Over the past couple of weeks people have been asking what they can do about the LA City budget cuts to HIV programs. One thing you can do is call your council members and encourage them to stand up and support HIV programs. Below find a sample script you can use when making the calls. Attached please find a fact sheet andtranscribed quotes from the council members last Monday’s budget meeting.
A group of us will be visiting council offices on Thursday to drop off information and let them know in person that we care about these cuts. Please let us know if you’d like to join us.
Call Your LA City Councilmember & Housing Committee members: 7 days until Los Angeles stops funding HIV programs
The Federal government is changing the guidelines for the way cities like Los Angeles use money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Those changes are resulting in sudden cuts to HIV services that the city has funded using money from HUD. We need City Council to immediately come up with replacement funding to ensure that these vital services continue without interruption. These programs provide HIV testing, health education, many efforts to reach people who inject drugs including outreach, syringe disposal, overdose prevention & naloxone distribution.
These programs are part of a critical public health network that reduces the burden of HIV throughout our city. These prevention programs use evidence-based public health strategies to work with populations most impacted by HIV.
(Last Tuesday’s LA Times article)
Please stand with these programs and let your council members know how important they are. We encourage you to use social media to promote this call to action to help amplify the message and encourage others to connect with their council members as well.
We are also asking that you also contact the chair and members of the Housing Committee. This committee oversees the funding stream that currently funds HIV services in the City of Los Angeles. (contact info below)
Call your Councilmember’s office and Councilmember Cedillo who is the Chair of the Housing Committee. We want to acknowledge the on-going support provided by City Council for these programs while also register the urgent need to bridge the funding gap. Be courteous and respectful! Keep in mind that the staff person answering the telephone is more likely to accurately record your message if you speak to them respectfully.
Hello, my name is ________, and I am a constituent/ a resident/ an HIV service provider/ a consumer of HIV services/ a mom/ whatever you’d like to identify as.
I learned (cite the LA Times article if that helps) that the city plans to stop funding HIV services for 3 months starting next week, and that after that there may only be 57% of the funding needed for the next year.
I am calling to ask the Councilmember to stand up and support our city’s HIV prevention programs. I care about these programs because they help reduce HIV and improve my/ our community’s health.
(**only if you want to get more detailed about how: We urgently need the city to transfer the programs from Federal Funding streams to the City Budget, because a gap in services could be have serious consequences. We know we can prevent HIV infections – our city supports effective, science based prevention programs that need to continue their work to keep this epidemic at bay.)
A gap in services could be have serious consequences – and costs – for our city. It would take $260,000 to cover this 3 month gap, but only ONE new HIV infection will cost $385,200 to treat.
This HIV funding crisis gives the council the opportunity to show the country what makes this city great – to show the kind of leadership the council has shown before and continue our proud history of standing up for people with HIV and AIDS.
Housing Committee Members:
- Chair – Gilbert Cedillo
- Felipe Fuentes
- Herb Wesson Jr.
- Joe Buscaino
- Curren Price Jr.