Dede Goldsmith is a drug-awareness and harm-reduction advocate who launched the Amend the RAVE Act (ATRA) campaign on the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. Shelley Goldsmith, a 20-year-old honors student at UVA, died in August 2013 of hyperthermia that led to cardiac arrest after taking MDMA and attending an EDM concert in Washington, D.C.
Goldsmith believes her daughter might be alive today had certain safer-setting measures been in place at the concert. The ATRA initiative seeks to clarify a federal law that presently discourages EDM venue owners and promoters from offering the safest possible settings for their patrons. Some 14,500 signatures have been gathered in support of the ATRA campaign.
In addition to her federal legislative work, Goldsmith serves as a citizen member of Virginia Commission on Youth, a bipartisan legislative commission that addresses the needs of youth and their families. Through her leadership, the VCOY is currently putting together a plan that identifies the most effective peer-to-peer drug education programs, created by students. Once developed, the plan will be implemented at state colleges and universities. Goldsmith also serves as president of Protect Our Youth, Inc., a nonprofit organization established to support efforts to protect our young people.
She lives in Abingdon, VA, with her husband, Rob.