January 7, 2013
Image from gawker.com.
For many, 2013 will be a year of rejoicing, as it will mark the end of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's obscenely long tenure. With his term thankfully winding down, we will not only be saved from hearing about his selflessness in taking a $1 per year salary, we will also hopefully see a new Mayor who is much more cognizant about the city's pressing HIV/AIDS issues.
In hopes of truly vetting out the 2013 Mayoral Candidates' positions on pressing public health issues, over twenty organizations have invited the Mayoral candidates to a forum to discuss their stance on a myriad of topics. To be held Wednesday, January 16th, at LIU Brooklyn's Kumble Theatre from 6:00pm-8:30pm, tentative questions/issues may include: lack of primary care in underserved communities, Medicaid funding, resources for public health initiatives, and priorities for the DOHMH. Organizers of the forum are asking folks to RSVP online.
Yet despite the promise behind this Mayoral forum, it has greatly evolved from its original format/topic, which would have specifically featured HIV/AIDS questions and issues. And in NYC, which has an ever-increasing homeless population and one of the country's highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, a Mayoral forum on HIV/AIDS issues is very needed.
The last specific Mayoral Candidate Forum on HIV/AIDS was in 2009, when Democratic candidate and former Comptroller Bill Thompson courageously filled out a questionnaire on his HIV/AIDS policy views, and Bloomberg (running for his third term), refused to attend the event altogether, prompting a rally outside of his offices.
As New York City remains the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, with more than 104,000 residents living with the disease, the local AIDS community and its leaders must push for an HIV/AIDS specific Mayoral forum to give us a clear idea of how they will fight to help end the disease here in the City.
Do you want a Mayoral forum on HIV/AIDS? Let everyone know by showing your support on Facebook and Twitter.