Dear Friend of ACT UP -
We know you love ACT UP Philadelphia. We've been here for 23 years, standing up for people with HIV in Philadelphia and around the world. We've won amazing victories by organizing people with HIV to fight back and demand the life-saving programs and medicine we need. We have never accepted a dime from drug companies or the government because we know it would influence our advocacy. We take on campaigns that other organizations can't because of funding restrictions. Right now, we're working on three major campaigns to increase access to services for people living with and at risk of HIV. For more information on our campaigns, please read at the bottom of the email.
The bottom line is that right now, we are in a bind. Our largest funder has had to delay grant cycles by a few months and we have next to no money in the bank. Please make a donation to help us get through this tough period so that we may keep the lights on and the powerful organizing going. You can make your donation easily online through our website - actupphilly.org - by clicking on the paypal link. Or, you can mail a check to ACT UP Philadelphia, PO Box 22439, Land Title Station, Philadelphia, PA 19110.
Your donation matters! We have a lot going on in the next few months. We're hoping to send a delegation to the US Social Forum, to network and learn from other brilliant activists from across the US. We are planning a major action to tell our Mayor that the city must end the 183 person AIDS housing waiting list.
In addition, we are reaching out to new people and growing our group. Our meeting size has nearly doubled in the last year. Many of our new members are low-income and they need tokens to get to meetings. We like to provide a light dinner so people can make it through our weekly meetings without getting hungry.
All of these things cost money - money we simply don't have right now. Please, reach into your pockets and donate to us. We wouldn't ask, except that it's a crisis now. We will not be able to do the things we need to do unless we raise $1000 by the end of June. If your organization can donate, we can send you an invoice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need one.
What your donation will support:
- $30 - food for a meeting with 25 members
- $50 - tokens for two meetings
- $100 - copies, signs, and fabulous props for our upcoming housing action
- $120 - travel for members of ACT UP to attend the US Social Forum
- $200 - a bus full of 57 people to attend our upcoming housing action
- $500 - all of the above, or our basic operating expenses (office rent, meeting space, phone, internet) for the next two months
Thank you for your continued support of ACT UP Philadelphia. We love you!
Roy Hayes, Kate Kozeniewski, Hannah Zellman, Jose De Marco, Waheedah Shabazz-el, Eddie Lowry, Erica Goldberg, Kaytee Riek, Asia Russell, John Barbieri, Max Ray, Paul Yabor, Paul Davis and Jen Cohn, on behalf of all of ACT UP's members
Current ACT UP campaigns:
1. Locally, we are working to end the AIDS housing waiting list. The city of Philadelphia spends no money on AIDS housing. 183 are officially on the waiting list, but the process to get on the list is so bureaucratic and complicated that there are likely hundreds more who need housing and can't get it. We've made strides, getting the city to start talking about AIDS housing. We know that council members and the Health Commissioner are talking about this, but it hasn't made it to the Mayor's desk. Our action in two weeks will make sure that the Mayor hears about this life-threatening issue.
2. State-wide, the Governor announced a $2 million cut to HIV prevention funding, in the middle of a fiscal year. This cut may be increased for next year, as the state is facing a major budget crisis. 2 weeks ago, ACT UP mobilized 200 people to protest the Governor's cuts. We are continuing our advocacy, and working with media and allies to make sure this critical issue gets resolved.
3. Nationally, ACT UP is working with other organizations to pressure the US government to keep it's promise to fund global AIDS programs. Because the US has not kept its promise, thousands of people worldwide who were promised medication are being forced onto waiting lists for AIDS treatment. They will die unless the US keeps its promise. In May, we mobilized four buses (200 people!) to travel to NYC to participate in a demonstration outside an Obama fundraiser, to hold our leaders accountable to the promises they made to us.