Labor, Business Groups Oppose AHF’s L.A. City Health Department Measure

Nov 16, 2013
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Labor, business groups and medical organizations have banded together in opposition to a measure by a prominent AIDS healthcare group that would force the city of Los Angeles to cut ties with the county’s health department and start up a health agency of its own.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a major provider of HIV medical services to the county which has nevertheless been engaged in a series of pitched political battles with county officials, qualified the initiative for June’s ballot.

City and county officials oppose the measure and are suing in an attempt to stop it from getting on the ballot. But they are legally barred from funding an opposition campaign.

coalitionThe groups involved in the new coalition — including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Service Employees International Union Local 721, Valley Industry and Commerce Assn., the Hospital Assn. of Southern California, and the Community Clinic Assn. of Los Angeles County — have no such restriction. Coalition spokesman Scott Mann said the group could become the official committee to oppose the measure as the 2014 election draws nearer.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has launched its campaign in favor of the measure with billboards around the county that query “Tired of waiting for L.A. County?” and point viewers to a website,, where residents detail complaints about the county health department.


The new coalition opposed to the measure, calling itself L.A. Coalition to Protect Public Health and Safety, set up its own website, to detail arguments against the measure. The site says creating a new health agency would cost the city as much as $333 million a year and cause a potential interruption of services to city residents.

Last week, AHF submitted a new proposed measure, which would only require the city to set up a commission to oversee the county’s provision of health services — not to run its own department. Foundation President Michael Weinstein said he hoped the City Council might decide to voluntarily adopt that measure, in which case his group would likely stop campaigning on the other initiative.

In 2012, the group spent about $2 million to support a successful ballot measure to require that condoms be used in adult films shot in Los Angeles County. And this year it sponsored a successful measure in San Francisco calling on local officials to find ways to lower prescription drug prices.



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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
10 years ago

I used to think Weinstein was a pretty smart guy but he just keeps digging himself in further. He still clearly doesn’t get it about who runs Los Angeles – and that it’s most definitely not him.

Look at the list of opponents to this idiotic proposal. When you’ve got unions and The Chamber of Commerce on the same side in opposition to the crap you’re peddling, it’s not going to sell.

How many falls will it take before AHF finally slaps the mat? I guess we’re destined to find out.

Michael Whiteacre
Michael Whiteacre
10 years ago
Reply to  Ernest Greene

Weinstein hates to lose and he keeps doubling down. Ego trumps reason. Ego even trumps greed. Ego is Weinstein’s fatal flaw and the local powers that be now seem determined to drum that fact into the public consciousness.

The monied interests in CA can knock that shiny “AIDS Advocate” halo off his greasy head, and they seem more than happy to do so.

Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
10 years ago

Indeed, it appears to be lost on Mr. Weinstein that his opponents now include both major AHF contributors and his own staff. Among the many sad ironies of this whole ill-fated crusade is the distraction it creates from the one thing AHF does well, which is take care of actual patients. That’s what lies behind the staff protests. While Weinstein is busily turning AHF into a lobbying organization, the quality of its services to its clients continues to decline. As always, the real losers in this kind of ego-driven nonsense are those genuinely in need of help. As I like… Read more » - Buy & Sell Adult Traffic
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