**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

 

Contact: Jennie Smith-Camejo, jsmithcamejo@pwn-usa.org, 347.553.5174

 

April 1, Washington, DC: Positive Women’s Network-USA (PWN), a national network of women and people of trans experience living with HIV, is thrilled to unveil our new nonpartisan electoral organizing strategy, led by women and people of trans experience living with HIV.

Organizing for Power: Road to 2020 (OFP 2020) will train and support teams led by women and trans folks living with HIV, through an intensive bootcamp, monthly web-based trainings, and ongoing coaching to implement a field plan, to elevate issues important to people living with HIV during the 2020 election cycle; assess where candidates stand on critical issues; analyze ballot measures, initiatives, and policy proposals; and register, engage, and mobilize voters, using a combined digital and field organizing strategy.

Elections have consequences. Following the 2016 election, conservative lawmakers have taken full advantage of their newfound power to drastically roll back human rights at the state and federal level. In their brazen efforts to disenfranchise and silence those who challenge their grip on power--Black and Latinx communities, women, LGBTQ folks, immigrants--they are also decimating access to the most basic needs like health care, housing, and food, as evidenced most recently by renewed attacks on the Affordable Care Act and the sweeping cuts in the president’s budget. OFP 2020 will build on voter engagement and issue elevation tactics that PWN supported its regional chapters and member leaders to conduct during the 2018 midterm elections by offering a higher level of training and support and by focusing on key geographic locations.

“The HIV community is a powerful voting bloc – there are over 1.2 million people living with HIV and millions more connected to HIV service delivery. Our members proved during the 2018 midterms that they were committed to making sure the voices of communities of color and low-income communities are heard. They reached over 10,000 voters, many from underserved and low-turnout communities, ensuring they knew their rights as voters, what and who were on their ballots, and how to make sure their votes counted,” explained Naina Khanna, PWN’s executive director. “We are incredibly excited to be able to provide even more intensive training, coaching, and hands-on support to scale up our members’ impact on more races in crucial parts of the country. We know that when voters know what’s at stake and understand their rights, they show up. Issues that matter to women living with HIV, like health care access, trans safety, and reproductive rights, are critical for our broader communities as well. We will play a key role in making sure these issues get heard by candidates and are understood by voters.”

Applications for OFP 2020 opened today with a deadline of May 31. Those interested in participating must apply in teams that include leadership and involvement of PWN’s priority constituencies - Black and Latinx cisgender and transgender women living with HIV - and demonstrate commitment to PWN’s policy priorities and values.

For more information and complete instructions, visitpwn-usa.org/ofp-2020. Register here for our webinar on Friday, April 26, at 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific to get any questions answered about the application and eligibility criteria.

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Positive Women’s Network - USA is a national membership body of women living with HIV and our allies that exists to strengthen the strategic power of all women living with HIV in the United States. Founded in 2008 by 28 diverse HIV-positive women leaders, PWN-USA develops a leadership pipeline and policy agenda that applies a gender lens to the domestic HIV epidemic grounded in social justice and human rights.