Thursday, December 06, 2007

Milk Club Prez Forms AIDS Democratic Club
In light of the fact that San Francisco has many service organizations and institutions that already look out for any changes or cuts to federal HIV/AIDS grants through the CARE Act -- the Health Commission, the DPH AIDS Office, the CARE Act Council, the AIDS Service Providers Network and all the individual service agencies, UCSF programs, to name a few -- I don't know that there's a pressing need for a brand new Democratic Party Club just for AIDS matters and people with HIV.
But the current head of the Milk Club recently announced he is forming, or maybe has already formed, such a disease-specific party club since the announcement was web-posted more than a month ago to a local listserv for PWAs.
Honestly, if there's a legit reason for Democratic voters in this town to push AIDS issues or funding concerns related to the CARE Act through the party club process, I think Alice, Milk and other clubs are more than able to take on those issues and have them addressed.
And doesn't the Milk Club presently have an AIDS caucus? If it doesn't, seems to me the prez would want to create one, if only to strengthen Milk by bringing in people with AIDS who might want to join such a caucus.
I really don't see the need to create yet another AIDS-related group, and there are plenty of existing HIV/AIDS bodies, and in my travels in the local AIDS world, I'm just not hearing a crying need for such a new political club.
Then again, it's surely possible that beyond my circle is a deep pool of PWAs who've signed up for the new club and heartily embrace it.
But maybe, just maybe, the PWA Democratic Club is not really being formed to address the needs of PWAs, but instead is a very creative power-move by one ambitious person who is already simultaneously the head of an AIDS service organization and leader of a major club.
We'll see if the new club has actually formed, how it's being received in Democratic, gay and AIDS circles, and if it soon holds a public meeting.

Here's the announcement from last month:
With the end of the Ryan White CARE Act looming for 2010, it is important that our community develop an effective political infrastructure as part of an overall strategy to be able to lead the changes that will affect our lives.

Please join us on Monday November 5th from 6-8 PM at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe in the LGBT Center for the first organizing meeting for People With HIV/AIDS Democratic Club. This meeting is a requirement as part of our petition to become chartered at the November 14th meeting of the Democratic County Central Committee. We will elect officers, approve initial bylaws and set our meeting schedule.

Brian Basinger

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