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Aldermen Doing Something

By Alicia Dorr in News on Nov 9, 2006 4:04PM

Halfway through reading about Tom Tunney's proposal for the city, we had to start over. We aids_ribbon_medium.jpgsearched and searched, scratching our heads, thinking, "Wait, is a Chicago alderman actually doing something?" Inspired, we smiled wide. So THIS is why we vote in local elections!

Tunney's newest proposal is ambitious, but it sends a great message: He has called for an amendment to the city's budget that would provide $1.7 million in additional funding for HIV prevention in the 2007 fiscal year. The call followed a pretty heart-breaking cut of nearly $500,000 to AIDS prevention on the state and federal levels, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

The money, which would come out of as yet to be determined hidey-holes in the city's budget that the budget director will find (i.e., the roll of hundos in his back pocket?), could go to HIV prevention programs, help for young women and girls, testing, and much more in the Chicago area. The last time there was a budget increase for this funding was in 2003, and the rates of HIV contraction in the city has spiked 20% in that time.

We're pretty excited about this. Tunney, the only openly gay alderman on the council, pointed to how many lives HIV prevention programs have saved in his community, and pointed out that more needed to be done for the Latino and African-American lives that the disease "ravages" in this city. Bless our stars, the city council is on the verge of doing something great! Pay attention, because usually the greatest thing that happens there is Dorothy Tillman's hat running the meeting.