CAEAR Coalition Honors Long-Time Advocates and Allies At Annual Partnership Awards
Announces $25,000 Challenge Grant from San Francisco AIDS Foundation
January 24, 2011
San Francisco, CA - CAEAR Coalition honored six champions of improving access to HIV care and treatment at its Tenth Annual Partnership Awards at a reception at San Francisco City Hall. Honorees included: Randy Allgaier, Director of the San Francisco HIV Health Services Planning Council (posthumous); Scott Boule, Senior Advisor to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Representative Mike Honda; Ernest Hopkins, Director of Legislative Affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; California Senator Mark Leno; and Project Inform. (Bios attached.)
“Advocates and leaders from Northern California have had tremendous impact on the ability of people living with HIV not only in California, but across the country to access the care they need,” said Matthew Lesieur, CAEAR Coalition Vice Chair. “Tonight’s honorees represent the powerful impact of dedicated individual advocates, organizations, and elected leaders working together to build support for the programs and resources so crucial to providing the health care and support services that people living with HIV need to stay alive and healthy.”
Kaiser Permanente was the presenting sponsor for the Partnership Awards, joined by Gilead, EMD Serono, and AIDS Emergency Fund, along with 13 CAEAR Coalition member and community sponsors. “This year represents our highest sponsorship contributions for the Partnership Awards and speaks to the important work we are doing in Washington, DC and the strength of our Northern California members and their central role in San Francisco’s and the nation’s HIV/AIDS response,” said Mike Smith, CAEAR Coalition Board Member, Chair of the Host Committee, and Executive Director of San Francisco’s AIDS Emergency Fund.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation used the occasion of the Partnership Awards to announce a $25,000 challenge grant to support the work of the CAEAR Coalition. The year-long challenge was to encourage broader support from the HIV/AIDS community for the vital work of the coalition, particularly its advocacy efforts at AIDSWatch, which occurs annually in Washington, DC.
“CAEAR Coalition is a crucial voice in Washington representing people living with HIV/AIDS and its work is essential in our efforts to radically reduce new HIV infections and ensure access to proper care,” said Neil Giuliano, chief executive officer of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “We are proud to support the coalition’s work while also honoring the legacy of our friend and ally, Randy Allgaier, and hope our challenge grant will encourage others to do the same.”
A portion of the grant will support the Randy Allgaier Positive Voices Fund, which will bring people living HIV/AIDS to Washington, DC, to participate in CAEAR Coalition meetings and speak to their elected representatives about the importance of the Ryan White Program. An additional $1,500 has been raised for the fund through individual donations.
About CAEAR Coalition
CAEAR Coalition’s California member agencies include the Alameda County Office on AIDS, Black Coalition on AIDS, Desert AIDS Project, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco HIV/AIDS Provider Network, and the San Francisco HIV Health Services Planning Council.
The Honorable Mike Honda
Serving as a California State Assembly member, Santa Clara County Board Supervisor, San Jose Planning Commissioner, San Jose Unified School Board Member, Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, and with over 30 years in education as a teacher, principal and school board member, Rep. Honda’s commitment to serving the people of California’s 15th district is unwavering and unparalleled.
A native Washingtonian, Ernest also has a long history in the city’s gay and lesbian community and HIV response. He is a co-founder of the Washington, DC Black Gay and Lesbian Pride Day and served as Chairperson to the Metropolitan Washington, DC Regional HIV Health Services Planning Council.
In 1997, as a member of the African American Policy Workgroup, he worked closely with the House appropriators and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to establish the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative and was awarded the CBC’s Health Brain Trust Community Service Award for his efforts. Ernest is a founder and current Board Vice Chair of the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition and a member of the HHS HIV Advisory Committee to the CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration and the CDC’s Black MSM Media Workgroup. He also serves on the Board of the National AIDS Housing Coalition.
CA Senator Mark Leno
From 2002 to2008, Senator Leno served in the California State Assembly, representing the 13th District, which encompasses the eastern portion of San Francisco. Prior to his election to the Assembly, he served for four and a half years on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. During his tenure in the Legislature, Senator Leno has fought for better schools and access to higher education, foster youth, a cleaner and sustainable environment, single-payer universal health care, improved transportation, renewable energy, safer streets, and equal rights for all Californians.
Senator Leno is the owner of Budget Signs, Inc., a small business he founded in 1978 and operated with his life partner, Douglas Jackson. Together, the two entrepreneurs steadily grew their sign business until Jackson passed away from complications relating to HIV/AIDS in 1990. This deep loss would not deter Leno. Instead, he redoubled his efforts in community service.
The organization is widely respected for having helped speed dozens of safe and effective HIV medications to market, educated hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive individuals about HIV care and treatment, and ensured adequate government funding for health care programs that serve the sickest and poorest people with HIV. Recognizing that advances in HIV treatment have little value without access, Project Inform has been a key advocate for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program nationally and for access to care through Medi-Cal. Its team of tireless advocates, well known for their hard work and dedication to getting the job done, is widely respected among its peers.
CAEAR Coalition · P.O. Box 21361 · Washington, DC 20009-1361 · Tel: 202-789-3565 · Fax: 202-332-7087 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org