Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Politically Speaking Volumes...part 2

Can you feel it? You say what is that I'm suppose to be feeling? Well, it's the electricity in the air of "change," "uncertainty," and uneasiness bubbling just beneath the surface. Are you sensing that somethings is going on out there in the nether lands? Is that a hell yeah? Then you are not alone as we continue sifting the wheat and chaff of news and issues affecting the GLBTQ community and beyond. Here we go...

And the Panelist are...: Last year I posted several times about the Governor's HIV task force that was being put together in reference to legislation ( Act842 0f 2007) that passed in the previous session. I'd contacted administrative aides for information on the process and possibly contenders. However, after a lengthy wait, I didn't' get those details, but was advised of the process. In full disclosure, while I was inquiring I was invited to submit my name for consideration. However,"thank you very much" my plates pretty full, furthermore I've spent many hours in "meetings" that I can't really remember amounting to much. Therefore, I respectively declined. Yet thanks to one of our readers, I was forwarded a news release naming the newly appointed panelist along with their observations on the selection. The panelist are as follows: Johnny Adams of Chidester, Rueben Arana of Little Rock, Rick Collins of Little Rock, Carol Davis of Malvern, Chinetta Davis of Pine Bluff, Youmna El-Sabaa of Little Rock, Sharen Lightsey of Pine Bluff, Sylvana Niciteretse of Pine Bluff, Dr. Barbara Perry of Little Rock, Lupita Roy-Rasheed of Little Rock, Tere Roderick of Tillar, Vickie Gibbs-Scott of Crossett, Dr. Michelle Smith of North Little Rock, Gail Stephens of Pine Bluff, Dr. Katherine Stewart of Little Rock, Dr. Wallace “Al” Thomas of Hot Springs, Dr. Wynona Bryant-Williams of Little Rock, Suzann Wilson of Jonesboro and Sue Worsham of El Dorado. According to the mandate, this group will hold forums in each congressional district seeking public input on the incidence of HIV and AIDS and the effectiveness of prevention and outreach programs. Subsequently the group will be filing a "findings and recommendations" report due Nov 1 to Gov. Bebee and the other usual suspects, House and Senate leadership and the State Department of Health. The reader posed several questions such as that many on the committee might seem overly "academic?" how many of those chosen were offered by the Citizens First Congress recommendations and that the list perhaps was lacking "community voices." Ummmm? While researching this task force, I was made aware that the process, although awkwardly open in my opinion, was indeed open for any individuals to submit there qualifications for consideration. As for those "CFC "recommendations, all I can wonder is how many of those on their list actually submitted information for the process. Meanwhile, who at the CFC was charged with urging their suggestions to place their names for consideration in a timely manner. As for those "community voices?" I'm again stumped at exactly who these voices are suppose to be. After all, I'm always in search of these mysterious voices that I can't get to comment here in this forum, be interviewed, or speak on the record about much of anything. I only get comments when these voices feel I've "gone to far" in calling folks out or spotlighting shortcomings. In 2007, I recall that I was charged with "being divisive and rumour mongering?" Who me? In closing, I have high hopes for this task force and look forward to their report on HIV in Arkansas. In the meantime, any of those voices out in cyberland or any where else who want to share there two cents. I'm always waiting and ready any old time.

Early Voting Starts Next Week

Early voting will run from January 29 through February 4, 2008. You may vote any weekday at your county courthouse during regular business hours. Hours will very depending on the county, and some courthouses will be open on Saturday, February 2. You may also vote on Election Day, Tuesday, February 5 at your local polling place. Contact your county clerk for polling locations. Go to to find contact information for your county clerk as well as the location and business hours for your county courthouse.

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