North Star Fund

Getting VOCAL

North Star Fund Blog | Posted by Hugh Hogan | May 5, 2011

Check out this event organized by VOCAL NY – Voices of Community Activists and Leaders- about the experiences of women battling HIV/AIDS in the face of draconian budget cuts by Governor Cuomo. As the flyer says, a lot of people are facing profound cutbacks in services, support, and housing as a result of the Gov’s stubborn refusal to protect the most vulnerable by asking those with the highest incomes in the state to pay a bit more. (Parenthetically: listen to this story from NPR’s morning show about the dubious claim about rich people leaving a place because of higher taxes.)

VOCAL is a group that the NY Times called “hecklers” as they protested over several weeks the Tea Party-like budget policies of the newly elected Governor and his “Committee to Save New York.”

I call VOCAL fearless patriots who go to the places where people are fighting to manage and overcome drug addiction, to survive on limited incomes while battling HIV/AIDS and to end their corrosive contact with our increasingly privatized prison system. For these reasons, join us to honor them at our Community Gala on May 11th.

Last year, VOCAL got through our dysfunctional state legislature a syringe access bill, a prison gerrymandering bill and a bill that would have, if not for ex-Governor Patterson’s veto pen, stopped efforts to force people with HIV/AIDS who receive public assistance to pay up to 70% of their benefits for housing. Now that’s a return on investment! Thank you to North Star’s donor community who helped make VOCAL one of our inaugural Movement Leadership grantees.

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