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Author Topic: Travel Costs  (Read 12256 times)

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Offline gerry

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Travel Costs
« on: November 03, 2007, 03:10:47 PM »
The issue of cost has come out repeatedly so I am cutting and pasting previous posts and starting a thread to discuss this, I hope, matter-of-factly, instead of emotionally.

So no US location, ever -- correct?  Even if that means (hypothetically, in the absence of financial information with the fundraising) that means 10 US residents are prevented from attending versus 2 non-US residents not attending? 

It's important to be clear about this, and it's hard to do so unless someone REALLY involved on the fundraising side can present how this effects attendance numbers... how many can/cannot go based on location.

Otherwise we're all kind of shooting in the dark, a point I've tried to make over and over.

I'd like to make a suggestion. Lets look at this from a budget point of view as well. What is the average amount that would be spent to get to either a European or North American Destination? Once we arrive at that figure we can then look at how many non-North American members there are that would like to go. I am assuming that there are a larger percentage of US residents on this forum.  So, lets say there are a total of 75 people going, of which 20 are non-US. Lets assume an average of $800.00 cost.

Then, if the gathering is in North America, those of us here would subsidize some of the cost of those who would come here from Europe, and to a lesser extent vice versa as there are fewer people in the non North America Group sharing the subsidy.

For example, if the AMG is held in Vancouver, I would be willing to put $200 into a pool that would assist those coming from Europe to here. as there is no cost for me. If its held on the US West Coast, then the members in that area and close to it would do the same.

In the 2006 AMG in Montreal, the average cost for full subsidy (airfare and shared accommodations) for someone from the US was $640 per person.  There were no figures for someone residing outside of the US.  The cash on hand that was available to be budgeted was $2818.

In the 2007 AMG in San Francisco, the average cost for full subsidy (airfare and shared accommodations) $585 per person for those from the US and $960 per person for those from the UK.  The cash on hand that was available to be budgeted was $5334.

Bear in mind that not everyone needed full subsidy.  Thus, the range of assistance was quite variable depending on the needs of the people requesting assistance.  If you have other questions regarding the last 2 yearsí Grants Committee activities, feel free to ask, although I cannot guarantee I could give answers that might divulge or allude to the identities of the donors and recipients outside of those who have already openly stated in previous threads that they received or gave assistance.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 03:14:12 PM by gerry »

Offline englishgirl

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 03:50:02 PM »
thanks for doing this gerry
ACT NOW TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TRAVEL BAN:
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1385,0,-html

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17352.0


"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 04:11:00 PM »
Thanks Gerry.  Part of me still is thinking, as a hypothetical of course -- and I realize this is so very hard to estimate, what the "reprecussions" would be in terms of fundraising with an Amsterdam choice and a Mexico City choice.

I don't want to be seen as anti-Europe or anything, as I'm surely not.  But it does seem to me that simply due to the ration of US/non-US forum participants combined with costs, would cause there to be less assistance for Amsterdam.  I'm just not sure, but that would be my guess.

I swear at this point I'm hesitant to say anything about any of this as someone certainly will enter the thread and take out a chain saw.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline anniebc

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 04:35:59 PM »
Thanks Gerry, something I think we all need to keep in mind..it's not just getting those who meed help to the AMG's  but the cost involved..those who so kindly donated towards all the other AMG's can only do so much.

Quote
I swear at this point I'm hesitant to say anything about any of this as someone certainly will enter the thread and take out a chain saw.

I'm with you Philly..I saw the Movie ..those chain saws can do a lot of damge.. ;)

Hugs
Jan :-*
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Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 04:50:31 PM »
Thanks Gerry.  Part of me still is thinking, as a hypothetical of course -- and I realize this is so very hard to estimate, what the "reprecussions" would be in terms of fundraising with an Amsterdam choice and a Mexico City choice.

I don't want to be seen as anti-Europe or anything, as I'm surely not.  But it does seem to me that simply due to the ration of US/non-US forum participants combined with costs, would cause there to be less assistance for Amsterdam.  I'm just not sure, but that would be my guess.

If by "repercussions" you mean the ability to raise funds by th GC if the gathering is held in Europe, I'd say this would be affected by the donors' own travel costs.  I am basing this on the recent survey in which several of the responders who said they were planning to donate also said they were planning to attend the event in 2008.  Most of those who said they were planning to donate also indicated that they were doing so in US$ so which probably indicates that most of these responders would be traveling from the US.

