San Diego Human Dignity Foundation To Send Representatives To U.S. Capitol for AIDSWatch 2016

San Diego Human Dignity Foundation To Send Representatives To U.S. Capitol for AIDSWatch 2016
February, 2016 Client News
SAN DIEGO – Feb. 19, 2016 – With this year’s presidential election underway, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation announces that in addition to supporting local agencies and programs through grants, the organization will be partnering with the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative to support six consumers living with HIV/AIDS through the national advocacy initiative, AIDSWatch. This is the third year the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) and the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative have partnered to send representatives to the nation’s capitol to advocate on behalf of San Diegans living with HIV/AIDS.
“This is such a unique opportunity for our elected officials to hear, directly from constituents, how their voting choices affect individuals living with HIV,” said Ian Morton, senior program analyst with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and HIV Funding Collaborative. “These consumers represent the voices and stories of those who are impacted by HIV, healthcare and education legislation. Since the initiative began at SDHDF three years ago, San Diego has one of the highest levels of representation for Capitol Hill visits.”

Presented by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, AIDSWatch is the nation’s largest annual constituent-based HIV/AIDS advocacy event, which brings hundreds of individuals living with HIV and their allies nationwide together to meet with elected officials to educate them about the important issues at stake for people living with HIV/AIDS.

This year, AIDSWatch 2016 occurs Monday, Feb. 29 through Tuesday, March 1 in Washington D.C., and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s delegates team will be made up of the following representatives chosen for their outstanding work through local HIV/AIDS services and programs:

  • Anthony Mendavil (Stepping Stone)
  • Dennis Vega (San Ysidro Health Center)
  • Priscilla Mahannah (Christie’s Place)
  • Rafael Rubalcaba (North County LGBTQ Center)
  • Raul Robles (San Diego LGBT Center)
  • Tracie O’Brien (Family Health Centers)
With new advances in treatment, improved access to care through health reform and new prevention technology, huge strides have been made in the journey to put an end to AIDS, but we are far from the finish line. Success will depend on key legislative efforts, which include ongoing support, modernization of the Ryan White Care Act, removing the ban on federal funds for syringe exchange programs, ensuring funding and support for comprehensive sexual health education, and addressing outdated HIV-criminalization laws across the United States.

The public’s help is needed to help these representatives cover their expenses for their trip in just a few weeks. By visiting the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s website page for AIDSWatch 2016, meet each delegate and learn more about their story. There is a “Donate Now” button, where donations are collected securely online, and these donations are matched through the Sunshine Brooks Fund to fully sponsor the San Diego delegation.

About the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), which will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2016, is the sole community foundation in the San Diego region dedicated to the benefit of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. SDHDF funds programs and projects that promote equal treatment, tolerance, wellness, well-being, and above all else, human dignity. We work to strengthen LGBT organizations and leadership. The organization nurtures philanthropic giving to support LGBT people and address important issues such as aging, arts and culture, health and wellness, youth and families, and civil rights. For more information, visit www.sdhdf.org. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

About San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative
The San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative (HFC) has served as a funding and advisory resource for HIV/AIDS services in the San Diego region since 1990, when it was founded by a local group of concerned community members and funders. Since its founding, the HFC has granted nearly $7 million to support HIV/AIDS services in San Diego County and is currently partnering with nine San Diego HIV service providers to reduce new HIV infections by 60 percent in the next three years. For more information, visit www.sdhdf.org. Connect on Facebook.

About the Sunshine Brooks Fund
The financial backbone of the HFC is the Sunshine Brooks Fund, an unexpected legacy gift from philanthropist Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks to the San Diego HIV community. Brooks was one of the original investors in Price Club (now Costco), which opened its first warehouse store on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. Known for her “sunny” disposition, she became a staple brand for Price Club’s ice cream and bakery treats. Always an avid supporter of San Diego, her giving continued after her passing in 1999, with a $40 million legacy gift that was divided between 15 San Diego based philanthropic organizations, including the AIDS Foundation of San Diego. When the AIDS Foundation closed in 2008, the remaining funds were transferred to SDHDF and have allowed the HFC to provide support for the HIV community each year since.