We were delighted that Leader Nancy Pelosi joined us at our Community Volunteer Workday on Saturday, April 21st. Her visit to the Grove commemorated her twenty-fifth year as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Pelosi was first elected to the House in 1987 to represent California’s 8th Congressional District, which includes most of San Francisco. In 2002, she made history when she became the first woman elected to lead a major political party in Congress; in 2007 she became the first woman elected Speaker of the House.
In her first speech to the Congress in 1987, Nancy Pelosi famously said she came to the House of Representatives to fight AIDS. In those days, some people suggested that she might not want to become identified with that particular cause. But Pelosi wanted to share what San Francisco had learned about prevention and care with the rest of the country, referring to the “San Francisco model of care.”
Leader Pelosi helped enact legislation to assist in housing of people living with HIV/AIDS. She pushed to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act, which assists thousands of low-income people in getting care and treatment. Her efforts to prevent drastic cuts in care and treatment for San Francisco have resulted in the restoration of millions of previously cut dollars from systems of care that people living with HIV/AIDS rely upon for access to medications and primary medical care. She is committed to ensuring that care, treatment, prevention and research initiatives receive funding increases. Pelosi continues fighting to expand access to care as part of comprehensive health reform. She has also led efforts to fund the global fight against AIDS. If all of that were not enough, Leader Pelosi was instrumental in passing the legislation in 1996 that designated our local “AIDS Grove” as this country’s National AIDS Memorial.
Representative Pelosi has faithfully commemorated her milestone years in Congress by volunteering at the Grove. On both her 10th and 20th anniversary years in Congress, she planted commemorative trees. Today, both these trees stand strong and graceful.
Thank you Leader Pelosi for the honor of commemorating yet another milestone year in Congress with us at the National AIDS Memorial Grove!