Your AIDS Advocacy Update
Vol. 9 No. 1 - January 10, 2003
* State Budget Woes Expected to Impact HIV Services
* A Closer Look At the "No Tax" Argument
* Congress' Unfinished Work
* MAP Community Forum - "Just Say 'No' and 'I Do"
* MAP Staff Gears Up for Session
* Wanted: 134 Lead Links
* Tenth Annual AIDS Action Day is February 24
* Take Action! No Advocates Left Behind
State Budget Woes Expected to Impact HIV Services
The talk at the Capitol is that GAMC is going to be eliminated, significant
reductions in MA benefits may be on tap, and income eligibility for
Minnesota Care may be going up. On the HIV prevention side, we may or may
not see budget cuts, but we can be certain to hear quite a lot of debate
about restrictions to promote abstinence until marriage and prohibit
effective harm reduction or services targeting gay/bi men. Stay tuned to
future MAP Advocates for more updates.
A Closer Look At the "No Tax" Argument
The price of government has been dropping in Minnesota since 1999.
Surprised to hear that? Yep, through the 90s, the cost of government as a
percentage of Minnesotan's income was about 17.5%. Now it's around 15.5%.
Not only has the tax burden been going down, but it's been shifted more and
more from broad based, progressive state taxes to the local property taxes
- the tax least responsive to a person's income and ability to pay. Some
say the reason the State has a budget crisis is that government spending
has been going up. The reality is it hasn't. What we did was pull back
state spending and cut taxes. Now we are told the only choice for
Minnesotans is to make deep, deep cuts. However, if things like HIV and
STD prevention, health education for kids, and health care and social
services for communities affected by HIV are important, we may need to ask
if we should have more options. Maybe, just maybe, the solution to the
State's budget woes can be a balanced mix of spending adjustments and
inching up the cost of government a bit back toward those pre-1999 levels.
Care about HIV? Thought taxes had nothing to do with that? We all may
need to think again - especially our Governor and State Legislators.
Congress' Unfinished Work
Congress couldn't agree on a budget before it adjourned for the elections
last fall. Now it's up to the new Congress to approve budgets for 2003,
the year that started October 1 if you're on the federal calendar. We still
don't know how much money there will be in the Ryan White CARE Act
allocations or what's going to be available for HIV prevention, and chances
are good with this new Congress making the decision, it will be less than
we hoped. There's still time to have an impact by being part of a national
HIV advocates call-in day on January 15. As your Congressman and U.S.
Senators to support a 2003 budget that increases funding for HIV
prevention, global AIDS, and Ryan White CARE Act programs, including the
AIDS Drug Assistance Program." Call the Capitol switchboard toll-free at
1-800-648-3516 and ask to be transferred to their offices. Don't know who
your representative is? Call 1-888-868-3762 or visit
MAP Community Forum - "Just Say 'No' and 'I Do"
It used to be that social conservatives would just introduce bills at the
State Capitol saying schools or public health agencies could not offer
services - like HIV prevention - that "promoted homosexuality." Well, now
the message is "abstinence-until-marriage." The only thing we should be
teaching young people is to remain abstinent until they get married. Never
mind the fact there's no research to show this approach works and there are
all sorts of research showing the effectiveness of a more comprehensive
approach. Plus, never mind that "until marriage" conveniently leaves out
all those queer those folks who can't marry. They're going to be talking
this one up again this year in Saint Paul. Get ready to make some noise
yourself. Hear what James Wagoner, executive director of the D.C.-based
Advocates for Youth has to say to the abstinence-until-marriage crowd.
Join us for "Just Say 'No' and 'I Do," a MAP community forum on Monday,
January 27 at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis.
Registration starts at 6:30 and the forum starts at 7. This forum is being
cosponsored by MAP, PrideAlive, Sex Ed for Life and Outfront.
Wanted: 134 Lead Links
The saying is that "all politics are local". We do our best work at the
Capitol when lawmakers know that the folks back home care about HIV issues
and they are hearing from them. Be our link to your lawmaker and others
who care about HIV in your community. We are looking for a Lead Link in
each legislative district - that is 134 people who care about HIV, can get
information to their friends and will make a phone call or send an email
when needed to keep fighting HIV front and center of their legislator's
agenda. It only takes a few minutes every so often to make a huge
difference. If you are interested in being a Lead Link, email Laura
Fredrick-Wang at [log in to unmask] for
Tenth Annual AIDS Action Day is February 24
Join us at the State Capitol on February 24 for AIDS Action Day. We have
many new lawmakers to this year who need to hear that the people they
represent expect them to do their part in the legislature to prevent the
spread of HIV and provide services to those affected. This year's Action
Day will start with a State of AIDS conference at 10 a.m. and legislative
meetings between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Note: this date is a change from a
previously announced date of February 10.
MAP Staff Gears Up for Session
Bob Tracy will continue to lead efforts at the State Capitol as MAP's chief
lobbyist. Bob will get some help by Peg Larsen who will be working with
MAP as a consulting lobbyist. Peg is a former Minnesota House
Representative. On the "home front," Laura Fredrick-Wang and Dave Lobejko
will be doing the research, getting information together, and getting the
word out to you -- our advocates, so you can have an impact on the
Take Action! No Advocates Left Behind
The MAP Advocate is going electronic. This will be the last edition of the
MAP Advocate to be available in print and by mail. It'll be all Web and
email from here on.
Take a minute to make sure we have your most current information - the
email address you want us to be using. Your home address also helps us
with our grassroots advocacy so we can make sure you are linked to your
legislators. Take a minute to email us at
[log in to unmask] or visit our Website at