Thursday, March 06, 2008

Let The Games begin 2008..part 3

Crickets. It's the sound you hear when you are surrounded by the sounds of silence. Hello, is anyone out there? Papa can you hear me, Papa can you feel me...? I can't imagine that the noise of the passing parade, not to mention all the noise that I'm making up in hear would somehow translate to some conversation, comments, shout outs or something. Cat got your tongues? Anyway, back to the matter at hand. In this post I'm back on the "1's" & "2's" in search of all the game playing that going on here there and let's begin.

A Delegating we go: This weekend is the Special State convention and Congressional District Caucus. Yes, I'm on board, signed up and ready to mix it up with fellow individuals who are vying to be delegates to the DNC in Denver. Let me tell you that the experience so far has had me scratching my head, a tad bit puzzled and going, "Hmmmmmm!?" Why you say? Well, even though I had a good handle on the process, I discovered that some info was distributed but somehow I was late to receive it, but on the other had got other info(via e-blast) that others didn't seem to get. Then, I began to ponder that if there are other GLBTQ contenders where's the support mechanism from within the GLBTQ community? Even though I had an unscheduled moment to speak about my efforts at a past Arkansas Stonewall Caucus meeting as well as, blogging about it since I decided to approach the task and launching the ChipIn widget, I've gotten no real anything, positive or negative, from the lavender community at large. Nothing but dead air filled with the sounds of crickets. Wait,... I'm having a flashback moment from the speech of Gary Sullivan candidate for District Judge, who said a prospective operative told him point blank, "don't expect anything from the local gay community..." Mr. Sullivan said to the audience that he hoped that this statement could be proven wrong. Well, I don't know, but I'm beginning to wonder if that kind of thinking might have some credence. So you say not so, then remember the proof is in the pudding. I'll be updating after Saturday's caucus to let you know the outcomes.

AIDS in Arkansas: Here's my second installment concerning AIDS in Arkansas. My research has lead me to some interesting facts and items that I thought should be shared to those who might be unaware. As you know, this forum is all about empowering, enlightening and entertaining a variety of viewpoints. The Ryan White CARE Act is quite a complex organism that has many elements that run across a host of life services and programs. The act has Title II, Title IV, Part A, B, C, D, outpatient EIS and a mash up of other items. I haven't' even mentioned HOWPA (housing dollars), private or public foundations and the endless other outgrowth of "programs" to assist individuals. Then, there's the government behemoth the Dept. of Health and Human Services with it's HRSA (Health Resources Services Administration) component that dispenses grants throughout communities nationwide. The dollars flowing through this entity down the pipeline is daunting. Arkansas has been awarded HRSA grants totally, $9,578,919 for AIDS programs for fiscal 2007. These dollars have provided funding to 6 major programs in the state. According to the HHS website, such programs can be found in Pulaski(1) Jefferson (2), Woodruff (2), and Crittenden(1) counties respectively. As I kept sifting through the massive pages of information, I was astounded at the amount of "Benjamin's" that have been in the coffers for AIDS services over the last decade, yet there seems to be an atmosphere of uncertainty and lackluster performances perceived by endusers. Believe it or not, this ain't all and I'm still page turning on AIDS in Arkansas. If you've got a say, two cents or opinion, then let's get it on the page. Why not today!

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