In 2006, the ratio of cash raised from US and non-US donors was 70%-30%.  However, this does not include those who donated directly to members outside of the GC (airfare, accommodations, shared rooms).

This year, the ratio of cash raised from US and non-US donors was 95%-5%.  There were no direct contributions to members by others except for room sharing.

Whether or not the donor base remains consistent with what the survey showed or what it had been for the SF gathering would be difficult to predict as the location was not factored into the survey.


Offline AMG Coordinator

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2007, 05:03:42 PM »
Allow me to add the information below which was derived from the 2007 survey and reveals what members are willing or capable of spending on a gathering. 


What is the maximum amount you spend on airfare to attend a gathering?
$0                     6        8.33%
$200 Ė 350        23       31.94%
$351 Ė 500        21       29.17%
$501 Ė 800        12      16.67%
$801 +              10      13.89%

What is the maximum amount you can spend on hotel costs (per day)
$0      2         2.78%
$50 Ė 70                  13       18.06%     
$71 Ė 100                21       29.17%
$101 Ė 150              28       38.89%
$151 +                     8        11.11%

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2007, 05:13:59 PM »
If by "repercussions" you mean the ability to raise funds by th GC if the gathering is held in Europe, I'd say this would be affected by the donors' own travel costs.  I am basing this on the recent survey in which several of the responders who said they were planning to donate also said they were planning to attend the event in 2008.  Most of those who said they were planning to donate also indicated that they were doing so in US$ so which probably indicates that most of these responders would be traveling from the US.

In 2006, the ratio of cash raised from US and non-US donors was 70%-30%.  However, this does not include those who donated directly to members outside of the GC (airfare, accommodations, shared rooms).

This year, the ratio of cash raised from US and non-US donors was 95%-5%.  There were no direct contributions to members by others except for room sharing.

Whether or not the donor base remains consistent with what the survey showed or what it had been for the SF gathering would be difficult to predict as the location was not factored into the survey.



Thanks Gerry, indeed that's what I was referring to.  We can all make whatever inferences about what various location scenarios would mean, and indeed this is what I was attempting to draw out from others, like you, in the other AMG Vote thread.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2007, 06:13:02 PM »
I see that several people have already started researching air fares and costs to attend in different places.....this is obviously a major factor in helping to decide on a place....but I really like Roberts idea of following after  the international conference...even if it is not in the actual place of the conference....as noted in several posts many flights to and from various parts of the world connect through Dallas , especially flights from Europe and South America..even Australia ......this could be a central place perhaps to get a major speaker...maybe Peter,or one of his cohorts to stop on the way home....  overall an affordable place..friendly..and maybe by then the rules for visas will be adjusted to allow attendance to a "conference"  they sort of already allow for that with no major other issue......

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline allanq

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2007, 10:14:05 PM »
Amsterdam has been getting a lot of votes.

It's easy enough to look up airfares, but what about the cost of a decent budget hotel and for a modest meal (not from a fast food chain like McDonald's)?

Any locals out there who can advise?

For hotels, it would be great if some specific possibilities could be given.

Current exchange rate:  1 euro = US$1.45.

Allan


Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
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Offline ademas

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 11:21:09 PM »
I usually start at www.lonelyplanet.com for basic cost information by country when I'm planning a trip:

Netherlands
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/europe/netherlands/money

Hopefully someone with firsthand knowledge about Amsterdam will come along soon with good news (as I've always understood it to be very expensive, particularly right now for US$ travelers).

What the hell--I'll throw in a link to Mexico, too, just because interest seems to be picking up a little...

Mexico
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/north-america/mexico/money?a=costs


Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 10:47:33 AM »
Thanks Gerry, indeed that's what I was referring to.  We can all make whatever inferences about what various location scenarios would mean, and indeed this is what I was attempting to draw out from others, like you, in the other AMG Vote thread.

It really all boils down to what combination of pros and cons people are willing to accept AND how much work people are willing to do to mitigate the ďconsĒ side of the issue.

