Housing Works, a New York City-based AIDS advocacy and housing organization, on Wednesday opened an office in Washington, D.C., to better facilitate efforts to shape federal AIDS policy, the National Journal reports. Michael Kink, legislative counsel for the organization, says the office was needed to allow its staff and clients to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
"Our D.C. office will be the nerve center for uncompromising every-week advocacy by people living with HIV/AIDS," said Housing Works president and CEO Charles King in a press statement. "Now more than ever, we must build a nationwide mass movement to keep the pressure on our elected officials to deal with the deadly reality of AIDS; and it's everyday people living with AIDS and HIV that are best able to carry the message."
Robert Cordero, director of federal advocacy for the group, says that in addition to meeting with lawmakers and policy makers in the nation's capital, Housing Works also may consider organizing protests and civil disobedience events. The organization in October helped to organize a protest outside the Bush-Cheney national campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va. Twenty-one people were arrested at the demonstration after chaining themselves to the door of the building.