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Archive for February, 2010

“Heads Up!” – Paterson Pulls Plug on Election Bid, But Will Not Resign

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

New York Daily News Reporting.

“Embattled Gov. Paterson has pulled the plug on his election bid, a source close to the governor said Friday.

Paterson will announce the decision later Friday.

Paterson has been under fire for having contacted a woman who accused one of his top aides of domestic violence.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/02/26/2010-02-26_gov_david_paterson_pulls_plug_on_election_bid_but_will_not_resign.html#ixzz0gejpGfwV

How Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs Can Comply With the 2010 Census

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Many drug and alcohol residential programs and half-way houses have been asking how they can cooperate with census takers, as they make their rounds in 2010, without violating the federal confidentiality law and regulations. Programs are concerned about the two ways in which patient-identifying information could conceivably be disclosed: (1) a census enumerator allowed into a program to assist patients in filling out the census forms would learn the identities of patients; (2) the program itself, if it turned over census forms with its residents’ names to the Census Bureau, would identify the patients as persons receiving substance abuse treatment.

The Legal Action Center called the Census Bureau to determine exactly what information census takers will be seeking and how they plan to approach residential treatment programs. We believe we have found a way for programs to cooperate fully with census takers without jeopardizing the confidentiality of their patients’ identities.In sum, program staff may obtain training to self-enumerate, thereby avoiding the problem of a census representative interviewing patients directly. In addition, census forms do not require patient-identifying information.

Visit www.lac.org to read and download a detailed discussion of our findings.

“Heads Up!” – Top Paterson Official Resigns

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Syringe Access Bill Update and Upcoming Advocacy Day

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday, February 23, 2010,  the New York Senate Codes Committee voted to pass through a bill (Senate Bill 5620) that would prevent new HIV and Hepatitis C infections by stopping police harassment of program participants. Our thanks to everyone who called committee members and sent memos; your support was crucial to the moving forward of this bill.

The next step will be to get the legislation passed through the senate. LAC and our partners will continue to monitor the  bill and keep you up to date as the process moves forward.


Upcoming Advocacy Day:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 is Status C Unknown’s Hepatitis C Advocacy Day. If anyone from your agency is interested in attending,  please contact Jeremy Saunders, lead organizer for NYC AIDS Housing Network / V.O.C.A.L. NY-Users Union, at 917-676-8041 or jeremy [at] nycahn [dot ]org.

Action Alert! Make 3 Calls TODAY To Pass Syringe Access Bill (Senate Bill 5620)

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

A bill that would prevent new HIV and Hepatitis C infections by stopping police harassment of program participants will come to a vote today in the Senate Codes Committee. Support from syringe access programs around the state is crucial to passing it out of committee and building momentum for a floor vote in the Senate. Legal Action Center strongly supports this legislation as part of our Clean Syringe Access advocacy in our HIV/AIDS policy work.

Just three phone calls can help move this critical legislation forward! Our legislators need to hear that there is community support for this bill. We encourage both individuals and agencies to reach out.  Please call today!


Calls You Can Make:

Senate Codes Committee Chair Eric Schneiderman: (518) 455-2041

Senate Health Committee Chair Tom Duane: (518) 455-2451

Senator from your area on the Codes Committee: (518)455-2800 (Switchboard – Call to be connected)

  • Neil D. Breslin – Albany
  • John J. Bonacic – Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan
  • John A. DeFrancisco – Syracuse  and  surrounding area
  • Stephen M. Saland – Dutchess, Columbia
  • Dale M. Volker – Erie, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario

(See how they voted on this bill during last year’s committee meeting)

Sample messages for phone calls:

Individuals:

“Hi, I’m calling to leave a message for Senator_________. My name is ________, and I live in (county), and I’m calling  about Senate bill number 5620. This bill is important for preventing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, and to ensure used syringes are properly disposed of. It’s on the Senate Codes Committee meeting agenda today and I hope that it will be reported out. Thank you.”

Providers:

“Hi, I’m calling to leave a message for Senator_________. I’m calling from (Agency name, county & area you serve) about Senate bill number 5620. This bill is important for my agency’s work to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, and to ensure used syringes are properly disposed of. It’s on the Senate Codes Committee meeting agenda today and we hope that it will be reported out. Thank you.”

If you can take one more step to support syringe access, please send a memo of support to each of these three Senators. (See a sample letter from AIDS Community Services of Western NY)


Our thanks to our partners at VOCAL for providing the agency call template, committee voting records, and sample letter.

Saland

Correctional Association of NY’s “Drop the Rock” Campaign and Petition

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment
Drop the Rock ” The Correctional Association’s Public Policy Project’s current principal goal is to reduce overincarceration in New York State. To achieve this objective, the Project coordinates the Drop the Rock Coalition, which advocates for policies that reduce incarceration rates, including repealing the vestiges of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Through education, organizing and advocacy, Drop the Rock aims to decrease the number of people who are incarcerated in New York and reduce the bed capacity of the state prison system.

Our grassroots campaign promotes full repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws and constructive reforms to parole and work release policies, which cause the unnecessary imprisonment of thousands of people each year. In addition, we strongly advocates for reinvestment in alternative, prevention, and in-prison rehabilitation programs to prepare people for successful reentry.”

– Correctional Association of New York, “Public Policy Project/Drop the Rock”

This campaign addresses issues raised in LAC’s criminal justice/community corrections paper (available in our “Resources” section).

We encourage readers to visit the Drop the Rock website and read their brochure, as well as to sign the petition.

“Heads Up!”– Very Good Letter on Second Chance by Fortune Society CEO

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment