Sunday, August 16, 2009

NAHJ Count Me Iñ fundraising campaign

FROM: O. Ricardo Pimentel, NAHJ President

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists Count Me Iñ fundraising campaign
Even though we tried to outrun the recession, it has caught up to us.
We trained hundreds in multimedia journalism just last month alone. Scholarship checks for students are going out now for the fall. With counseling, training and job referrals, every day we help Latino colleagues keep alive their dreams of staying in journalism. But it’s clear that NAHJ’s programs and services are now in jeopardy unless we all do our part.

Like many other organizations in today’s economy, cuts in funding and in attendance at our excellent annual convention in San Juan have left NAHJ with a $300,000 budget shortfall. We’re facing that challenge head on with our Count Me Iñ fundraising campaign to close that gap.

We know times are tough, but can you make a donation to NAHJ? Can you raise money for NAHJ? Maybe you can do both. Either way, you are a crucial part of NAHJ’s resolve to help Latino journalists reinvent themselves and prevail in this new media landscape. Here are some recent examples of how we are helping Latinos in journalism.

The convention featured 33 multimedia-related training sessions, including the new CyberLab@NAHJ, where hundreds of journalists learned a myriad of skills – everything from how to use Twitter to find and promote stories to video editing with Final Cut Pro.

$100,000 in scholarship checks for 25 students will be sent in August, bringing to $1.6 million the scholarships NAHJ has awarded to 575 aspiring journalists since 1988. This year’s Student Projects at the convention were also the first to truly converge into intensely-focused multimedia training.

Our Parity Project has helped community members in Phoenix and San Diego organize to beat back the use of derogatory terms to describe Latinos, paving the way for more advocacy and fair coverage of Latinos in other cities.

Recent multimedia journalism training sessions in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are just a taste of more to come throughout the country.

Despite huge shortfalls in convention revenue, we broke even by drastically cutting costs. We’ve also decided to forgo this year’s Noche de Triunfos Journalism Awards Gala held in Washington, D.C. to save money and focus on growing our membership.

But we need to raise $300,000 before December 15, 2009 to continue: giving scholarships to Latino students, training more Latinos in multimedia journalism via regional conferences, bringing the Parity Project’s advocacy for fairness in coverage to more cities, and boosting the sheer numbers of Latino journalists with new skills to stay in journalism and collectively have more impact on news media than ever before.

Can you raise at least $200 for NAHJ? Can you do more? We can all certainly do this, together. For example, if every current member of NAHJ (1,400) raises $200, that adds up to $280,000. Imagine what we could do together if some people raised more.

Please consider giving an amount that is significant to you. Tell your friends (especially those on your Facebook page and other social networking sites) and family to support this organization that you believe in or have benefited from.

We can accept donations online, in a single payment or installments, via phone (202.662.7482), or by sending a check to: NAHJ, 1000 National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045. All donations are tax deductible.

We can do this, together. You can make a difference. Help raise money for NAHJ now.

O. Ricardo Pimentel, NAHJ President
Donate nowCount Me Iñ Supporters-->

About their Mission:
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.

Their Goals:
To organize and provide mutual support for Hispanics involved in the gathering or dissemination of news.
To encourage and support the study and practice of journalism and communications by Hispanics.
To foster and promote a fair treatment of Hispanics by the media.
To further the employment and career development of Hispanics in the media.
To foster a greater understanding of Hispanic media professionals' special cultural identity, interests, and concerns.

For more information to help them visit website at or email

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Demonstration today August 11 evening in downtown Los Angeles to protest HIV/AIDS programs cuts

Today evening in downtown Los Angeles, Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) will held a protest Governor Schwarzenegger’s devastating cuts to California’s HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs.

In late July, the governor stripped more than $80 million from the state’s HIV/AIDS funding, virtually eliminating state general fund support for all HIV/AIDS programs. These cuts are the deepest that California’s HIV/AIDS programs have ever taken, and they will decimate vital services that provide care and treatment, as well as those that prevent new infections.
The CDC now estimates that more than 56,000 new HIV infections occur every year in the U.S. -- one every nine minutes. People of color and gay men continue to be disproportionately impacted. Now more than ever, we cannot afford this kind of retreat in our fight against AIDS.
That’s why APLA urge you to join them for this important demonstration today August 11, 2009 evening in downtown Los Angeles to protest the cuts. The event begins at Pershing Square, where participants will gather at 7:00 p.m. Following is a march to the Ronald Reagan State Office Building for a brief program and candelight vigil. Be sure to wear a red shirt and bring candles or flashlights.

Please encourage friends, family and colleagues to join us -- it's important that people gather the largest possible crowd to publicly condemn these cuts!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. (Rally) 7:30 p.m.

(March) 8:00 p.m. (Press Conference)

Self-pay parking is available under Pershing Square or, you can take the Metro Red Line to the Pershing Square station.

About APLA:
AIDS Project Los Angeles is dedicated to: improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease; reducing the incidence of HIV infection; and advocating for fair and effective HIV-related public policy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eliminated all state funding for most of the state's HIV programs.

California dealt a staggering blow to people with HIV/AIDS this week when Governor Schwarzenegger eliminated all state funding for most of the state's HIV programs.

In an unprecedented move, the governor slashed more than $489 million from essential health and human services and programs this week. Included in these are roughly $82 million from HIV programs.General funding for the following programs have been eliminated:

HIV Education and Prevention - $24.6 million
HIV Counseling and Testing - $8.2 million
Therapeutic Monitoring - $8 million
Housing - $1.09 million
Home and Community-Based Care - $6.3 million
Early Intervention - $7.3 million

Governor Schwarzenegger also made cuts to the following programs:
Epidemiology & Surveillance - reduced by $1 million to $9.2 million.
AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) - reduced by $25 million to $70.8 million. But the governor did allow $25 million to be shifted into the program from the ADAP rebate fund, almost guaranteeing shortfalls in ADAP next year.

This is unacceptable. These cuts will have a devastating effect on California's ability to care for people with HIV and to prevent new infections.Now more than ever, we need you to fight.What You Can Do: State leaders need to hear from all of us over the next few weeks.

Rather than a single action, we are asking you to be a part of a number of efforts:
1. Contact Governor Schwarzenegger and state leaders by e-mail now. Tell them these cuts are unacceptable. It's easy using APLA's In The Loop. Click here to send your e-mail. 2. Join one of the protests that are taking place around the state now. We'll keep you posted on these demonstrations as soon as we get more information.3. Call your state assemblymember and express your outrage at the cuts. Tell them that they must take action to correct this injustice!

**** To find your CA legislators and their phone numbers, go to this link and enter your zip code. ****

Phone Call To State Assemblymember:"Hi, my name is ___________, and I'm calling to express my anger at the elimination of state funding for HIV programs.

This is inexcusable. The state has done the unthinkable and truly balanced the state budget this time on the back of the most vulnerable-- the sick and disabled. More than $80 million has been eliminated from HIV programs. I recognize the serious budget crisis facing the state, and am prepared to take cuts to help share the necessary pain. However, there is no justification for gutting essential services that have been part of a model response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic for almost two decades.

There were alternatives to these major cuts, particularly new revenue increases, such as the $1.1 billion in available revenues that the Assembly failed to approve, and which could have prevented this devastating result. I demand that you correct this and restore funding to our state's HIV programs!"

AIDS Project Los Angeles is dedicated to: improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease; reducing the incidence of HIV infection; and advocating for fair and effective HIV-related public policy. For more information visit

HIV/AIDS cuts A decade lost‏

LETTER FROM: Craig E. Thompson Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles

It’s like we’re back in the terrible 1990s. That’s just how far back we’ll be in the fight against HIV/AIDS due to Governor Schwarzenegger’s staggering state budget cuts.

The new state budget strips $85 million from California’s HIV/AIDS programs.

These are life-saving programs that provide HIV prevention, counseling, food assistance, home healthcare and more. Here at AIDS Project Los Angeles, we know firsthand what this blow will mean to our 9,600 clients — and to the 60,000 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in the county.

Los Angeles County has the second largest AIDS epidemic in the country. For more than 25 years, APLA has been here to assist those in need and to prevent new cases of the disease. Now, as the financial crisis forces more and more people to seek our services, we’re faced with a near-insurmountable loss in state funding.

We’re facing a public health disaster. As the state cuts funding for prevention efforts, it will pay dearly for new and needlessly infected Californians entering the system. And as our resources are stretched further, we’ll be unable to assist all those in need in LA County.

We’re not standing for it. And I hope you won’t either. APLA is:

Mobilizing citizen activists to demand that the California legislature go back and find viable solutions to this crisis, and

Reaching out to all of our friends and supporters and requesting a contribution to support our work.

For more information visit website at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

LETTER FROM: Joe Solmonese, President of Human Rights Campaign

Gay and lesbian couples have been getting married by the thousands.
But the U.S. government refuses to recognize a single one because of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Take our survey: tell Washington leaders how DOMA hurts the people you love.

After the string of victories in Iowa, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, the trend is clear: support for marriage equality is surging among Americans.

But with tens of thousands of gay and lesbian couples finally joining in marriage, the federal government still refuses to recognize a single one.

Until the antiquated and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed, millions of Americans will continue to be denied the full rights of marriage.
Take our quick survey! Share your opinions on DOMA and we'll deliver them to Congress and President Obama.

Why a survey? If you or someone close to you is married to a same-sex partner, you probably know all about DOMA's discriminatory effects. But there are still far too many people – including our lawmakers – who don't know how DOMA is harming families every day. Your answers to this survey will help show them how important this issue is.

Over the past few weeks, we've helped build unprecedented momentum to repeal DOMA. But President Obama has yet to take action against DOMA, and Congress still isn't getting the message. We need to keep up a constant stream of pressure if they're going to act.

Until DOMA is repealed, gay and lesbian married couples will be denied the federal rights straight married couples enjoy, like Social Security survivors' benefits, putting a spouse on a health plan without tax penalties, the right to take family and medical leave to care for a spouse, and equal treatment under U.S. immigration laws... The list goes on.

It's up to us to make sure Congress understands the impact of their inaction on thousands of married couples who remain strangers under federal law.
Will you take our quick survey to show our Washington leaders how DOMA affects you and those you care about? It will take less than 5 minutes.

And please pass this survey along to friends and family. We'll share your responses with Congress and the Obama administration in the coming weeks.
While we continue to push for marriage equality in more states and defend our wins against the relentless attacks of the radical right, it's also time to put an end to this antiquated federal law.

For more information contact: Human Rights Campaign @
1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-3278
Phone: 202/628-4160 TTY: 202/216-1572 Fax: 202/347-5323