By Danielle Fox (Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009)
Thanks to all the chapters who have already mobilized to get needle exchange postcards signed and mailed to your Senators. We are very close to ending the ban on federal funds for needle exchange, and we need the support of students to make it a reality.
1.) Postcard Deadline: if you haven’t gotten your postcard signed, sealed and delivered, please do so no later than Monday, September 7.
2.) Elite Sign on: As part of a multi-channel campaign to end this ban, PHR is launching an elite health professional sign on letter that will be addressed to all members of the Senate, urging them to vote to end the ban on federal funding for needle exchange and to ensure there are no amendments or language in the bill (like the 1000 foot rule in the House) that limits how states can use this funding. If you want to ask your Dean to sign on to this letter, email Sarah (Outreach and Constituency Organizing Director) at skalloch[at]phrusa[dot]org and she will give you sample letter text to use in engaging VIPs at your school. We need their signatures by next week — let me know if you want to help!
3.) E-Lert: We’ll also be emailing an action alert about this in the next two weeks that will engage all 30,000 of our activist supporters — the third prong of our campaign to end the ban. Keep and eye out for it and forward it on to friends!
PHR has been at the forefront of the fight for syringe exchange programs, thanks to the support of activists like you. NY Rep. Jose Serrano praised our work in helping to end the ban in the House:
“I also wish to recognize the incredible efforts of the various national and local groups that have been working for years to make this possible, especially AIDS Action, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Harm Reduction Coalition. Without the work of these valiant groups all across the nation, the step we took today never would have been possible.”
Now we need the Senate to follow suit and we need your help. Hope to hear from you soon!