The N.Y. Times profiles D.C.’s only needle exchange program, Prevention Works, and its director Ron Daniels. The Washington AIDS Partnership, a funding collaborative of Washington Grantmakers, funds Prevention Works to carry out this proven “best practice” in preventing the spread of HIV infections. However, Congress won’t allow D.C. to spend public funds on needle exchange programs. Washington Grantmakers co-signed a letter last month urging the House of Representatives to drop this restriction. This letter may be having an impact. From the Times article (5/28) (h/t Fight HIV in D.C.):
“This city’s situation is totally improper,” said Representative José E. Serrano, Democrat of New York and chairman of the subcommittee responsible for the District of Columbia appropriations bill. “It’s politically obscene to have Congress tell the District of Columbia that it can’t use local funds for something like needle exchange programs, which have been proven to have a major effect on fighting a deadly disease.”
Calling the matter both a public health concern and a basic political right of home rule, Mr. Serrano said he planned to make it a priority to remove the language that prevents the city from financing such programs. The city’s mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, has said he will provide city money as soon as Congress takes such action.
Watch a video about Prevention Works (CurrentTV)
The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries–a fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region [WG member]–awards more than $1.28 Million in grants to school libraries. The grants will help 263 school libraries buy books. (People’s Daily Online, 5/31) – (press release)
Freddie Mac Foundation [WG member] teams up with Washington Mystics for “Wednesdays Child” campaign for the region’s children in foster care. The foundation already partners with the Nationals and the Capitals. (Newswire, 6/1)
[D.C.] Marion Barry introduces several affordable housing bills (WaPo, 6/1)