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Senate President Pro Tem Darrell SteinbergThe Ventura County Star reported today that state Democratic leaders are willing to dip into the state rainy-day fund in order to alleviate the worst cuts, including those to HIV programs.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said earlier today that paring back the reserve to around $1 billion, will help prevent the state from having to borrow nearly $2 billion in property taxes from cities and counties. Dipping into the rainy-day reserve will also allow the state to maintain trimmed-down programs that provide welfare-to-work assistance for poor mothers, health insurance for children from low- and moderate-income families, college grants for low-income students and life-prolonging assistance for those infected with the HIV virus.

“We will not eliminate CalGrants, will not eliminate CalWORKs, will not eliminate health insurance for children, will not virtually eliminate In-Home Supportive Services,” Steinberg said. “We’re not going to decimate programs that save people’s lives in the HIV/AIDS area.”

You can read the full article here.

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L.A. Bus Update

Thanks to everyone who’s volunteered to travel to Sacramento to protest the HIV budget cuts!

For those who are traveling from Los Angeles, we’ve already filled up the buses and have now started a wait list for those still interested. To sign up for the wait list, call 213-639-6716.

If you live in Palm Springs, you should join the protest against the HIV cuts that’s happening in town. Here’s the info:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
12:00 NOON
Desert AIDS Project
SW corner of Vista Chino and Sunrise Way in Palm Springs
Everyone is encouraged to wear a red shirt.

You can find the flyer here.

As we get closer to the big demonstration in Sacramento, we just wanted to give you a few tips about protesting at the California Capitol.

Apart from the obvious (no weapons, no hazardous waste dumping, no alcohol and no fires allowed), there are some rules to follow at our June 10th Rally that the Capitol police will enforce:

  • Keep it short: Signs, posters, placards, and banners  are not to exceed thirty inches in size — I think that means 30” x 30”. Please note that sign handles can be only 18” long.
  • Don’t plant it :  Signs, posters, placards, and banners  must be hand-carried and not stuck in the ground or taped/stapled to buildings or trees, AND the signs can’t impede pedestrians visiting the capitol.
  • Keep it clean:  Please pick up trash!  This is an all-volunteer operation and we can’t afford to hire a clean-up crew! Our permit requires that we ensure that grounds are left clean after the event. We will be charged for any clean up required.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the protest on Wednesday!

WHAT OUR JUNE 10th RALLY TO STOP THE HIV CUTS PERMIT REQUIRES:

Apart from the obvious (no weapons, no hazardous waste dumping, no alcohol and no fires allowed), there are some rules to follow at our June 10th Rally that the Capitol police will enforce:

  • Keep it short: SIGNS, POSTERS, PLACARDS, BANNERSare not to exceed thirty inches in size” — I think that means 30” x 30”, AND please note that sign handles can be only 18” long.

  • Don’t stick it anywhere: SIGNS, POSTERS, PLACARDS, BANNERS MUST BE HAND-CARRIED and not stuck in the ground or taped/stapled to buildings or trees, AND the signs can’t impede pedestrians visiting the capitol.

  • Keep it clean: TRASHPLEASE PICK UP AFTER YOURSELVES!!! This is an all-volunteer operation and we can’t afford to hire a clean-up crew! Our permit requires that we ensure that grounds are left clean after the event. We will be charged for any clean up required.

L.A. Protest – Photos

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On Friday, June 5th, Santa Monica Boulevard was shut down as more than a thousand people turned out in force in front of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to protest $80 million in cuts to state HIV programs.

The protest was well documented by an amazing group of grassroot shutterbugs. More pictures after the jump.

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The Los Angeles Protest

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A hearty thanks to everyone in Los Angeles who marched in Hollywood yesterday! The community turned out in force on a busy Friday afternoon to speak up against the deplorable cuts to California’s HIV programs. It was an incredible sight, thanks to everyone who mobilized their co-workers, family, and friends.

We’ll post a fuller update of the protest as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you have any photos of the crowd that you’d like to share on this blog, please email them to us at RNolledo@apla.org. We’d also love to hear your thoughts on the rally, so feel free to leave your comments.

The fight isn’t over yet. We need you to keep fighting these cuts in any way you can. Write or call your elected officials– Tell them that they must reject all cuts to HIV programs. And make sure to join us in Sacramento on June 10th as we protest on the steps of the Capitol and send a loud message: No cuts to HIV programs!

Things are moving fast and quick today! To get updates on today’s protest, follow us on Twitter at @hivintheloop. To make things easier, we’ve also set up a Twitterfeed in the right hand section of this blog. Check it out!