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AIDS Action Weekly Update

October 18, 1996

Welcome to AIDS Action Council's Weekly Washington Update, an on-line newsletter that reviews what is happening in Washington on AIDS policy issues each week. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us at the e-mail address listed below.

FY 98 Budget Process

Although the Congress and the President are out campaigning for re-election, the FY 98 budget process has already begun in earnest. Federal agencies have already forwarded funding requests for programs under their jurisdiction to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). However, these initial budget requests were offered to OMB before the final FY 97 budgets were enacted for programs under the Labor-HHS-Education account as well as for some other appropriations bills. OMB is expected to send its first "passbacks" in response to the agency requests by mid-November.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Displayed In Washington D.C.

AIDS Action kicked into high gear the weekend of October 12 during the display of the 45,000-panel AIDS Memorial Quilt. Whether educating display attendees about how their members of Congress voted on AIDS legislation, organizing a demonstration at the U.S. Capitol, or delivering pledge cards to presidential candidates, AIDS Action was a visible presence at this historic event. Our table at the AIDS Memorial Quilt's Education Tent on the National Mall was well-attended by hundreds of thousands of display attendees. AIDS Action staff distributed state-specific fact sheets, congressional voting records, and other materials. On Saturday, October 12, 5,000 people formed a human chain of concern and remembrance around the U.S. Capitol building for Hands Around the Capitol, an event co-sponsored by AIDS Action, Mothers' Voices, and Gay Men's Health Crisis Action. During the Quilt display weekend, AIDS Action also culminated its yearlong partnership with The NAMES Project, Remember Them with Your Vote. Over 60,000 signatures were collected on pledge cards which communicated to both presidential candidates the importance of AIDS to the American voter in this election year. Clinton-Gore and Dole-Kemp campaign representatives were invited to accept the pledge cards at an October 15 press conference. While Patsy Fleming, Office of National AIDS Policy director, accepted the pledge cards on behalf of President Clinton, no Dole-Kemp representative responded to our invitation. Undaunted by the Dole-Kemp campaign's refusal to accept the pledge cards, AIDS Action staff delivered the cards to the Republican National Committee headquarters, where they received a curt "Thank you."

Zingale Named Aids Action Executive Director

Daniel Zingale, former Political Director of the Human Rights Campaign, has been named Executive Director of AIDS Action. He will assume the post in January. While at the Human Rights Campaign, Zingale successfully used his skills as a coalition- and consensus-builder to bring about last month's historic vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. Senate. Zingale, who sits on the board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said today that his first challenge as executive director will be to forge partnerships with traditional civil rights groups that will allow AIDS Action to better address a burgeoning epidemic in underserved and underrepresented communities and help alleviate the public health crisis around access to promising, yet expensive, HIV treatments.

For more information contact:
Lisa White
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council. It is a part of the publication AIDS Action Weekly Update.