2 washingtonblade.com • april 8, 2011
$8.7 million cut in D.C.AIDS budget ‘not real’
A line item in Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposed scal year2012 budget showing an $8.7 million cut in the city’s AIDSprograms is a temporary accounting gure and doesn’t re-fect the actual budget, which is expected to remain about thesame as this year’s budget.That’s the explanation given by AIDS activists amiliar withthe D.C. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseaseand Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA), who said theyhave spoken to HAHSTA ocials.HAHSTA ocials did not immediately respond to a Bladeinquiry about the proposed AIDS budget by press time. DenaIverson, a spokesperson or the D.C. Department o Health, owhich HAHSTA is a part, said she was making inquires aboutthe budget document but did not believe the city’s AIDS bud-get would be reduced in 2012.Don Blanchon, executive director o the Whitman-WalkerClinic, and Patricia Hawkins, a ormer Whitman-Walker ocialwho serves on the city’s HIV Planning Council, said HAHSTArepresentatives told them the $8.7 million “cut” in the mayor’sbudget document refects delays by Congress in nalizingand approving the ederal budget.About 85 percent o the unds or D.C.’s AIDS programs,including the HAHSTA budget, come rom the ederal govern-ment, with most o the money coming rom the ederal RyanWhite CARE Act program.Blanchon and Hawkins said HAHSTA representatives haveinormed AIDS service providers that the ongoing dispute be-tween congressional Democrats and Republicans over thescal year 2011 budget has resulted in uncertainty over howmuch and when ederal AIDS unds will reach D.C. and otherjurisdictions such as state governments.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Fred Parris, 62
Frederick Walter “Fred” Parris, a D.C. area resident in the1970s and 1980s and a co-ounder o the Northern VirginiaGay Alliance, died March 4 in Houston o congestive heartailure. He was 62.He served as a reelance writer or the Washington Blade inthe early 1980s and is credited with drawing early attention tothe subject o gay teen suicide through a series o stories hewrote or the Blade in 1982 on that issue.He is the author o the 1984 book, “All You Can Eat: YourGuide to 1,000 Buet Restaurants Priced $7.95 or Less.”Parris was born Nov. 12, 1948, in Manhattan, Kan. He grad-uated rom Kansas University in 1970 with a major in journal-ism. He received the William Allen White Award or excellencein eature writing in his role as a writer or the University DailyKansan newspaper.He received a master’s degree in library science rom Kan-sas’s Emporia University and later worked or ve years withthe Memphis Public Library system.He moved to the D.C. area in 1976, where he became in-volved with a number o LGBT rights groups and causes. Healso became an advocate or seniors and pushed or tenantrights or seniors and lower-income people in a D.C. area sub-urb, according to his brother David Parris.Upon his relocation to Houston in 1989, Parris worked invarious positions or the Houston Public Library. He retiredrom the Houston Public Library in May 2008.Survivors include a sister, Rosemary Parris Bennet; abrother, David Parris; a niece, Lauren Bennett; and a nephew,Adam Bennett.A private memorial service is scheduled in Houston on May1. Contributions can be made to the “It Gets Better Project,”an eort aimed at preventing LGBT teen suicide.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Cars defaced with anti-gayslurs near National Cathedral
At least two cars belonging to residents in the ClevelandPark section o Northwest Washington near the National Ca-thedral were deaced on April 3 with anti-gay “hate-basedlanguage written upon them,” D.C. police said in a statement.Sgt. Carlos Mejia, supervisor o the police Gay and LesbianLiaison Unit, said Second District ocers responding to theincident called the GLLU to help in the investigation.“We were on the scene,” he said.Police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump said police o-cers responded to a call to the 3200 block o CathedralAve., N.W., where they ound three cars deaced with writingscrawled on them rom what appeared to be a pen. She saidthe writing on two o the cars consisted o anti-gay hate mes-sages.Capt. Edward Delgado, who oversees the department’sspecial liaison units, including the GLLU, said the owners othe cars subjected to the deacing told police they were notmembers o the LGBT community. He said police would notimmediately release the exact wording o the anti-gay mes-sages on the cars because doing so could hurt the investiga-tion.Police said anyone with inormation about the case isasked to call the department at 202-272-9099 or the depart-ment’s anonymous inormation line at 1-866-411-TIPS.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
