Denver Mayor Says City Council Member’s Objections to His African Trip are Related to AIDS Bias
Denver Mayor Wellington Webb on Wednesday said that City Council member Ted Hackworth's objections to his upcoming trip to Africa are a "foil" to halt the AIDS-related humanitarian aspect of the mostly trade-related mission, noting that humanitarian measures are "ultimately good" for the city's economy, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. "In a broader context, we have to figure out what kind of city we want to be. Do we want to be a city of the 1960s, or a city that can compete in international markets in 2020?" Webb asked. Hackworth, chair of the city's finance committee, asked the Mayor's Office of Economic Development & International Trade at a Wednesday committee meeting to produce the names of the 14 city officials whose trips will be financed by the city, a list of companies providing corporate sponsorships and details relating to the special revenue fund set up for the mission, which will visit Botswana, Namibia and South Africa between Feb. 18 and March 3. "At a time when the city is looking to cut $9 million from the budget, I just question the priority of expenditures," Hackworth said, adding that his objections were purely financial and had nothing to do with AIDS. The trip, which is meant to foster trade relations, is estimated to cost $70,000, with corporate sponsors supplying about $22,000 of the total, Ron Bernstein, director of the mayor's office that is overseeing the trip, said. He added that the humanitarian part of the trip would not be paid for with funds from his office (Draper, Denver Rocky Mountain News, 2/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.