San Francisco’s Congresswoman, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, joined volunteers at the National AIDS Memorial for the June 17, 2017 Community Volunteer Workday to commemorate both the surpassing of 200,000 hours of labor donated by volunteers since the first Community Volunteer Workday in September of 1991 and Congresswoman Pelosi’s 30th year in Congress. Our gratitude to the Grove’s volunteers and to Congresswoman Pelosi is beyond measure or expression.
Since 1991, an average of 1,600 volunteers have participated every year in Community Volunteer Workdays by clearing weeds and debris, mulching and hauling topsoil, planting new trees and shrubs, resurfacing pathways, cleaning hardscape features and other routine maintenance activities. Volunteers range from the very young to the elderly, come from all segments of the community and represent a diverse range of racial, economic, cultural, religious, and other social groups.
For the past thirty years, Congresswoman Pelosi has worked courageously to advance the issue of HIV/AIDS, supporting major funding, research and programs that have been critically important to the advancements and improvement of the quality of life for those living with the disease. In 1996 she successfully spearheaded the passage of legislation that was signed by President Bill Clinton designating San Francisco’s AIDS Memorial Grove as a National Memorial. She has faithfully commemorated milestone years in Congress by volunteering at the Grove, and on each of her 10th, 20th, and 25th anniversary years in Congress, has planted commemorative trees. She has volunteered on numerous other occasions over the years, often bringing her family and grandchildren to participate in the workday activities.
Congresswoman Pelosi’s leadership on the issue of HIV/AIDS includes the accelerated development of an HIV vaccine, expansion of access to Medicaid for people living with HIV, and increase funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative and other research, care, treatment and prevention initiatives vital to people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Through her support of domestic and international programs, she has helped significantly increase spending for HIV/AIDS initiatives have saved the lives of millions and provided testing, counseling and better care to some of the most vulnerable men, women, and children around the world.
“The National AIDS Memorial is not just a place for where we come and remember those we’ve lost, it is a place where people from around the country, around the world, can come together to remember their lives, to hope and continue working tirelessly until we find a cure,” said Congresswoman Pelosi. “This sacred ground honors all who have been touched by HIV/AIDS but more importantly, it forever keeps their spirit, their love and their stories with us and so future generations never forget. This grove inspires us to keep fighting in their memory and for what’s right.”