January 22, 2010 | by Steve Charing
Baltimore activists seek Council action on AIDS

BALTIMORE — Citing the unending HIV/AIDS pandemic in Baltimore, a group of activists is asking the City Council to take action.

A resolution the activists offered Jan. 11 asks the Council to hold an informational hearing where members can hear from community organizers and government agents on the state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic locally and learn what progress has been made in addressing the city’s state of emergency on the matter.

Recommendations from the Baltimore HIV Commission on Treatment & Prevention also would be presented at the hearing.

“We hope that this information will encourage the Council to be more active and interested in addressing the pandemic,” said Bill Palmer, one of the activist group’s organizers. “We are also discussing plans to put together a community summit that will allow all the stakeholders to come together to discuss action-oriented solutions.”

City Council members referred the resolution to the Public Safety & Health Committee to schedule the hearing. Plans tentatively call for the hearing to occur in the Baltimore City Hall’s Council chambers at 5 p.m. on an upcoming Wednesday. Officials hope to broadcast the hearing on cable TV.

The activists are crediting Council member Mary Pat Clarke and her staff for facilitating the effort. After the group complained in December that city leaders snubbed World AIDS Day ceremonies in Baltimore, Clarke thanked the group for drawing attention to the issue and suggested a City Council hearing.

All 15 members of the City Council co-sponsored the resolution except Robert Curran, Rochelle Spector and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the city’s outgoing Council president and incoming mayor.

Steve Charing
Baltimore OUTLoud

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