Pop band Hanson, Miss New York, Comptroller Thompson to participate
On December 1, 2008, Housing Works will hold its annual 24-hour “Reading of the Names” vigil in City Hall Park to commemorate the lives of people who have died of AIDS and remind New York City and State officials that they need a strategy to stem the rising tide of HIV infections. For 24 hours, hundreds of Housing Works staff, clients and volunteers will continuously read the names of thousands of people who have died of AIDS.
Housing Works will be joined by New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr., Miss New York Leigh-Taylor Smith and Grammy-nominated band and AIDS activists Hanson.
WHAT: Annual “Reading of the Names” vigil
WHEN: From 12:01 am to midnight, December 1, 2008
WHERE: Southern tip of City Hall Park at Broadway and Park Place
New York City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. (reads at noon)
Leigh-Taylor Smith, reigning Miss New York (reads at 7:15pm)
Grammy-nominated band Hanson (arrives approximately 9:30pm)
Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control released data showing that the rate of new HIV infections among New York City residents is three times the national average. Approximately 10 percent of the more than 1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV/AIDS live in New York City.
“It is unconscionable that even before the current national fiscal crisis hit, our elected officials slashed funds for HIV prevention and testing. We hope that the echoes of the names of those who have died from AIDS ringing through City Hall Park on World AIDS Day will remind our leaders of their responsibility to fight AIDS,” said Housing Works President and CEO Charles King.
HOUSING WORKS is the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States, as well as the nation’s largest minority-controlled AIDS service organization. Since our founding in 1990, we have provided lifesaving services, such as housing, medical and mental health care, meals, job training, drug treatment, HIV prevention education, and social support to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.