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August 24, 2005

BAD NEWS: AIDS ACTION'S MARSHA MARTIN NAMED D.C. AIDS CZAR (Updated)

UPDATE, August 25: It's true -- Today's Washington Post reports that Marsha Martin has indeed been named D.C.'s AIDS czar. To understand why this is bad news, read on:

The blog AIDS Combat Zone contacted me to ask me about the rumor (which I hadn't heard)  that AIDS Action executive director Marsha MartinMarsha_martin (photo right) is about to become Washington, D.C.'s new AIDS czar. I replied by saying, "If true, it's a disaster for the HIV community in D.C. We in NY know Martin's record when she was in charge of the department that dealt with the homeless during the Dinkins administration, and she was a disaster, especially for the homeless with AIDS. Now she's a collaborationist with the Bush-Rove Republicans who have done so much to hurt the fight against AIDS by their imposition of anti-scientific, obscurantist religious strictures and limitations on AIDS work." That includes the Bush administration's war on the condom., which I reported on for the L.A. Weekly. You can read the rest of my response on the effect of Martin's appointment to the D.C. job by clicking here. 

Last December I broke the story of Martin's collaboration with the Bush administration (see my post, AIDS Action Jumps Into Bed with Bush and the AIDS-phobic Republicans). I also wrote a subsequent Update on the AIDS Action Scandal with more on Martin's sorry record. The superb AIDS service organization in New York City, Housing Works -- which recently opened a D.C. office -- subsequently ran a further expose in its newsletter of the organization under Martin's leadership, AIDS Action Council Has a Serious Case of Laryngitis as the National "Voice" on AIDS. Then, in May, came the story that AIDS Action's Board Chairman, Charles "Chuck" Henry -- who had engineered Martin's appointment to run AIDS Action -- had been fired as Los Angeles AIDS czar in a political fundraising scandal amid accusations he misused his position as an AIDS exec to shake down contributions for a candidate. With all this accumulated baggage, the D.C. AIDS community should be shuddering in horror if Martin's rumoured appointment is confirmed, as it now has been.

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Comments

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Posted by: laptop battery | Oct 12, 2008 10:46:23 PM

This is awful--resistance is necessary. The only ones who will be able to stop this madness is us.

I say its time we build the movement to drive out the entire Bush regime--the world cant wait until 2008!

Posted by: Scott | Aug 25, 2005 1:01:14 PM

The Washington Post has confirmed that Martin has been selected to replace Lydia Watts:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/24/AR2005082401478.html

Dreadful.

Posted by: Brad | Aug 25, 2005 12:58:13 AM

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