Advocates Demand Full Restoration of Proposed Cuts to Housing & Nutrition Programs, Support for 30% Rent Cap Bill To Prevent Homelessness
LGBT New Yorkers and allies rallied outside Mayor Bloomberg’s speech on marriage equality at Cooper Union on May 26th to draw attention to the harmful impact of his HIV/AIDS policies.
Mayor Bloomberg’s final Executive Budget for FY12 doubled proposed funding cuts for supportive housing programs and calls for the elimination of a citywide nutrition and meals program for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. And last year, Bloomberg’s opposition forced former Governor David Paterson to veto widely supported legislation that would prevent homelessness for 11,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
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Gay City News: AIDS Battling Bloomberg Again
The indefatigable activist group staged two protests this week, one on Wednesday to call attention to the city’s egregiously discriminatory pattern of marijuana arrests, and one yesterday, to expose the mayor’s hypocritical stance on health issues that affect LGBT New Yorkers.
Mayor Bloomberg is a hypocrite for saying he’s on the side of LGBT New Yorkers while blocking legislation that would prevent homelessness for people living with HIV/AIDS and making deep cuts to HIV/AIDS programs in the City budget,” said Gustavo Pedroza, a VOCAL-NY leader and longtime marriage equality activist in Queens. “People can’t stay connected to HIV/AIDS treatment without stable housing.”
Ahead of the speech, about a dozen LGBT activists gathered outside of Cooper Union to criticize the mayor for suddenly upping his push for gay marriage just as he’s cutting funding for HIV/AIDS treatment, housing and meal programs.
“Gay marriage is an honorable subject to fight for, but if we’re homeless or we’re dead, gay marriage is irrelevant,” said Jim Lister, 56, who was diagnosed with AIDS in in 1989 and has been struggling to keep the West Village apartment he’s lived in for the past 30 years.