Local and Community News
New York City: People of Color HIV Funds Restored
June 19, 2003
While AIDS activists are praising the restoration of roughly $5 million for HIV prevention and AIDS services for communities of color, they are demanding that the funds be placed in New York City's budget permanently.
The Bloomberg administration had cut the entire $5 million from the 2004 fiscal year budget beginning in July. It argued that the funds, which first made it into the budget in the 2002 fiscal year, were a one-time expenditure and not baselined, or made a permanent budget item. The cut and that argument angered the activists and City Councilmembers who had battled for the money two years ago.
Peter Reider, chief of staff for Councilmember Christine Quinn, the chair of the health committee, said the mayor restored $3 million and with the state match, the city is only short $200,000 of the $5 million. "The way that the health department is choosing to dispense the money and the way that we have to fight for it every year is making it very difficult to do meaningful prevention," he said. "I want to see it baselined and even if it isn't baselined I want to see some continuity in funding."
It may get baselined, but at a price. Housing Works said that Peter Madonia, the mayor's chief of staff, offered to baseline the funds if the group would surrender its opposition to transferring the Mayor's Office of AIDS Policy Coordination from City Hall to the health department. The office's power resides in its independence, its proximity to the mayor, and most importantly how much support it gets from City Hall, activists said. While they praised the mayor and the City Council for restoring the funds, they oppose moving the office.
Gay City News (New York City)
06.13.03; Duncan Osborne
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.