If the gathering is held in Amsterdam, it will definitely reduce the travel costs for European members, which has been pointed out in the arguments in other threads as a factor to consider.  And perhaps because of that, it might increase European member participation.  A Mexico City gathering will do the opposite for European travelers.  The reverse will be the case for US travelers (traveling to Mexico City will be less costly than traveling to Amsterdam).  For those from Australia, either site is quite prohibitive.

In either situation (Amsterdam or Mexico City), one cannot realistically expect the same number of turnout as what was accomplished in San Francisco from US travelers, cost being the main issue (i.e, itís generally cheaper for US folks to fly to a US destination).  However, keep in mind that there are probably several US-based members who were only planning on participating in a US-based gathering, so this will affect the turn-out for a non-US destination as well.

The Grants Committee may be able to help mitigate the cost issue but that would depend on how much money is raised.  Even if the same amount of money is raised as this year (which was a surprisingly big number that I myself did not anticipate), the cost to assist a US-based member for a non-US destination would increase; therefore there would be less assistance available to distribute.

I also made a point that since most of the donors are US-based and a lot of them participate in the gathering themselves, then the ability of these kind folks to shell out extra money to donate would be curtailed by their own higher travel expenses.  Thus, unless the donor base expands dramatically, I would anticipate a decline in donations, which would further impact the ability of the Grants Committee to assist people.

If there is a significant number of US-based folks who were only planning to participate in a US-based gathering, then you would just have to accept the outcome that there would be less US-based member turn-out for a non-US-based location irrespective of what the Grants Committee is able to raise.

There was one final point made about who gets assistance from the grants committee if the AMG was for instance held in Amsterdam.  That would be difficult to predict.  There were very few non-US members who asked for assistance from the grants committee this year, but that may have been influenced by the location of the event.  Most of the members assisted were from the US.  I cannot predict if that pattern would change with the location of the AMG or if it will just follow the general statistics of the membership at large.

Gerry
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 10:51:36 AM by gerry »

Offline anniebc

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 02:59:10 PM »
Quote
For those from Australia, either site is quite prohibitive.

You got that right , even though you did leave out NZ.. ;)

Thank you so much Gerry was putting into words the very thoughts that have  been going around my head ever since this whole thing started...I was getting so tired I didn't have the strength to put anything in writting, and to be honest didn't think it would make a difference...I hope your post gets people thinking about what can be and what cannot be done here and come to some kind of agreement.

Personally I can't see why we can't alternate the AMG's between the US/Canada and UK/Europe, while I can understand some people wanting to attend every year if possible..it's not compulsary.

Hugs to you
Jan :-*


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Winiroo

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 03:21:06 PM »
I wont attend if its located outside the US. Its just not feasible for me.
But I wouldnt be terribly upset if I where not able to go. So I guess its a non-issue for me.

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 06:29:12 PM »
You got that right , even though you did leave out NZ.. ;)

Thank you so much Gerry was putting into words the very thoughts that have  been going around my head ever since this whole thing started...I was getting so tired I didn't have the strength to put anything in writting, and to be honest didn't think it would make a difference...I hope your post gets people thinking about what can be and what cannot be done here and come to some kind of agreement.

Personally I can't see why we can't alternate the AMG's between the US/Canada and UK/Europe, while I can understand some people wanting to attend every year if possible..it's not compulsary.

Hugs to you
Jan :-*

I should have said Australia and the vicinity...

Anyway, just as an aside, I had a feeling that the success of the SF gathering (which by the way was voted on as the site after the original winner, Russian River, was deemed not amenable to the gathering due to logistics; the voting took place in spite of the knowledge of the ban: http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=4230.0 and it was just coincidental that Bush announced a possible easing up of the restrictions, which never really got anywhere) would have a couple of effects: 1) it would heighten the interest from more US-based members, especially those who were unable to attend, for the next gathering with the thought that the next one would still be within the US; 2) it would create more discussions about non-US travelers having to travel into the US which might push the next one outside of the US.  I think that's partly why we, in the Grants Committee, tried to reach out to as many US-based folks who had expressed interest in attending and needed assistance as we could for the SF gathering. 

The one good thing we can look back to is that Montreal was also successful in terms of participation.  So a non-US based location is doable.  It's just too bad people had to go through this painful process once again to even arrive at a workable compromise (even though I have a feeling the current atmosphere has pretty much silenced a lot of members who were initially looking forward to the next gathering but are now having second thoughts about it's feasibility for themselves).  This is not meant to place blame or influence decisions; that's not my intent at all.  It's just that so much work has been put into these gatherings the past three years by several people voluntarily and I'd really hate to see that disintegrate because we can't work through our differences. 

Anyway, I'm glad that you were able to attend the last three gatherings and check off your list visiting Las Vegas as well.  I'm sure people will miss your presence in the next one.

Gerry

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 06:52:11 PM »
I hate to stir the pot here, and that's not my intention.  But I find it odd/interesting that in the link to the AMG 07 tread that gerry just linked to, and which took place BEFORE Bush's announcement on World AIDS Day in December '06, that any discussion of the US HIV travel ban was entirely absent.

Or am I missing it -- I just read over it quickly and did a word search for "ban" and saw zilch.  Maybe it was discussed elsewhere around that time (?)

I realize that whether it was or wasn't an issue doesn't negate the fact that it is indeed an issue now, but I thought it rather surprising.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2007, 07:30:11 PM »
Philly:

The HIV ban did not come up in the vote thread for AMG 07.  One member mentioned it and voted for Vancouver, I believe, but it did not factor into the voting.  The discussion about easing up the ban was in another thread:  http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=6382.0

It doesn't mean it should not be discussed now.  I just wanted to clarify that the decision to hold the gathering in SF was arrived at being that it was the second choice next to the Russian River, which turned out to be not feasible for a large group with specific needs (ease of transportation, accommodations, etc).  So SF turned out to be more feasible than the Russian River choice.  It had nothing to do with anticipating that the ban would have been eased by the time the gathering took place.  The big controversial discussion that took place last year was the time of the year for the gathering.

The discussions about the ban happened during the 2005 Toronto and 2006 Montreal gatherings, which have now been obliterated along with the old forums.  And if memory serves me right, it was settled quite amicably then.  Don't get me wrong.  I do think the discussions need to take place.  I just think it is wrong that the bickering that has taken place as a result of this has scared people off from even participating in the discussions.

Gerry
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 07:49:26 PM by gerry »

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007, 10:53:35 PM »
Somehow, I missed this post in the "vote" thread and I quoted it here instead to respect Dennis' request to keep the other thread on topic.

david youre misunderstanding what i have said throughout this thread. it isnt my objective to have a european amg, it is my objective to have amg in a country which meets the following:
legal entry for poz people
fairly cheap
fairly easy to get to

that is why i have only ever suggested canada and mexico.

i have also stated repeatedly that i personally would be prepared to fork out a lot more in order to get to canada because i know that so many americans couldnt afford to come to europe cos i thought the whole point was meant to be that we tried to be TOGETHER.

as far as cost goes, i cant think of any europeans who have specifically stated that they wouldnt go to canada cos it's too expensive.


I am going to have to disagree with EG's statement that none of the Europeans would have any problems with the expense involved in going to Canada or Mexico for an AMG.  Having been in the Grants Committee, this is an incorrect assumption.  That's probably partly why there was a call for an AMG in Europe that was in another thread.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2007, 07:46:28 AM »
I'm sure that they're are plenty of European members who believe it's their turn to have the AMG somewhere on the continent, and I'm sure if I lived in Bratislava that I would feel the same way.

Let's face it, AMG is now international unlike perhaps it was 3 years ago.  Sure it makes it near impossible for many US residents to attend, but there was never a guarantee that we'd be able to go to each year's function.

STILL I maintain that as a trade off we not declare that any and all US locations be banished from the list of future AMG's simply because of this idiotic ban. (though hopefully it will soon be a non-issue)

ps:  Many, many thanks to Gerry for his esteemed input in this matter! :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2007, 10:35:31 AM »
Thanks for the response and the good discussion points you have continued to raise,Philly.  I was hoping to get more discussions about this but I also understand why people have shied away.  My own thoughts about the issues:

Mexico or Canada may be a reasonable compromise location next year, but folks will end up with the same issues again the following year, so the members might as well talk about this now and set some agreed-upon ground rules.  Do you rotate locations between the Americas and Europe?  Do you add a third location in the rotation outside of the two? 

Do you ALWAYS exclude the US as a site while there is still a ban?  Some have suggested this and people can choose to do this if they want. However, if this results in the holding of mini-gatherings in the US yearly which may very well have bigger turn outs, people should not then turn around and accuse US folks of being divisive. 