LGBT youth included in
Catania mental health bill
Gay D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) in-troduced a sweeping bill on Tuesday that seeks to curtailtruancy and violent behavior among young people, includingLGBT youth, by requiring the public school system to screenall students or mental health problems.Catania named the legislation the South Capitol StreetTragedy Memorial Act o 2011. He said the name recognizesour young people shot to death and ve others struck by bul-lets in a drive-by shooting on March 30, 2010 while standingon the steps o a South Capitol Street house.Some o the male youths charged in the incident, whichhas been dubbed the “South Capitol Street Massacre,” werewards o a city agency charged with overseeing juvenile o-enders. The agency has been criticized or ailing to properlysupervise such oenders.Police said the shooting was part o a series o violent actsamong rival circles o young people that may have startedover a stolen bracelet.Catania said chronic truancy is considered a sign o pos-sible “behavioral health” issues that oten are not addressedin the city’s public schools.The multiaceted bill requires the city’s Department o Men-tal Health to conduct a comprehensive youth “behavioralhealth epidemiology report” aimed at enabling school andhealth ocials to assess the extent o mental health problemsamong children and teenagers rom pre-kindergarten throughhigh school. It establishes a system or channeling potentiallyviolence-prone youth into mental health services and treat-ment programs.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
’s budget shows an $8.7 million cut in AIDS unds, butactivists said that number is deceptively high.
Washington Blade fle photo by Michael Key
CLIftOn ALLen ROBeRsOn, 60
Cliton Allen “Cli” Roberson, a gayrights advocate and D.C. government em-ployee or 28 years, died March 30 at theWashington Home and Hospice o compli-cations rom brain cancer. He was 60.Friends and colleagues describedRoberson as a resourceul and dedicat-ed public servant who played an impor-tant role in helping the city governmentprovide services to all residents, includ-ing the LGBT community.He emerged as one o the rst groupo gay community appointments in thecity government in the early 1980s whenthen Mayor Marion Barry named him asthe mayor’s Ward 5 constituent servicescoordinator and later as a policy ocerin the Executive Oce o the Mayor.He served as president o the D.C.Coalition o Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexualand Transgender Men and Women rom1983-1984.Roberson moved rom the mayor’soce to the D.C. Department o Healthin the early 1990s, where he served in anumber o posts, including with the de-partment’s HIV/AIDS Administration. Hemost recently served as public healthadviser or the department until illnessorced him to retire in January o this year.“Cli was a generous person wholoved people and took great pride in hiscauses,” said Courtney Williams, a D.C.government colleague and riend. “Hewas a legend in his own time as well as acommunity activist.”Carlene Cheatam, a long-time D.C.government employee and past presidento the D.C. Coalition o Black Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Men and Wom-en, said Roberson played an importantrole in alerting the GLBT community to citygovernment resources and programs thatwere supportive o the community.“He would be sending out inormationabout boards and commissions,” she said.“He would send out inormation about jobsavailable. He was always very resourceuland the sweetest guy in the world.”Roberson was born Aug. 30, 1950 inSacramento, Cali., and moved to D.C.with his amily as a young child. Hegraduated rom D.C.’s Wilson HighSchool and attended Georgetown Uni-versity’s School o Foreign Service.“Family and riends were most im-portant to Cli,” Williams said. “Thereare many things that we can say aboutthis extraordinary man, but one or sureis that he was truly loved and will bemissed by all.”He is survived by his brother, An-thony Roberson; two nephews, Anthonyand Franklin; and many special riends,including Williams, Jean Tapscott, andLinda Boyd.A wake and viewing were held April 7,at the Horton Funeral Home, 600 Kenne-dy St., N.W. A nal viewing is scheduledor 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, April 8,at Michigan Park Christian Church, 1600Taylor St., N.E., with a memorial service atthe church scheduled to begin at noon.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.