drugs. Carl, a coalition coordinator for UNITE, shared with the students his personal story of overcoming a prescription drug addiction. It takes a lot of courage for someone to stand up and speak about a past battle with drug abuse, and I appreciate Carl taking the time to share such an important message with the children. Across the counties it serves, UNITE has discovered that the average age of a person using drugs for the first time is 11-years-old. Drug addictions are devastating families across the Commonwealth, and we’ll continue doing everything we can to prevent it. If you’d like to watch our program from Knott County Central High, check out our YouTube channel here.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I also want to remind parents and caregivers across the Commonwealth of the valuable tools they can use to monitor the content of their children’s video games. Over the next few weeks, thousands of parents will make purchases for their families, which will often include children’s computer games and video games. A recently launched national PSA campaign encourages families to utilize the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game rating system and video game console parental controls. The ratings are designed to help give parents some guidance about the appropriateness of games they choose for their families. Using the game console parental controls, parents can even block games they don’t want their children to play. I applaud the ESA for creating this national awareness campaign. Making the right entertainment decisions for my children is incredibly important, and this initiative will help keep parents informed when buying video games for their families. You can watch the PSA at http://tinyurl.com/le2dcjj.

Next week, Elizabeth and I are looking forward to spending time with family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. We want to wish you a blessed Thanksgiving, and I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the company of your loved ones as well.