NY Sen. Duane on Capping Shelter Costs

22Jul09

From Poz Blogs, Peter writes:

At about 3:00 A.M. this morning, New York State Senator Tom Duane kind of snapped.  He’d had enough of the backroom politics on a bill he supported that prevents people living with HIV or AIDS and receiving public assistance from having to pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.  Duane, who is openly gay and HIV positive, took to the Senate floor and delivered an impassioned 22 minute speech.

All the pent-up rage from what people with AIDS lived through in the 1980’s and early 90’s, and even some of the shit we all live through today, can be heard in Tom’s voice.  I’ve always felt we’ve never processed all the pain we went through back then.  And we’re all capable of snapping from it — letting it spill out at any moment.  There’s a Tom Duane lurking deep down in all of us, waiting to be heard.

Thank you, Tom.

Oh, and as reported by the NY Daily News, the bill passed by a vote of 52 to 1.  You can watch how Tom did it below.

Please watch this video.  It’s amazing, and exactly what I want from my elected officials.  To hear many people tell it, the AIDS crisis is over, but as Sen. Duane points out, that’s not really true.  People still die, people still are discriminated against and underserved, whether it’s in being denied real sex education or being denied proper treatment.  In addition to the other reasons it’s required viewing, this video is an excellent illustration of the fact that politeness is not actually always the best way to call people out.

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