2/17/2012. Manhattan, NYC – Activists marched today to the office of New York City HRA Commissioner Robert Doar to ask him to take a drug test. They are upset with a new drug screening regulation for people living with AIDS.
WATCH THE VIDEO
“Aasif Mandvi heads to Florida to find out why Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran and public assistance recipient, won’t submit to welfare drug testing:” www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-february-2-2012/poor-pee-ple
Advocates also want the city to restore $10 million that Mayor Mike Bloomberg would eliminate in next year’s budget. That would impact HIV/AIDS housing and nutrition programs.
The group is advocating for a 30 percent rent cap affordable housing protection — since currently this rate only covers those in supportive housing, not those living independently.
Village Voice talked with VOCAL-NY chair of the board of directors Wanda Hernandez. She said, “They’re pushing clients to do something they shouldn’t have to,” she said of the drug screening. “To me, it’s an invasion of privacy. I don’t have a drug problem — I have a poverty problem.
This is a way of punishing the clients. We’re hoping they reconsider. It’s going to create a lot more homeless.”
2/27/12 UPDATED A message from VOCAL-NY
Thanks for coming out to some of the recent responses to Commissioner Doar’s unfair policies. Let’s keep the pressure on.
Recent policy changes and budget cuts at HASA will make it harder for low-income people living with AIDS to move out of the shelter system, maintain stable housing and stay connected to medical care. Through conservative copycat policies like drug screening along with suggesting deep austerity cuts to housing and nutrition programs, Commissioner Doar is blocking access to essential services for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. Access to housing, healthcare and nutrition were won by people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies through aggressive direct action and advocacy. We can’t take them for granted.
Now the safety net won by ACT UP and its allies is being undone. It’s time to fight back. Join in and wake up the Commissioner on Wednesday morning!
When: Wednesday, February 29th at 7am
Where: Intersection of Clark & Henry Streets, Brooklyn NY
Getting there: 2/3 Train to Clark Street, R Train to Court Street
See you there!
VOCAL New York (formerly NYCAHN)
donate online: http://tinyurl.com/nycahndonate
80A Fourth Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217