IN THE LOOP
The news you need to know this week
Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.
If you don’t like what’s going on in Washington, do something about it: VOTE!
Today is National Voter Registration Day. So do it! Register here, and then vote on November 6. Whether you vote by mail or go to the polls doesn’t matter. Just vote.
The upcoming mid-term elections on November 6, 2018, are the election of a lifetime. We’re not just voting for a new governor, several new representatives, and some important ballot initiatives. We’re also voting for potential control of both the U.S. House and Senate. And if you are unhappy with what’s going on in Washington these days, if you think we’ve got some bad politicians doing bad things, then changing the balance of power in Congress is one way to change the game.
California could play a pivotal role in changing Congressional leadership. There are 14 Republican congressional seats in the state. Seven are districts where Hillary Clinton won the presidential vote in the 2016 election. The Democrats hope that some if not all of these districts will flip, giving their party control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Control of Congress means a lot. It could determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lives or dies. It could determine who sits on the Supreme Court, and whether the Court upholds the healthcare law, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. The current Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh refused to give assurances during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would uphold the ACA’s protections against pre-existing conditions. That may have been a judicious answer, but a scary one for anyone who ever tried to get health insurance when pre-existing conditions kept them out of the market. All these questions and more hang in the balance in this election.
California generally falls in the lowest fifth of all states in voter turnout. Not an impressive record. Let’s change that by getting everyone registered and turned out on Election Day. And just remember, as some political genius once said: There is no such thing as not voting.
Click here to register. The deadline for registering to vote in the November 6th election is October 22.
Overdose Prevention Programs Save Lives!
Tell Governor Brown to sign AB 186.
AB 186 is currently sitting on Governor Brown’s desk. If he signs it, San Francisco will be the first city in the nation to pilot overdose prevention programs.
Overdose prevention programs, also known as safer drug consumption services, are designated sites where people can use pre-obtained drugs in a clinical setting with expert supervision and sterile supplies. Dozens of sites have been operating successfully for years outside the U.S., including Europe and Canada.
These programs have been proven to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use including HIV and hepatitis infections, discarded syringes, and fatal overdoses. Researchers estimate that a single overdose prevention program in San Francisco could save the state millions of dollars a year in expenses related to healthcare, emergency services, and crime.
More than 60,000 Americans died of an overdose in 2016, leaving behind grieving friends and family. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death of people under age 50 in the U.S. Overdose prevention programs can be a game changer.
Urge Governor Brown to move California forward, save lives, and make our communities safer and healthier. Take action now!
Board of Supervisors Pass Rent Control Ordinance for Unincorporated Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County is experiencing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. In light of the crisis, earlier this month the Board of Supervisors passed a 4-1 motion authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to move the County towards rent stabilization. The approved ordinance will temporarily limit annual rent increases to 3 percent each year for the more than 200,000 Los Angeles residents who live in rental units in unincorporated parts of the County (areas outside the boundaries of the 88 cities). The ordinance will also prevent landlords from evicting tenants without justification.
The motion is primarily aimed at reducing the number of LA residents who fall into homelessness each year. While thousands of homeless individuals were housed through Measure H last year and the overall number of homeless individuals decreased, there were still almost 9,300 individuals who fell into homelessness for the first time. Supervisor Kuehl noted that two-thirds of the homeless population in Los Angeles County is homeless due to economic issues, and skyrocketing rents over the last decade are largely at fault.
The next step is to draft an ordinance to stabilize rent for approximately 57,000 rental units, and the Board of Supervisors plan to develop a more comprehensive protection policy for renters over the next year.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles October 21, 2018
AIDS Walk Los Angeles is the world’s first walk to fight an epidemic.
In its 34 years, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has drawn hundreds of thousands of supporters to walk, and millions more to donate, raising more than $82 million to combat HIV and AIDS. The funds raised at the event remain a vital lifeline that sustains APLA Health’s prevention, care, and advocacy programs for the thousands of men, women, and families affected by the disease in Los Angeles County. Proceeds also benefit more than 20 other HIV/AIDS service organizations that are able to participate and raise funds through the Community Coalition Initiative (CCI).
For more information and to either donate or register to become a walker, visit la.aidswalk.net.
Share Your Story
APLA Health provides services to more than 15,000 people, and we want to know their stories. Have you been receiving services from APLA Health? Are you a new patient or client? Have you or a loved one been affected by HIV? Has a staff member gone above and beyond what you were expecting? We want to know the full story. What are we are doing well? How we can serve you better?
Stay in the loop!
We will send you regular updates on issues and policies affecting the LGBT and/or HIV communities and urge you to call or e-mail your representatives about key political activity at the local, state, and federal levels.