Monday, February 25, 2008

Action--> sex worker vote on WED

FROM Comrade Brendan::

PEPFAR has been renamed "The Global HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008" in order to make the "Emergency Plan" one about long-term support. We're just going to call it PEPFAR II from now on.

Now, I'm no expert, this is all independent research, so I hope I characterize the Act right. I know for certain the vote is this Wednesday and the listed Reps are involved, but the status of the draft bill (sex worker inclusion, needle exchange inclusion, and abstinence earmarks) changes everyday.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is meeting THIS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27th. PLEASE HELP WRITE LETTERS TO NEW YORK REPS ON THE COMMITTEE. If the policy is not changed, then FIVE MORE YEARS of funding will be cut off from sex worker organizations supporting legalization and decrim!

All the hub-bub is about the abstinence-only earmark of 1/3 of the HIV/AIDS prevention funding. The removal of this, of course, is something I imagine sex workers want to support (there is controversy, I have to say, about whether funding would be permitted for abortions). The important thing, I think, is NOT to let them forget about removing the anti-prostitution pledge from PEPFAR I. I'm afraid the draft bill will compromise this concern (although it's been discussed by the Democrats behind the Act), in order to remove the abstinence-only earmark and keep restrictions against needle exchanges and sex worker organizations.

Gregory W. Meeks - New York, 6th District (Queens, Far Rockaway) Phone: (202) 225-3461
Gary L. Ackerman - New York, 5th District (N. Queens and Long Island) Phone: (202) 225-2601
Eliot L. Engel - New York, 17th District (Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland) Phone: (202) 225-2464
Joseph Crowley - New York, 7th District (Queens and the Bronx) (202)225-3965

So, please use the "Write your Representative" feature ( and/or call the numbers provided below BEFORE WEDNESDAY! If you do not live in NYC, then please check here for a list of reps on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, (

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