Statement of Purpose


SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY WITH GEORGE
An Afternoon of Protest and Petition
in Garrison (Putnam County) at the Country Home of Gov. George E. Pataki
Sunday, April 28, 1996

Statement of Purpose
New York State is the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in North America, and New York City is the most severely-affected urban area in the United States. In addition, Long Island has the highest concentration of any suburban area in our nation, and the rate of new HIV infections in upstate areas continues to expand dramatically. Since his inauguration one year ago, Gov. Pataki has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address our state's AIDS crisis. So far, he has only attempted to cut health and welfare funding, and to dismantle AIDS services and other human services crucial to New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
Gov. Pataki's most recent budget proposals are a disaster for people living with HIV/AIDS, and for all New Yorkers who rely on our state's public assistance and public health care systems. His plans will deny access to comprehensive, high-quality needed medical care, and to food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.

Therefore, on Sunday, April 28th, AIDS, health care, and welfare activists and advocates from all across New York State are gathering in Gov. Pataki's home town of Garrison in Putnam County to demonstrate their support for our state's historic commitment to providing and preserving services for those who are ill and/or in need, to protest against the Governor's budget proposals, and to petition him to preserve, expand, and strengthen our state's safety net for all New Yorkers. We categorically reject the notion of a state fiscal crisis, which we believe has been intentionally created by tax reductions for affluent New Yorkers and corporations. The cost of these political priorities can literally be measured in people's lives, on our streets, in our health care institutions, and in our cemeteries.

We therefore join together and call on Gov. Pataki and our State Legislature to:

SUPPORT VITAL AIDS PROGRAMS:
· Provide full funding for the ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program), ADAP Plus, and HIV Home Care programs, including all new state-of-the-art drugs, therapies, and diagnostic techniques as they become available.

· Maintain and expand anonymous HIV testing programs and sites to all counties, and require unique identifier systems for ALL reportable AIDS cases to insure the privacy rights of all diagnosed with HIV.

· Reject all mandatory HIV testing proposals for newborns and their mothers, pregnant women, and the accused; maintain ALL testing programs as voluntary.

· Enforce existing AIDS curriculum mandates for ALL public school students, expand these mandates to include sex-positive and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender-positive education, and assure unencumbered condom availability for all young people.

· Maintain and expand clean needle exchange funding and programs state-wide, and repeal legal restrictions on needle and paraphernalia possession and sale.
· Restore the integrity and authority of the state's AIDS Institute, including the Executive public policy and inter-governmental programs, an autonomous and effective AIDS Advisory Council, and a director who will be representative of and responsive and acceptable to people with HIV/AIDS.
· Increase the number of AIDS Designated Centers to serve all counties in the state, in order to assure access to quality AIDS care.


SUPPORT IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMS AND PRESERVE MEDICAID

· Increase current funding for Medicaid, indigent care, substance abuse, mental health, home care, and public health programs -- NO CUTS TO HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES!

· Maintain state-wide integrity of public health care programs -- NO BLOCK GRANTS!

· Maintain voluntary enrollment in managed care programs for ALL Medicaid recipients -- NO MANDATORY MANAGED CARE!

· Maintain full entitlement to Medicaid for ALL recipients of Home Relief -- NO TIME LIMITS!
· Increase the availability of drug treatment-on-demand, including rehabilitation, detoxification, low-threshold, and harm reduction programs, and comprehensive health care for ALL active users.

PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:

· Maintain full entitlement to assistance regardless of length of participation for ALL Home Relief and AFDC recipients -- NO TIME LIMITS!

· Maintain state-wide integrity of public assistance programs -- NO BLOCK GRANTS!

· Increase income-support amounts to reflect cost-of-living increases -- NO CUTS TO GRANTS!

· Provide adequate support for additional children in families participating in public assistance programs -- NO PENALTIES FOR NEW BABIES!

· Order the cessation of ALL "pro-forma" closings of public assistance for procedural errors.
· Require that all workfare programs are voluntary and that participants are adequately paid.
· Maintain the funding for and structure of current shelter grant programs -- NO LUMP-SUM "FLAT GRANTS"!

We, the following, endorse this statement, and agree to support this event by (check two or more items):
___ organizing participants; ___ spreading-the-word; ___ helping with logistics; ___ helping with media;
___ help with a contribution for expenses (make checks payable to ACT UP and send to address below.)

Organization

Address

Phone/FAX/E-MAIL

Contact Person & Title

Signature & Date
Return to Sunday in the Country with George, c/o ACT UP/NY, 332 Bleecker St., Suite G5, NYC, NY 10014. Call (212) 642-5499 for FAX back information.
SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY WITH GEORGE is being co-organized by members of ACT UP/New York, Housing Works, and Women's Health Action & Mobilization (WHAM!). For further information, contact (212) 642-5499 (ACT UP), (212) 966-0466 (x296 or x277) (Housing Works), or (212) 560-7117 (WHAM!).



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