Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Questions for Pelosi on $1.5 Million HIV/AIDS Earmark for San Francisco DPH

[This letter has been emailed and snail mailed today.]

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC

Dear Congresswoman Pelosi:

I am a person with AIDS, a government transparency advocate and one of your constituents, and as such write to you today about a $1.5 million HIV/AIDS demonstration project to improve federally-funded treatment and prevention programs administered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which was covered recently by the SF Examiner.

As you know, House Report 109-515, which accompanies H.R. 5647, on page 144, explains the $1.5 million earmark for fiscal year 2007 in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill.

After speaking with several other people with AIDS, who may be the targets of the demonstration and share my concerns, several questions have come up and we hope you and your staff can address them.

1. Is this HIV/AIDS demonstration project an earmark that you placed in the appropriations bill?

2. Where can I find a copy of the proposal for the project, or does your office have a the proposal and can you simply forward it to me?

3. Which federal agencies are the overseers of the project and who are the personnel at those agencies responsible for carrying out this project?

4. Who at the San Francisco health department is the point-person for the project?

5. What are the specific, achievable goals of the project and how can people with AIDS be involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of it?

6. What is the duration of the project and will it began before the end of 2006?

7. Considering that San Francisco already receives a substantial pot of federal HIV money, why does the city need this additional $1.5 million, especially since we are blessed with falling new HIV infections?

8. Can you provide me with any of the documents that the health department provided to your staff that demonstrated the need for this new funding?

Even if you are not responsible for this $1.5 million earmark, I'm sure you will agree that these important questions need answers, and quickly too, to better insure all federal funds allocated to San Francisco for improving services of every kind targeting PWAs are used wisely.

In the name of fiscal transparency at the federal level, let's crack the whip!

A prompt reply is requested and appreciated.

Best regards,
Michael Petrelis

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