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NYC Mayoral Candidate Forum on HIV/AIDS

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oksikoko:
Hello, howdy. I just came back from the NYC Mayoral Forum on HIV/AIDS. In attendance were Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrión, Jr, Randy Credico, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Anthony Weiner and Bill Thompson. Notably absent was Christine Quinn, whose father is sick. She bowed out to stay with him. It was moderated by the editor of Poz, Oriol Gutierrez, and a member of the Community Board at GMHC. I'm a client, but not otherwise involved.

I learned 3 things and exhorted twice. (There were lots of exhortations from one side of what I thought seemed a self-segregated [by race] audience.)

1) I still don't like Christine Quinn and don't want a Quinn mayor's office.
2) I like very much Anthony Weiner.
3) Based on all the political campaign, standard "nice talk", the HIV- and straight communities still think HIV is a gay disease and that GMHC is a gay organization. GMHC goes out of its way not to be seen as the Gay Men's Health Crisis, it seems, though I know more than one gay who finds that irritating.

Anthony Weiner, be he or be he not the butt of your jokes, would be a great mayor, IMHO. Besides his obvious qualifications, every time I felt irritated with other people's stock answers and out-of-touchness, he would respond with something addressing my irritation as if he were reading minds. Example: the candidates were asked to name a concrete specific example of their lives being touched by HIV/AIDS. We got three rote answers about long-dead campaign aides in the 80s or somesuch who served bravely and blah blah blah. One of my exhortations was "we're not all dead". Did none of them know a living pozzie or have a story from this millennium? Then Anthony Weiner talked about Tom Duane's impact (they were freshman state congressmen together) and said something to the effect that not everyone who is positive is a moribund, haggard face waiting for help but that some of the people fighting the most and making a difference were positive. Basically "we're not all dead".

My other exhortation was accidental, but I felt the Holy Ghost. Bill Thompson talked about how twisted it is that there's an incentive to get an AIDS diagnosis before HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration) will offer help. I was in the chorus of 'yeah's and 'thank you's on that one.

There was a lot of talk in general about HASA being Bloomberg's test case for cutting services and thinking about the short-term bottom line as opposed to either morality or the long-term bottom line. Emphasis was placed on payments to brokers for long-term housing for low income people HASA clients, on 30% rent caps for affordable housing for HASA clients and on general improvements of HASA service. For context, most people in supportive/low income housing in the city have 30% income rent caps, but not HASA clients. The state legislature has passed a bill on this issue, but it was vetoed by Governor Patterson with urging from Michael Bloomberg. Stable housing is, as you know, particularly important for low-income positive people. It's hard to stay adherent when you don't know where or if you'll sleep tomorrow.

They all said the right things, but  the ones who seemed to "get it" (in my opinion) on needs of HIV+ people, particularly the poor, are:

Adolfo Carrión, Jr, Bill de Blasio, Anthony Weiner and Bill Thompson. I prefer Wiener or Thompson.

Sal Albanese and John Liu seemed to be ever so slightly out of touch and very "professional candidate".

Randy Credico is kind of a show candidacy. I think he's doing it to keep the others as progressive as possible, so.

Ann:
Hey Oksi, thank you for the comprehensive break-down of the meeting. I'm going to urge a friend of mine living in NYC to come in to have a read. She may even be moved to post! She's been a member here for a long time, but doesn't post much these days.

mitch777:
Before all of this sexting came out Weiner spoke out passionately in his career for those in need in our society. I admired him then and doubt his mindset has changed. I hope he doesn't bow out. I honestly think his passion and ideas are needed more in a national way but NYC at least will benefit should he win.
 

wolfter:
Thanks for posting, but I have a quick observation; isn't GMHC in fact a gay organization?

Wolfie

oksikoko:

--- Quote from: mitch777 on July 25, 2013, 10:54:27 AM ---Before all of this sexting came out Weiner spoke out passionately in his career for those in need in our society. I admired him then and doubt his mindset has changed. I hope he doesn't bow out. I honestly think his passion and ideas are needed more in a national way but NYC at least will benefit should he win.

--- End quote ---

I guess I have to start voting again, and he'd get my vote. I don't care about sexting or anything else consenting adults do to get their jollies. He sure knows how to work a crowd, by the way. He stood to answer every question, unlike the others, so along with good answers came great presentation.


--- Quote from: wolfter on July 25, 2013, 11:02:31 AM ---Thanks for posting, but I have a quick observation; isn't GMHC in fact a gay organization?

--- End quote ---

Not anymore. They're chasing the disease, so as it moved out into other communities (so to speak), they went along. The client breakdown by sexual orientation is:

48.4% gay
32.2% heterosexual
10.2% prefer not to identify
7.8% bisexual
1.4% lesbian

Roughly 25% of the clients are female. And not all clients are HIV+. I was a client when I was neggers because I was (apparently) a "high-risk negative" (lol). I had forgotten this until they tried to do an intake and told me I'd already done it years earlier. Me and HIV go way back.

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