Excluding the US as a site because of the ban is just as exclusionary to certain folks in the US as holding the AMG in the US is exclusionary to folks outside of the US. People need to recognize that THIS WORKS BOTH WAYS.

And while we are having this discussions about the ban and what to do about AMG in relation to it, I hope people participate in the initiatives being discussed in the Activism forum to try to lift this.

Offline allanq

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2007, 02:30:49 PM »
Excluding the US as a site because of the ban is just as exclusionary to certain folks in the US as holding the AMG in the US is exclusionary to folks outside of the US. People need to recognize that THIS WORKS BOTH WAYS.

Gerry,
 
I agree with you. The atmosphere has become very charged on this issue. What we've come up against is political (or legal) exclusion vs. economic exclusion.

For Europeans, the increased travel costs would be lessened by the lower cost of accommodations and food here in the U.S., but that still leaves the political/legal/ethical issues.

I wish I knew a good resolution to this problem. I'm afraid that no matter what city is selected, there will be hurt feelings.

As a side note, the decline of the U.S. dollar could put even Canada out of reach for many Americans. At the Montreal AMG, it took US$ 0.90 to buy one Canadian dollar. Today it takes US$ 1.07 to buy one Canadian dollar. That's almost a 20% decrease in the buying power of the U.S. dollar in Canada.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
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Offline ademas

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2007, 05:02:14 PM »
Good point on the US$, Allan--it's tanking in a lot of places, and from what I've seen on the news, it hasn't hit bottom yet.

The airfare is rarely my deciding factor, as the value on the ground (accomodations, meals, entertainment) can quickly compensate for a pricier flight (and then some).

Mexico is still a good value, but who knows for how long.


US $ to Euro - 2 year
http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?from=USD&to=EUR&amt=1&t=2y


US $ to Mexican Peso - 2 year
http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?from=USD&to=MXN&amt=1&t=2y


US $ to Canadian $ - 2 year
http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?from=USD&to=CAD&amt=1&t=2y


US $ to British Pound - 2 year
http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?from=USD&to=GBP&amt=1&t=2y

 

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2007, 06:34:24 PM »
I know that there is that "legal" issue for people coming into the US ..I hope all are aware of the threads that are working toward at least making it less difficult perhaps easy to get a 30day visa.....changing the law may take longer......we have nearly a year to effect this change so I would recommend we all put as much effort into supporting whatever "letter" emails or other correspondence to the various government offices/senators/congressmen/local officials as we can

My local congressman says one letter represents nearly 1500 voters who support the idea  or issue  the AARP  and other groups have over come some really tough issue with this type of campaign.

On a different note. I think we may have missed a possible source of "help" for people...most airlines and many hotels will accept "miles" as part payment.....I know that some people collect a nominal amount of "miles" but never enough to buy a "free" ticket...but a" pool" of these small amounts may provide a ticket/hotel room for several people.....  maybe the grants committee could look into this????

Nick
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Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2007, 02:48:06 PM »
Allan:

Irrespective of the weak dollar and other economic issues that mainly affect US folks, the top choices in the "vote" thread at the moment are Amsterdam, Vancouver and Mexico City.  The European choice is leading the other two and perhaps it's really time to hold the next AMG there as the previous three were held in North America (as stated by several posters scattered in various threads).  We really cannot discount this request just because US members outnumber others, hurt feelings aside.  That's just my opinion, though.

Nick:

Donating airline miles toward others have been done by several members in the past, mainly for airfare, but not for accommodations.  That would be a good thought for people who are willing to do that.

Offline minismom

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2007, 03:11:20 PM »
I have a really crazy question.  When we wanted to take our family to visit the country where my dh was born, we were told that Mini couldn't get a passport because she was HIV+.  How are you getting around that to be able to travel abroad?  Or, were we given the wrong information?  The lady told us that one of the questions on the form asks if you have a communicable disease and that we would have to answer "yes" and she'd be denied.  Are there certain countries where she could get a Visa and others that she can't?

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Offline anniebc

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2007, 04:36:46 PM »
Hi Mom

Everyone is entitled to a passport regardless of the status..however getting into certain countries can pose a problem.

Hugs
Jan :-*
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Offline Joe K

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2007, 11:54:15 PM »
Have you ever considered doing two AMGs each year?  One in North America and one in Europe.  Granted few members could attend both, but why deny one continent easy access and vice versa?  You could even hold a world AMG, say every 3 years, with rotating locations.  If your goal is to allow as many people as possible to attend an AMG, then start thinking outside the box.  Stop concentrating on what you cannot do. or who's feelings may be hurt and come to an agreement on what will provide the most possibilities for all members.

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2007, 05:29:01 AM »
Hello Joe,

Good to see you post your thoughts.  Thinking outside the box in my mind would have to include a compromise of dropping this entire idea of never EVER holding an AMG in the US while the HIV ban is in place.  This just succeeds in eliminating a substantial number of people from the US who for their own reasons would not want or are unable to travel outside of the US but are willing to participate in a US-located gathering.

One cannot ignore that SF was a huge success (not that Montreal or Toronto weren't).  One can also not ignore the fact that when the idea of never EVER holding an AMG in the US while the ban is in place was introduced (to the point of labeling anyone who even suggested a US site as someone who doesn't care about non-US members and are being asked to commit a felony) in the original 2008 vote thread and other subsequent threads, the involvement of many US members who were initially participating enthusiastically dropped precipitously.

I can certainly support the idea of rotating sites (the US included) as mentioned somewhere in this thread and to agree on the rotation in advance so people can plan way ahead which gathering their finances or conscience or whatever overarching principle would enable them to attend.  If this were the case, then logically it would be Europe's turn to host 2008.

Holding two a year, while doable, would be a big challenge to the Grants Committee, assuming that it would continue to exist.  I would think it would also be a challenge to the AMG coordinator, if we expect the same person to assume that role.

Gerry
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 06:07:01 AM by gerry »

Offline englishgirl

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2007, 07:23:27 AM »
i find it fascinating that instead of bothering to try to eliminate the US travel ban many of you are just suggesting that we hold it in the US regardless. why dont you try to resolve the issue by writing to your representatives and campaigning to end the ban? then maybe next year we can hold it in the US?

anyway, maybe i should just fuck off and stop causing trouble and alienating people with my 'selfishness' and that would solve all your problems. sorry to be spoiling the party. in case you havent noticed since this whole 'debate' started many non-US members have been notably absent from this site. we've got the message theat we're not wanted.
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Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2007, 10:40:35 AM »
i find it fascinating that instead of bothering to try to eliminate the US travel ban many of you are just suggesting that we hold it in the US regardless.

Not true.  If one reads several of the posts here, a few of us are advocating holding AMG 08 in Europe.

Quote
why dont you try to resolve the issue by writing to your representatives and campaigning to end the ban? then maybe next year we can hold it in the US?

I already have.  I just haven't made a public announcement (until now, that is, thanks for asking).

P.S.  No comment on your last paragraph.  That's entirely your decision.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 10:55:14 AM by gerry »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2007, 10:55:05 AM »
Niki, some of us here were ACTUALLY AROUND when the ban first came in force in the early 90's and spoke out then, wrote politicians... etc. etc. and have done so over the intervening years.  This is not a novel concept for many here, and the subject comes up every couple of years when once again no HIV/AIDS conference will be held in the US.  As far as this current AIDSmeds effort, do not make the assumption that just because someone didn't blare a trumpet in another thread that they did not write their congressional representative.

As much as you think others are trying to exclude you with an AMG held in the US, I'm quite certain there are others here that may choose to be silent, who feel you are excluding them with your extremely parochial take on this issue, and lack of any sort of compromise.  For many the only acceptable compromise would be to ALTERNATE in and out with a US/non-US location, yet you repeatedly dismiss this out of hand. 

This will only become more of an issue as undoubtedly the US is headed into a rather nasty economic recession due to all of the sub-prime mortgage crap.

Also, your statement that folks here have stopped posting because of this issue, and the inflammatory language used in the multiple threads, also quite definitely extends to US-based posters here.  I can think of a couple off the top of my head, but previous to your comment I was loathe to bring it up, as it simply adds to the drama, but I feel now that you've said what you just did that for the sake of balance I must add that.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Joe K

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2007, 11:39:56 AM »
I also support not having another AMG in the US until the ban is ended and that is why I said North America, which actually should have been North and South America.  From the US travel to either Canada or Mexico and much of Latin America is reasonable, but for now Europe is simply too expensive.  I also realize that if you do two AMGs in one year, you will need to establish a set of administrators for each event, but surely there are enough people who would step forward.  You could have each AMG collect money from the local members and after seeing what the needs are, one event may have money left over for the other event to use.  Again, you can do this if you want to, but this bickering and all these accusations, just pushes people from the topic, not the subject itself.

As to the comments about trying to end the ban in the US: please do not paint all Americans with the same broad brush.  There are thousands of people pushing to end this ban, but you must consider that we have a homophobic White House, almost half of Congress and half of the American public still link HIV with being gay.  Wishing it was not true does not change our reality.  This ban is a remnant of the 20th Century and it takes time to build a consensus to affect change.   Assuming that members here are not simultaneously trying to end the ban is insulting, in my opinion, to the fine people who frequent these forums.

And part of the reason that so many people are pushing for a US location is that their budgets simply won't allow them to travel to Europe or many other destinations.  It is one of the reasons the Grant Committee was started, because we recognize the limitations that this disease can have on our members.  If you truly want to be constructive, why not encourage others to fight the ban, while adding meaningful and not hurtful words to this dialog.

(stopped editing because the more I write, the angrier I become at some of the comments made in this thread.)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 12:01:18 PM by killfoile »

Offline englishgirl

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2007, 12:19:16 PM »
Also, your statement that folks here have stopped posting because of this issue, and the inflammatory language used in the multiple threads, also quite definitely extends to US-based posters here.  I can think of a couple off the top of my head, but previous to your comment I was loathe to bring it up, as it simply adds to the drama, but I feel now that you've said what you just did that for the sake of balance I must add that.
erm, hello, i only mentioned it cos of this comment to try to add balance myself seeing as it was previously suggested that discussion over the travel ban had put people off:
One can also not ignore the fact that when the idea of never EVER holding an AMG in the US while the ban is in place was introduced (to the point of labeling anyone who even suggested a US site as someone who doesn't care about non-US members and are being asked to commit a felony) in the original 2008 vote thread and other subsequent threads, the involvement of many US members who were initially participating enthusiastically dropped precipitously.

you know, my issue regarding alternating it mightnt be a problem if it had been discussed in terms of supporting the lifting of the ban but also realising that there may be no choice but to alternate. but most people havent bothered to do much beyond accusing us of being anti-american. certainly very few people stated that they were committed to trying to change things. a lot more just had go at me and anyone else who brought up the travel ban. maybe if people had actually bothered to state that they were going to actively campaign to end the ban this whole issue wouldve been less devisive. as it is im repeatedly made to feel that im unwelcome and that i have caused unnecessary trouble by pointing out that there is a problem. basically i barely come to this site now cos im so upset by it all and an issue that shouldve brought us together has done nothing but upset me to the point of making me ill and make me feel like i should just crawl back under whatever hole you all think i belong in.
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"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2007, 12:42:00 PM »
Niki, people here should be able to separate your views on the AMG "destination" issue from participation in other threads/forum sections.  I don't think you should deprive yourself of the support here, or even think that you are unwelcome.

If people are carrying over a grudge with you into other threads that's really THEIR issue and they shouldn't do it.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Cliff

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2007, 12:54:47 PM »
Why in the hell are we still fighting over this issue?  Hell, there are two International cities up for a vote!  The event will not be held in the US next year.  So what's the point of constantly fighting over this issue?  There isn't any compromise here.  You will never get 100% agreement on this issue.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Either way, someone will be excluded from AMG because of circumstances outside of their control.

Either we put this to a vote, (i.e., whether US cities should be banned from hosting an AMG, while there is a HIV ban in place), or we just leave it be.  There's nothing to be gained from starting this bickering all over again.

Offline Iggy

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2007, 01:04:40 PM »
I said I wouldn't debate this issue further in the travel forum and I won't, but I am asking ALL to follow that lead.

It should go without saying that I appreciate Nikki's take on the situation, but I think there needs to be a end to the discussion behind the forces of this debate by all, and that includes making comments about how people perceive others as painting them regardless of which side of the issue they are on in the gatherings forum.

This should all be moot btw as I believe the choice is clear that the AMG is not to be held in the U.S. this year by the votes of the members.

If what was stated earlier on that the AMG location choice is a matter of majority vote for location than that point needs to be respected when it includes a vote for a destination that is not in the U.S. as well.

For those interested in fighting the ban, I do ask you to look at emeraldize's thread in AIDS Activism which has provided a very quick and accessible format for writing Congress.


« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:13:25 PM by Iggy »

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2007, 01:13:38 PM »
...and the links to the threads Iggy was referring to:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17351.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17352.0

I apologize for reigniting this thorny issue; the discussions for AMG 09 and beyond can be tabled for another time...

Thanks.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 01:30:47 PM by gerry »

Offline anniebc

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2007, 03:34:34 PM »
Quote
why dont you try to resolve the issue by writing to your representatives and campaigning to end the ban? then maybe next year we can hold it in the US

I find that quite insulting to those who have spent many years fighting this ban...please don't assume that everyone is sitting on their backsides and doing nothing about this.. we don't have to post or report to you about every phone conversation we have made or copy every paper we have written.

Quote
Niki, some of us here were ACTUALLY AROUND when the ban first came in force in the early 90's and spoke out then, wrote politicians... etc. etc. and have done so over the intervening years.  This is not a novel concept for many here, and the subject comes up every couple of years when once again no HIV/AIDS conference will be held in the US.  As far as this current AIDSmeds effort, do not make the assumption that just because someone didn't blare a trumpet in another thread that they did not write their congressional representative.

Just in case you missed it....I have quoted philly to show that people are doing what they can to help and not sitting around doing nothing.

Nikk.. iIf this offends you then I'm sorry but I needed to say it, if it gets me into trouble, well,  I'll cope with it

Jan
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 06:22:50 PM by anniebc »
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Online Andy Velez

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2007, 04:58:12 PM »
Iggy and Cliff among others have attempted to stop the re-destruction of the wheel here.

Rather than continue to engage in a not only fruitless but actually actively destructive back and forth, how about just deciding which of the two cities you prefer and stick with that. It's down to either Amsterdam or Mexico City in 2008. Make your choices known and put the rest of the arguing aside.

I've already received PMs requesting the locking of this thread. I'm going to leave it unlocked for the timebeing just on the chance there is something constructive which might be said. Failing that I will shut it down. Please focus on the essential issue which is the choice of the city.

Thanks for your cooperation.
Andy Velez

Offline englishgirl

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2007, 08:04:49 PM »
dont worry jan it doesnt offend me it just reminds me once again that many people here would rather carry on fighting each other and blaming each other than fight the real enemy.

oh wait, i remember now, according to many of you the real enemy is me.

maybe the reason i assume that so many people are doing nothing is because other than slinging insults very few people have actually bothered to comment, let alone voice their support. sorry but in the absence of anything other than bitchiness in half of these threads im likely to think that most people havent bothered to speak up. and philly, 'deprive myself of support'?? yeah, so many people from the forums have checked im ok recently.

anyway lets get back to the sport of painting me as the bad guy, it's so much fun.

andy, im really sorry, i dont/didnt want to go against your request but im so sick of all this

and with that, back to the discussion in hand. oh, wait, i already ruined it by taking part. sorry, i'll just try harder to fuck off and die in future so i dont spoil it all for you any more than i have already.
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"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline gerry

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2007, 09:01:25 PM »
Hi Andy,

I don't think people were trying to overturn where AMG 2008 would be (Mexico City or Amsterdam).  People were exploring the possibility of still considering a US location in the future (2009 and beyond) if it is in an organized rotation with other non-US sites.  That way, if the issue comes up again, we have something concrete to refer to and read rather than just recollecting conversations from memory.  But at this point, it's clearly premature to even expect any productive discussions beyond 2008.  That's why I had asked that the thread be closed.  The issue can be revisited later.  Who knows, it may even be a moot point by the time 2009 rolls along.  One can always hope...

Gerry

Online Andy Velez

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Re: Travel Costs
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2007, 09:14:55 PM »
Gerry, I did understand the issue as you have described it. Obviously it became derailed and I agree with you, it's time to lock this thread. If there is anything that needs to be discussed in a calmer and more specific way about expenses as well future sites, that will happen. For now let's give it a rest.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 09:17:10 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

 


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