February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011
Standing Up Against Slash & Burn Politics

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Friday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It has been a very busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Dab the AIDS Bear was at AIDS Watch in Washington, DC all this week. The bear met with our elected officials on HIV and AIDS issues. Now we need your help.

There is quite a bit unfolding on Capitol Hill this week, and it can be confusing – keep reading for a full update – but there is nothing like a little action to clear your head! And we have got THREE ways for you to act now.

1. Tell Congress to say NO to the proposed $60 billion in cuts to federal programs for the remainder of 2011.

Call the Capitol switchboard toll free at 1-866-220-0044 to get connected to your US Representative and two US Senators.

(NOTE: If you do not know who represents you, look them up at votesmart.org – just enter your address at the top of the page.)

Tell your Members of Congress: Vote NO on any fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution that guts essential programs for people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS. These cuts will not fix our nation’s fiscal mess, but they will unjustly sentence people living with HIV and other Americans in need to unnecessary hardship and suffering.

2. As an individual, commit to be a leader against slash and burn politics.

While Congress takes care of unfinished business for 2011, the fight for 2012 funding has just begun.

Pledge to stand with us as we fight back against political grandstanding and cuts that target low income people and communities with high rates of HIV/AIDS.

3. As organizations, join the broader fight to protect services for those most in need in our country.

Go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/125/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5703 to sign your organization on to the Coalition on Human Need’s SAVE for All campaign.

Here is an update on what is going on:

Last year, Congress never finished its business. While they found the time to extend tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest, they kicked the 2011 budget can down the road by passing a resolution to keep funding programs at 2010 levels until March 4.

But now, they have caught back up to the can and want to kick it straight off a cliff.

House Republicans are proposing $100 billion in cuts from current year programs, including HIV prevention. Without question, this budget proposal will increase HIV cases if implemented, and take an ax to programs that are the life lines for millions of people in the United States.

These cuts will not fix our nation’s fiscal mess, but they will unjustly sentence people living with HIV and other Americans in need to unnecessary hardship and suffering. As the SAVE for All coalition points out:

Massive cuts in funding for education, health care, affordable housing, energy assistance and other vital domestic programs – while maintaining unaffordable tax cuts and increasing military spending – are a direct threat to our still fragile economy and a sure prescription for slower future growth and unshared prosperity.

But wait, there’s more!

On Monday, President Obama introduced his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 (beginning October 1, 2011), which maintains funding for HIV prevention and care programs and vital supportive programs like housing.

Given the cutthroat budgetary environment, this is good news for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. However, the budget also includes cuts to vital services used by many people with HIV and their families like funding to cover the rising costs of heat in our cold winters, and other community support programs.

And today’s fight over this year’s spending will set the stage for the upcoming battle over FY2012 funding.

We are asking you, today, to commit to being a leader who will stand against threats to our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. Together, we will mobilize in this tough environment to fight for lifesaving services that affect people living with HIV, those at risk of infection, and the members of our families and communities. need you to do your part to help.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab