Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Random Thoughts: With every year ending I find my self checking out those Top Ten list of this or that. Not to mention those proverbial list of who's in, who's out and what's not hot! Over the years, I've seen and heard some of it all with a bit of the talk-talk ending up in this forum. In any case, no matter the chatter, the words flowing from this forum has always been about empowerment and challenges to the status quo. Randomly speaking I mused out loud about topics that even today I'm not sure if they've been adequately addresses or winning solutions considered. Here again are a few of those elephant in the room questions:
BARWATCH: Let's face it, we've got choice and if you can't find a place that suits you, then you need to stay home. It's been 30 years of Discovery and it seems that the place just won't die. It was the place to be "gay" in the day and it's evolution into an anything goes atmosphere could not be avoided. Especially as local gay folk transitioned, ebbed and flowed as well as became nesters. Yet, the complex holds fond memories for myself and it will always be apart of my personal history. Of course there's been plenty others to come and go, such as The Filling Station, Plumtastics, Sgt. Prestons, Fifth Gear, Rumors, Garbo's, The Factory, Code Blue, CHAPS and others. Can you believe it all these are history? Therefore, the 7th Street Corridor featuring 610, OffCenter and Pulse are new kids on the block. Providing locals with the basic mix that's been bringing them in for years, booze, boys and beats. Luckily Sidetracks is still percolating and re-defining it's winning combination. UBU continues it stride as an alternate meeting place, complete with shows and special music performers. I congratulate them for having staying power and doing what they can for the community. STAR bar the latest game in town, will hopefully find it's chops, especially with their deck addition. I will find my way their on spring evenings and summer nights. If you don't know it, this city has some of the best outlets compared to any that I've seen in the big girl cities. We should be proud to have access to such facilities with out any hassle. Thanks to all those entrepreneur's whom have take the effort to stay in business, but we should always remember, if we don't do them, they may not be there for us.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tickets are $25.00 – Call for tickets – 501-244-9690 or 501-258-3186 The event will support the group to attend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Annual Creating Change Conference. Yet, these are only a few of the community organizations gearing up for 2010 and hopefully their efforts will be successful. During this forum's tenure I made an significant attempt to provide a "free" means to advertise local events including those I attended or due to scheduling wasn't present. There was no nepotism or implied pretense to posting, reviewing or lampooning events. This forum has always been about community and sometimes our under belly gets spotlighted for better or worse. I've chided organizations or individuals that "putting the word out" about whatever they are producing is vital to it's success. Unfortunately, COP:24/7 won't be apart of that mix in the near future, but perhaps we offered a teachable moment to whom produce such events as well as those who attend.
Monday, December 28, 2009
AID$ Inc.: 2009 will certainly be remembered as the Year of the Ponzi scam. No one will forget Mr. Madoff and all those of his ilk including many other Americans who got fingered by loan officers, behemoth banks, unscrupulous real estate types, Big Pharma and industires that have nickeled and dimed us to death. With all that under our belts comes this gripping, disturbing and undoubtedly controversial documentary, House of Numbers, to be released widely come 2010. However, this film was shown in October at the Hot Springs Film Fest including the director Brent Leung. Subsequently also on December 3rd, 2009, courtsey of University of Central Arkansas’ Prism Organization. Brothas & Sistas / Living With Affected assisted in faciliating dialouge due to the nature of the information within the film. According to a synopsis, In 'House of Numbers,' an AIDS film like no other, the HIV/AIDS story is being rewritten. This is the first film to present the uncensored POVs of virtually all the major players; in their own settings, in their own words. It rocks the foundation upon which all conventional wisdom regarding HIV/AIDS is based. 'House of Numbers' could well be the opening volley in a battle to bring sanity and clarity to an epidemic gone awry. Unfortuatnely I was unable to get the local showing but as I watched the trailer, I found it extremely interesting and will see the entire production shortly. Yet even though it was presented locally, to date I have heard very little mentioned about the subject matter nor any real commentary from the ASO community. Surely, the premise that perhaps we've been duped about this "health dilemma," the ongoing fundraising, cost containments and everything HIV/AIDS would have at least garnered a whimper from say, ADH or AAF? Is it so , that this film was openly presented and no one has nothing to say about it? Did I miss the conversation or "white paper" issued from any ASO agency? Well, they may have not, but before I go, this forum will have our say. In the meantime, check out the trailer and their website, http://www.houseofnumbers.com/ The film will be available on DVD in June 2010.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Yes, this is showing a Northern Hemisphere bias. South of the equator, the day marks the most hours of sunlight of the year. So enjoy the austral summer, those of you below the equator. The rest of us? We'll be rooting for longer, warmer days.
The event, of course, owes its existence to the tilt of Earth's axis as the third rock from the Sun revolves around its parent star. Imagine that someone poked a suitably sharpened, oversized No. 2 pencil through the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole. Today, the eraser is pointed away from the sun by the largest angle of the year – some 23 degrees, 26 minutes off vertical, with vertical measured against the plane of the Earth's orbit.
Six months from now, that eraser will point toward the sun by the same angle, exposing the Northern Hemisphere to the longest period of sunlight in a day.
By Dennis W. Wiley and Christine Y. Wiley (Washington Post)
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago, we entered the sanctuary at Covenant Baptist Church and took our places in front of the altar, just as we had countless times before in our more than 20 years as partners in ministry. We had been united in holy matrimony ourselves in the same spot where we now stood to unite others.
As the couple walked down the aisle, we recalled the previous evening's rehearsal, when we commended all the participants for their courage and prayed that God would be in our midst at the ceremony. When we pronounced the couple "partners for life," we felt our prayers had been answered. It was the same feeling we had experienced so many times before when asking for God's blessing of the union of a man and a woman. Only this time, the union was of a man and a man.
Our church is the first and only traditional black church in the District of Columbia to perform same-sex unions. We conducted our first two union ceremonies, one gay and one lesbian, in the summer of 2007. The rapid political developments that followed in our nation and our city have made us optimistic that by the summer of 2010, same-sex nuptials will be not only blessed by churches such as ours, but also sanctioned by law in the District.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage. This historic measure passed 11 to 2, with the two no votes cast by council members Yvette Alexander of Ward 7 and Marion Barry of Ward 8 -- the ward where our church sits. Both wards are east of the Anacostia River and have the highest percentages of black residents in the city. Both members said that the majority of their constituents, who live in the same communities where many of our parishioners live, do not support gay marriage.
We have seen the resistance that Alexander and Barry were talking about. We know it has deep cultural and historical roots. But we have also seen that this resistance is not stuck in concrete.
After that first ceremony in our church, we were pleased and relieved; many members and guests told us how beautiful the service had been. But not everyone who attended shared this feeling. After most of the guests left, one longtime parishioner approached us, shaking. In a voice filled with rage, she asked how we could desecrate the sanctuary with such an ungodly act. She vowed to no longer be a member of our church.
After leaving our congregation, she contacted denominational leaders and local newspapers, including The Washington Post, to complain about our "immoral" behavior. She also took us to court in an unsuccessful attempt to recoup two years of tithes because, in her opinion, we had misled her in presenting ourselves as a "real" Baptist church.
For us, the courage to perform same-sex unions is in keeping with the proudest traditions of our Baptist and congregational heritage. Within the Baptist tradition of freedom and autonomy, Covenant Baptist Church has a long history of progressive ministry emphasizing social justice, service to the community and inclusion.
Several years ago, our congregation unanimously adopted a vision statement that we recite together every Sunday morning as a reminder that "all are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, age or sexual orientation." In leading our congregation to adopt this vision, we knew that one day we would face the question of same-sex marriage. We did not know how we would respond when the moment came. We didn't arrive at the altar for that first same-sex union ceremony in 2007 because the couple asked us to perform their wedding. Instead, an openly gay man, enrolled at a local seminary, had sought our church's endorsement in his quest to become ordained. We treated him just as we would any aspiring minister who needed our guidance and support: We asked him about his personal life. He revealed that he was living with his partner, also a church member, but that they had not made a lifetime commitment to each other. We could not ask the church to license him if he was living with someone -- male or female -- in an uncommitted relationship. After about a year of counseling, he and his partner were clear that they wanted to be together for life. The ball was then back in our court.
This couple did not press us to perform a union ceremony, nor did we encourage them to have one. If they had been heterosexual, their decision to make a permanent commitment to each other would have probably resulted in marriage. Since this couple were homosexual, however, what were their options? Not only was same-sex marriage illegal in the District, it was also forbidden in most churches and faith communities.
Through Bible study, reflection on theology and history, and experience, we had come to believe that it was unjust to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to consecrate their relationships in the same way that we allow opposite-sex couples to. Before the ceremony in the church, each of us had performed a same-sex union ceremony elsewhere. But this was our home. The church had voted to become an inclusive congregation. How could we justify treating same-sex couples as second-class citizens?
We knew what was in our hearts. But if the ceremony was to be held at Covenant, we had to present this matter to the congregation. We believed that a traditional up-and-down vote could be too divisive. We chose instead to seek some form of consensus.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Is it Health Care Yet?: At this point, the health care reform debate has made me simply sick. It's become a behemoth that seems to resemble something from Dr. Frankenstein's dungeon that being formed from body parts from unknown graves. I've listened, watched and read all that I can take and I'm still confused as to exactly what's coming down the pike. I'm not sure which facet makes me tremble more. Is it the 900 Billion/Trillion/ Zillion dollars that will be needed to fund the thing, or the fact that nothing about this madness will even began to affect those supposedly "millions of newly covered until-- Yikes!, "2014." Not to mention those slicing and dicing Medicare, Medicaid and Medical whatever that's being restructured as deficit offsets and those other fancy financial wranglings that are being bounced around like no body's business. Hey, Mr. Obama, if we don't get this thing right, it's not going to be pretty. Let's hope for the best.
I'm a huge fan of the Tom Joyner Morning Show heard locally on KOKY 102.1 which often keep me in stitches with their unique comedy bits and bites. Yet, with all the morning mayhem that they may heap upon their listening audience, there's always a good dose of sobering commentary for a early AM "teachable moment." I got this e-blast from the National Black Justice Coalition which lauded the commentary from Jeff Johnson on the recent election of Houston's first openly gay mayor whom endured some suttle gay baiting and homophobia from opponents. We are all to familiar in Arkansas with that tactic and it's smear affect that some voters buy into. Here's their e-blast citing his commentary on that historic election.
If you are having difficulty hearing the audio, please click here to use a more compatible file format.
We'd like to call your attention to a commentary from yesterday's Tom Joyner Morning Show, from regular TJMS commentator Jeff Johnson.This brief clip includes commentary on the great lengths some factions went to in trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Houston's election of an openly lesbian mayor, which leads Jeff Johnson to call out what he sees as a crisis caused by the African American community's unwillingness to be honest about its own homophobia. The clip is less than six minutes long, but in that time Jeff speaks an awful lot of truth to those that may not always want to hear it.For those that don't know his work, Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC based journalist, activist and commentator. He is the author of Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal BEST and is chief correspondent for talk show The Truth With Jeff Johnson.This clip is an example of the type of dialogue we need - open and honest, and a call to action asking the Black community to "stop being afraid, and start being willing to understand." His willingness and courage in speaking truth to those who may not want to hear it is inspirational, energizing and deserving of our praise.
Shopping til you Drop: In case you've still not found that special gift for the naughty or nice person on your list. There's some great video or MP3's from our online partner, CD Universe. There release of The Men of Israel, caught my eye and may make it under the tree this season. It's being billed as one of the first video of it's type totally produced in the country featuring an all Israeli cast. Exactly what that means, I'm not sure, but from the info I read, that's beside the point. The cover boys are Avi Dar( left) Matan Shalev (center) and Jonathan Agassi (right) whom give you your yule tide logs and more on a digital dolby double disc. Try saying that 5 times. If you haven't hit our icon gateway to that site, you might want to check this out and all the other fascianting items that CD Universe offers. As I've looked over their catalog, there are numerous gadgets, lubes, toys and enhancement items that are affordable self entertainment. I have no doubts that you can discover something that will either fit in your stocking or under the tree.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Even if your doctor isn't intentionally out to mislead you, we'll bet a box of tongue depressors that he is keeping you in the dark about certain things. These are secrets that can save you money, time, and even your life. Click here for 8 things you'll never hear from your doctor—unless you know what to ask.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Housing 4 U: Little Rock Housing Authority will be accepting applications December 15th starting at 8:00 am.
Applications will be accepted on line only. www.lrhousing.org
1500 applications will be accepted, after reaching that total process will stop.
An ad ran in Arkansas Democrat on Sunday, December 6th and will run again this Sunday, December 13th.
LRHA provides publicly assisted housing comprised of traditional public housing, mixed finance sites and Section 8. We currently house more than 8,000 individuals. More than half of our residents live in Section 8 housing located throughout the City of Little Rock. LRHA provides Section 8 residents with a voucher to be used toward their rent; however, private landlords manage the properties.
By Fred Ojambo
Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti- gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said.
The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala.
Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati presented a private member’s bill on Oct. 14 which sought the death penalty and life imprisonment for gay people in the country. The Ugandan government supports the bill because homosexuality and lesbianism are “repugnant to the Ugandan culture,” Buturo said. Still, it favors a more refined set of punishments, he said.
In addition to formulating punishments for the gay people, the bill will also promote counseling to help “attract errant people to acceptable sexual orientation,” said Buturo.
The proposed legislation has attracted criticism from gay rights activists, both locally and internationally, who argue that the law would promote discrimination and hatred toward the gay community.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via the Johannesburg bureau at email@example.com.
Here's the link if you wish to participate. Tell em you heard about it here first!
https://www.surveymonkey.com/ s.aspx?sm= t0f5r9WiRP0YgWHwAXCo8A_3d_3d
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
TRMS On the Job: I don't know about you but if you've not seen Rachel Maddow in action during her MSNBC broadcast then you should. Her, Rachel Maddow Show, is spicy, tough, thought provoking and sometimes shoots from the hip with a take no prisoner style. Recently Maddow's show spotlighted American connections with Uganda's proposed law to legally dispose of homosexuals by hanging whom are seen as serial offenders or HIV infected involved in same-sex acts. The interviews were riveting and expose the lunacy of some foreign governments and their internal policies. Not to mention the "long arms" of American officials whom have either visited these countries in some favorable status or have other religious connections such as the nebulous entity, The Family that has been the subject of news reports swirling around it's Capitol Hill players. As I recall, I did not see this subject being approached on mainstream network newscast or above the fold in newspapers. However, Maddow wasn't deterred in calling anyone out and asking for their explanation on the subject. I've included a video clip of her efforts and congratulate Ms. Maddow on keeping it real as well as on point! You go Ms. Maddow, now this is some news....
NEW YEARS EVE: Got no plans? Then you should consider DSRA for your NYE activities. You can bet that you can get a bang for you buck with hospitality, food, fun, music, champagne and party favors. Get READY to Party, detail coming to this forum next week!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Take Action: 1) Call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office. Please do not contact Representative DeLauro unless she is in fact your legislator. Need to know who your Representative is? Click here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml2) Ask for the housing staffer. Request that they ask your Representative to co-sign the HRSA Policy letter led by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro(D-CT-3) calling on Secretary Sebelius to reconsider this amendment. Contact information for the staffer is set out in the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. DeLauro below:
HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Policy Amendment Letter
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
U, ME & HIV: "HIV in Arkansas" the annual AETN program featuring an updates, spotlights and discussion on the state of HIV/AIDS in Arkansas will air Friday, December 11Th at 6:30pm and Sunday, December 27Th at 10:30pm. The program produced by Kelly Duda take a overview of advocates, consumers, local ASO's and the impact that this disease is still having in Arkansas and throughout the south. I've seen it in previous incarnations and it's always worthwhile to take moment to refresh yourself about the facts before you get caught up in the fiction. Check you local listings for the stations in your area. If you check it out, feel free to bring your observations to this forum.
Diversity Mix-Down: As many of you know I get mucho e-mail and I do mean "MUCHO!" However, I make every attempt to read all of this info but often much of it goes to my File 13 bucket. Yet my attention was certainly grabbed by an invitation that was bounced via the Stonewall Democrats citing a "Peacemaker" forum 12.11.09 Dunbar Community Center, 5-7 p.m. facilitated by the United States Department of Justice. The forum is being billed as an "opportunity to share your issues, concerns, and interests to enhance race relations and improve access to services in our community." Even more eyeopening was that this was being coordinated by City Director Erma "Fingers" Hendrix (pictured) whom if you may recall was embroiled in a brouhaha earlier this year based on a statement that she allegedly quipped during the ill fated Day Center debate. It was reported, but not totally substantiated to my satisfaction that she implied that the center considered for the the old Job Corp building would attract those type of people namely "homosexuals." Of course, Mrs. Hendrix vehemently denied such a statement was uttered nor is she of that state of mind or a person of that pedigree. As she continued to deny it, the reports kept swirling in the media and the GLBTQ construct went viral with social network postings. According to Mrs. H. her phone went ringing off the wall and in the final analysis, the whole matter became a non-issue. And in typical "erruption fashion," everyone moved on as usual. No apologies issued, no resignations announced, no detectable resolution. So what are we to make of this outing from Hendrix? It's anyone's guess and most likely no one will really care in my estimation. I predict that there will be minimal attendence from the GLBTQ community, but I'd love to be proved wrong. I'm always glad when the community makes a showing. However, it's all so surreal that this event would be taking place as this state has barred it's GLBTQ citizens from marrying or adopting. Ultimately, the forum perhaps should be about,"where's the justice in that peacemaking?" Hey Mrs. Hendrix, since it appears that you are all about mending fences, how about a forum on "Community Homophobia" coordinated with some of our local activist and advocates? Or better yet, could we count on you to be a guest speaker at next years PRIDE 2010 event? It's just something to think about. Here's a quick reacap: UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/Community Relations Services: The Departments “Peacemaker” for community conflict and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2009
DUNBAR COMMUNITY CENTER 1101 W. 16TH STREET, Little Rock, Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. If you find you face in the place, I'd love to hear your observations or opinions.
Monday, December 07, 2009
DSRA Royalty Night: Let me began that this is going to be a biased post because I'm simply over the moon for the support that I was afforded to witness this weekend. THANK YOU my rainbow family for your outpouring during the Belles & Boots: An Evening of Royalty show featuring the 2010-11 DSRA Royalty Team, Mr. DSRA Jerry Lum and 1st Alternate Marvella. The benefit cast was a who's who of local entertainers including Champagne, Meranda M. Cherity, Crystal Love, Lana, Marco Delgato, Diva Denery and former Mr. DSRA Dan Scott. Even though we promoted the show with a vengeance, I was overwhelmed especially as friends whom I've not seen in years, answered the "call" to come join us in our fundraising effort for Rodeo in the Rock tentatively slated for April 30 - May 2, 2011. The evening which included a Silent Auction netted a impressive $2100.00 which will be utilized by the charitable organization for the impending rodeo and selected charity donation. Last year DSRA selected St. Judes Hospital as it's designated charity recipient. Also during the evening toys were collected for redistribution via another local entity. During competition I stated that my platform was all about refreshing DSRA within the community and outreaching to the diverse cultures that make up the "people Mosaic" of our area. This is just beginning of a journey that will be open to everyone and anyone. No matter how small the donation or talent. Our entire 2010 calendar will be announced shortly and I hope to see you all in the New Year. Good Work community!!!
Funding Streams 101: Since we are on the subject of money, this dropped in the e-mail bag and I wanted to pass it along for all of us in need of cash infusions for our various groups. I plan on either listening in or getting the MP3 for reference for my fundrasing chops. I've always stated that viable organization must discover, develop and design numerous funding streams for survival, especially in these challenging economic times. So, with that said check this opportunity out to empower your fundrasing efforts.
Free Nonprofit 911® TeleconferenceTuesday, December 15 at 1 p.m. (eastern)
Too often we prepare grant proposals just because the opportunity appears on our doorstep. Too seldom do we develop a calendar that builds a comprehensive grantseeking schedule around a set of projects identified and blessed by our boards.
In this Nonprofit 911 Call with Cynthia M. Adams, CEO of GrantStation, you will learn:
How to establish your own grantseeking calendars for 2010
To uncover the right grant makers - private and government - for your programs and projects
To understand trends in corporate and foundation giving, as well as significant trends in government grants - stimulus funding as well as other federal and state programs
This will be a lively training call with an accompanying PowerPoint slides and worksheets for registrants. Register today to take the first step toward zeroing in on your fundraising plan and mix for the coming year!
Can't make it on the 15th? Register to receive a free MP3 audio and text transcript.
Our Speaker: Cynthia Adams
Cynthia Adams has been a fundraiser for over 35 years. Working directly for nonprofits and as a fundraising consultant, Ms. Adams specializes in building bridges between funders and grantseekers. She strongly believes that successful grantseeking requires a thorough understanding of the funders and sound knowledge of the playing field. Her life's work has been to level that playing field, creating an opportunity for all nonprofit organizations to access the wealth of grant opportunities throughout the world.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
CYBER COP 24/7: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! It's cyber monday and we are doing what we do best in bringing you the latest gizmo to circulate our brand of news. Check out our new newsbyte video featuring this weekend's Belles & Boots Show. So, don't spend all your dollars elsewhere, come on by and assist DSRA as we prepare for Rodeo in the Rock 2011 and beyond. If you can't make it, don't forget that your donations are always welcomed. Let's hear from you TODAY!!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
FACEBOOK Blow-UP: For awhile I was not involved with the Facebook mash up, but since I set up the page, it's been off the chain as the young set say. I've gotten hits from folks whom I haven't heard from, not sure how they even know me or seen in years! It's been the damnest thing and I've been loving it. Thanks to all who have "friended" me, sent me all types of shout-outs, gadgets, gizmos and what have you's. Social networking has truly proved it self as means to either get or stay connected. If you haven't seen the spot, then be sure and check it out soon. Hopefully we'll continue to check in even after we shut COP:24/7 down later this year.
Sunday Pulsar: Yes it's true that I get around on the circuit, but every now and then have good time that might have been overlooked. This is true of last Sunday nights outing to PULSE after the mega throw down that I heard about over at the Discovery Complex. Unfortunately, I can't be everywhere and I don't like standing in line for no length of time as well. Thus, I opted to catch Breanna Braxton and Crew, which I must say worked til their mugs almost fell off. The small crowd was uniquely festive including some NYC visitors that turned up the volume and Little Rock met them toe to toe. I was particular jarred by the "you call it and we do it" that the trio went into as the crowd shouted out favorites for the DJ to play. If you haven't had a chance to stop through PULSE on Sunday evenings for either their Beer Bust or show, then you might want to consider stepping out very soon. Tell them I told you about it all...COP 24/7 Tickler: Have you heard the Belles and Boots promo announcement? Well, why not! It's posted on the top margin. Just click the EVOCA icon, adjust your volume and enjoy. Come on out to support. Isn't it all about community?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
My name is Diedra J. Levi, Director of Brothas & Sistas Inc., an HIV Prevention and Community Enhancement team for the LGBT People of Color in Arkansas. I remember the day GRIDS became AIDS and that night I lost my first friend to this disease. Now, 25 years and over 200 funerals later, I am affected by AIDS.
The unmet need in Arkansas is 70% as opposed to the 30% national average. In prevention work we are told to encourage testing which creates a paradox. Of the 30% of people positive for HIV, 200 of them will be denied care as of the first of the year due to funding shortfalls. Positive people in care are the first line of defense in prevention. We in prevention ask why we should test anyone to only send them into depression, anxiety and a waiting list. The virus doesn’t wait, nor does it care about eligibility.
My question to the White House is; is bad weather the only thing that can deem a state a disaster area which triggers emergency funding? Without medication, T-cell counts go down, viral loads go up and so does the infection rate. There is no gap period for the virus. Can’t Arkansas be a disaster area by definition?
A disaster area is a region or a locale heavily damaged by either natural hazards, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, technological hazards including nuclear and radiation accidents, or sociological hazards like riots, terrorism or war. The population living there often experiences a loss of energy supply, food, services, and an increasing risk of disease. Declarations of disaster areas open up the affected areas for national or international aid.
We ask that you use this emergency plan criterion “If the disaster response is
beyond local and state capacity, federal resources may be activated” , and send emergency funding to save the lives of the citizen/voters of Arkansas.