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To Heppers Throughout the Nation

February 28, 2004

Texas Hepatitis C Coalition
PO Box 643
Hempstead, Texas 77445
TEL: 979-826-2569

Please foward this to ten fellow heppers.

HOUSTON, February 22, 2004 --- We have learned Mayor Bill White intends to appoint a 5-member Hepatitis C task force headed by an insider in the Houston Health Department. We pray that is not true. (We learned this sad news after releasing the attached press release praising the mayor).

Additionally, we understand that the task force will only be composed of so-called medical professionals. NO grass roots heppers will be appointed. We hope this is not true! Of course, I would not know. I was not consulted by the White Administration on this very important matter. I learned it through a member of the city HIV Task Force.

The City Hall insiders, and political, medical bureaucrats, have been the problem all along. They have excluded grass roots victims of Hepatitis C in their discussions and deliberations. I pray that Mayor White WILL NOT let this happen to OUR task force. We had such high hopes.

The mayor needs to reconsider who he is listening to.

--Ed Wendt
Chair and Founder, Texas Hepatitis C Coalition

This happened after we released the following press release:

"IN 30 DAYS"

February 21, 2004


Houston Mayor Bill White has promised to create a Hepatitis C (HCV) task force within 30 days to help the nation's 4th largest city develop and implement a plan to combat the deadly blood-borne virus.

White made the announcement during a public session of city council on Tuesday after HCV activists asked him to create the task force.

The Texas Hepatitis C Coalition supported and campaigned for White in the hotly contested 2003 mayor's race in which White eventually won by a landslide. The group's political arm -- Texas Hepatitis C PAC -- endorsed White after screening him and other candidates in the race. A major issue for Texas Hepatitis C PAC was the HCV task force. White agreed to create the task force and to make HCV a top priority of his administration.

Coalition leaders Ray Hill and Ed Wendt appeared before City Council and expressed concerns that the Department of Health and Human Services had failed to create a task force after being directed to do so by City Council. Council Members Ada Edwards and Carol Galloway asked Mayor White to order an investigation to determine why the health department failed to create the task force. White agreed.

Houston HCV activists decided to politically organize last year "to better get the attention of politicians and elected officials to help them understand that Hepatitis C is a crisis in our city, state, and nation," said Wendt, chairman of the Pac and coalition. Several activists, including Wendt and Hill, created the Texas Hepatitis C Political Action Committee (Texas Hep-Pac) with the Texas Ethics Commission to accomplish their political goals.

"I think our elected officials are listening to us now," Wendt said.

"We are thankful that we finally have a mayor and city council who know that our city's Hepatitis C crisis needs the kind of attention it has not had in the past," he added. "I think we can work very well with them in the future."

The Texas Hepatitis C Coalition is making recommendations to Mayor White for appointments to the task force.

"We need members who are dedicated to the cause and not city bureaucrats and political operatives who are rubber stamps for the health department," warned Wendt. "I would rather not have a task force than to have one stacked with bad people. From his record during his first two months in office, I know that Mayor White will appoint only the very best to our task force. We are very lucky to have him."

"We need members from the medical profession, especially from the Texas Medical Center, as well as grass roots Hepatitis C activists, who can work together to come up with a comprehensive HCV plan that will be the envy of the nation," Wendt stated.

Texas Hep-Pac now intends to organize for this year's congressional and presidential election.

"There are over 80,000 voters with Hepatitis C in the greater Houston area and we can make a difference if we turnout to vote," Wendt stated.

Texas Hep-Pac is currently screening candidates for the March 9 Texas Republican and Democratic primaries.

"Our votes can make a difference," Wendt concluded. "What we did at city hall, we now intend to do on the state and national levels -- that is to endorse the very best candidates and help get them elected."

Note from Lloyd:

What we need to do is have a fly-in and demonstrate in the streets like the Aids people did in many events. We need to close down the streets in a show of "Civil Disobedience".

One of the problems is that the main stream believe that Doctors are best qualified to deal with disease.

They are not and this is seen to be true in many ways but in Hepatitis C it is blatantly obvious for anyone who knows how to read.  Doctors, medical institutions, politicians are to distant from the people to participate in a forum concerning hepatitis c with out having the Guinea Pigs (US) as participants.

The DRUG MONEY is to big for us to ever get a part unless we demonstrate like we did during the Vietnam War!. Some of us need to get shot before these issues generate a good round of discussion in government.

In Good Health
Lloyd Wright


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