2010 was a historic year for communities affected by HIV. We saw passage of health care reform and the announcement of the first ever U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy? two significant steps forward in our efforts to increase access to prevention and health care and reduce health disparities, especially for people affected by HIV. But we also know that communities with low voting rates ? including people of color and low?income communities ? are disproportionately affected by HIV. To expand political will to effectively and compassionately address the domestic HIV epidemic, participating in the midterm 2010 elections and learning your candidate's stance on issues important to you is vital.
The Drama is Too Damn High
Battles for Congress and statehouses are rarely devoid of drama and outrage, especially in these polarized times. The 2010 gubernatorial race in New York, for example, is certainly seeing its share of headline-grabbing moments, notably Teabagger Carl Paladino's tasteless anti-gay remarks -- quickly followed by an apologetic chaser -- and the remarkably candid arguments from The Rent is Too Damn High party's Jimmy McMillan during a televised debate earlier this month.
For New York voters still torn between the governor front-runners, Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo and Republican candidate Paladino, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) has issued a clear-eyed fact sheet spelling out the candidates' positions and work related to LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Cuomo's and Paladino's views, past legislative actions, public statements and gubernatorial plans are outlined.
Of course, LGBT and HIV-positive New Yorkers aren't the only voters with a stake in the 2010 midterm elections. Voters everywhere need to head to their polling stations on November 2--our lives literally depend on it. The Positive Women's Network USA sums it up best in its non-partisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote toolkit:
Where do your candidates stand on the issues that affect us all?