Howell urges Allen committee to block names reporting
Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
April 14, 1999
The Honorable Sandy Allen
Chairman, Committee on Human Services
Council of the District of Columbia
441 4th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
We are very much distressed to learn that Mr. Ron Lewis, chief of the Agency for HIV/AIDS, testified before your committee on April 1 that AHA is still on course to impose by September a names reporting system for people testing positive for HIV.
This is a shocking development. The Mayor's office told us in January that Mayor Williams had ordered Mr. Lewis to put the brakes on any such plans. Mr. Lewis' plans also defy the Council's public opposition to a names reporting system, and especially your own plans to hold a public hearing on the subject. We appreciate your opposition to a names reporting system, which you repeated in no uncertain terms to Mr. Lewis during his testimony.
Mr. Lewis' insubordination is intolerable. Clearly it is primarily the Mayor's duty to rein in Mr. Lewis once and for all. But since that has not yet happened, we strongly urge the Committee on Human Services to adopt an amendment to the FY 2000 budget for the Department of Health forbidding the implementation of a names reporting system. A similar amendment should be added to any FY 1999 supplemental budget request that may be forthcoming.
We regret such steps seem necessary. But perhaps your committee's decisive action during next week's mark-up will help to spur Mayor Williams into asserting control over his own bureaucrats.
Thank you for your continued leadership.
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC