Ahf Pharmacy City View

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In 2015, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed by three former AHF managers. The employees allege AHF engaged and even documented kickback processes for positive HIV test results for social workers.In 2016, the foundation sponsored and provided more than 95% of the funding ($5.5 million) for an anti-development ballot initiative, Measure S, which was rejected with 70.4% voting against. This initiative would have imposed a two-year moratorium on spot zoning as well as developments requiring height and density variances and other changes that would, it claimed, prevent the city from gentrifying and growing too fast. “As we work to house patients in L.A., City Hall focuses on approving $3,500 apartments that sit empty,” Weinstein wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. Opponents, who included many advocacy groups for the homeless as well as the city’s business community, building trades unions, and developers, said that while the measure addressed some real problems, it went too far and would have not only prevented the construction of new affordable housing but made the city’s overall quality of life worse by aggravating an existing housing shortage. They questioned whether the money spent by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to get the initiative on the ballot was related to the foundation’s mission, and suggested that it was motivated by AHF director Michael Weinstein’s desire to block a development that would have dominated the view from his office window.

AHF spent $5.0 million (almost ten times what the total opposition spent) as the only financial backer of a statewide initiative that would have allowed Cal/OSHA to prosecute an enforcement action anytime a condom is not visible in a pornographic film. It failed, 54% to 46%.
In May 1999, AHF filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles over the mismanagement of AIDS Housing Funds. Following a state legislator’s audit, the Los Angeles City Controller revealed that more than $17 million in federal funds for people with AIDS went unspent as an AIDS homeless crisis raged in Los Angeles.AHF spent $1.7 million sponsoring an initiative that requires the use of condoms in all vaginal and anal sex scenes in pornography productions filmed in Los Angeles County, California. It passed 57% – 43%.In 2013, AHF found itself entangled in dual lawsuits when AHF attempted to use political clout to force the City of Los Angeles to develop health services independent from the county. Health officials in affected departments filed responsive suits, arguing massive wastes would result in a transition or duplication of services.AHF operates the Out of the Closet thrift store chain. AHF acquired the MOMS Pharmacy chain of pharmacies in 2012, and in 2013, rebranded the chain as AHF Pharmacy.In 2022, the AHF sued to block Los Angeles’s Housing Element, which is a new strategy by the L.A. City Council to increase housing supply in L.A. with a goal of producing 500,000 new housing units by 2030, with 200,000 of those being affordable units. Dana Cuff, an urban planning professor at the University of California, Los Angeles stated that Weinstein’s housing opposition “is not understandable … I’d go further than that; it’s actually a misuse of their funds. … They’re putting a lot of energy into stopping this project,” says Cuff. “If they put that same energy into getting some of this project to be affordable, I would understand [their motivation]. But to just stop it—they couldn’t possibly be concerned about affordable housing.” In 2020, Michael Weinstein, AHF’s founder, sponsored and financed a second ballot initiative to allow more rent control, because he felt that AB 1482 (above) did not provide enough tenant protections, such as limiting rent increases between tenants.The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, alleging that the city violated laws and the city charter when it approved the development of two residential towers that are expected to be up to 30 stories tall. The City Council changed existing zoning and height limitations to allow the development, which would be next to AHF’s Hollywood headquarters. A spokesperson for the development accused Michael Weinstein of filing the suit to maintain the view from his office. In 2019, the California Supreme Court Refused to hear the case, leaving in place a lower court decision against the foundation. AHF hosts global events to both commemorate those lost to HIV/AIDS and educate the public about the importance of safer sex with condom use. Each year on December 1, AHF marks World AIDS Day with a series of international events throughout many of the countries where AHF operates. It is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in battling HIV/AIDS over the years and be a reminder of the work left to be done amid the 1.7 million new HIV infections every year. Under the leadership of founder and president Michael Weinstein, AHF has since 2012 become highly active in sponsoring and exclusively financing multiple high profile ballot initiatives in two states, starting with a successful Los Angeles County initiative to require condoms in adult films (Measure B), and then a similar statewide initiative which failed (2016 California Proposition 60). They also ran two measures seeking to cap prescription drug prices (California Proposition 61 (2016) and Ohio Issue 2 (2017)), both of which failed.In August 2014, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a formal complaint with Nevada OSHA, against Cybernet Entertainment LLC, which does business as Kink.com and related spin-offs. The complaint alleges the California porn company did not require its actors to use condoms during an adult film shoot in Las Vegas.

In 2004, Darren James and three other adult film actors tested positive for HIV. In response to the outbreak, AHF began lobbying in favor of laws requiring condom use by male actors during sex scenes in adult films.In January 2007, AHF filed suit in Los Angeles over Pfizer’s direct-to-consumer marketing of Viagra, accusing Pfizer of promoting off-label, recreational use of Viagra, and suggesting a link between Viagra, methamphetamine, and unsafe sex. Pfizer denied AHF’s claims, and mentioned that AHF had recently asked Pfizer to fund an educational program about meth.In 2017, AHF started acquiring hotels (often single-room occupancy) in the Los Angeles area for conversion to affordable housing units, renting them for about $400–600 per month. By 2020, it owned seven such properties totalling 800 units. As of 2022, it owns over a dozen in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and skid row neighborhoods.AHF contributed $22.5 million to the campaign for Proposition 10, a ballot initiative which sought to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act. The measure would have allowed local governments to adopt rent control on any kind of building. Costa-Hawkins is a state law which disallows local governments (cities and counties) from enacting rent control on buildings constructed after 1995, all single-family homes (regardless of construction date), and disallows laws that keep a property under rent control when tenants change (vacancy control). The proposition failed, 59% to 41%.

In 2012, AHF supported a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring condoms in certain adult films. Later the same year, the organization spent US$1,654,681 funding the successful campaign to pass Measure B, a ballot initiative that expanded the condom requirement countywide.

In September 2013, AHF filed a lawsuit in California against GSK alleging that the company “… failed to fully satisfy its obligations with respect to discounts for drugs it sold to AIDS Healthcare Foundation over a period of many years,” under the 340B Drug Pricing Program, a federal drug discount program designed to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible for community healthcare providers such as AHF.
The 25-bed hospice—the first of three operated by AHF, including the Carl Bean House and Linn House, which opened in 1992 and 1995, respectively—provided 24-hour medical and palliative care to people living through the final stages of AIDS. Brownlie died at the age of 39, on November 26, 1989, less than a year after the hospice named in his honor first opened, survived by his father, sister, brothers, his longtime partner, Phil Wilson and countless friends and fellow AIDS activists. In addition to Brownlie, over 1,000 people had been given dignified, specialized, compassionate final care at the Chris Brownlie Hospice by the time it ended hospice operations in September 1996. The building that housed the Brownlie Hospice went through its own rebirths, housing various departments of AHF, including the headquarters for AHF’s Public Health Division, before the organization officially turned the property back over to the City of Los Angeles with a sunset memorial ceremony on January 26, 2013…. the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has never been a significant voice advocating for more affordable housing and homeless housing in L.A. Nor has the group played a role in planning and land-use issues — at least not until a developer proposed building two 30-story towers right next to Weinstein’s office.

AHF spent $40 million (99.8% of the supporters’ funding) in support of Proposition 21 (the opposition spent $85 million). It appeared on the ballot on November 3, 2020 and would have allowed local governments to establish rent control on residential properties that have been occupied for over 15 years. It would also have allowed landlords who own no more than two homes to exempt themselves from such policies, and would also have capped rent increases between tenancies at 15% over three years (vacancy control). Proposition 21 was rejected by 60% of California voters, like Proposition 10 (above) before it.
Since 2017, the organization has shifted its political focus to attempting to block housing construction through lawsuits against many new projects, as well as an initiative seeking to block local development in Los Angeles (2017 Los Angeles Measure S), and two seeking to allow for the expansion of rent control in California (2018 California Proposition 10 and 2020 California Proposition 21); these three failed at the polls. Regarding the housing initiatives, critics have questioned whether the group is misusing foundation and taxpayer money by sponsoring ballot initiatives they consider unrelated to the stated mission of the organization.

Those and other similar statements have led opponents to characterize Weinstein as a rich NIMBY who opposes development because it would add traffic to his commute and block the views from his office building, rather than because he cares about the plight of poor renters or people with HIV.
AHF spend $18 million as the almost exclusive sponsor of the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act (the opposition raised $59 million). According to the Ohio petition language, “The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act would … require that notwithstanding any other provision of law and in so far as permissible under federal law, the State of Ohio shall not enter into any agreement for the purchase of prescription drugs or agree to pay, directly or indirectly, for prescription drugs, including where the state is the ultimate payer, unless the net cost is the same or less than the lowest price paid for the same drug by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” The initiative lost, 79% – 21%.

In an interview with The Advocate in 2016, Weinstein stated: “Why isn’t there development in South L.A.? Why isn’t there development in Boyle Heights? Why concentrate all this development in Hollywood? You have a [transit line] in the Valley and a [transit line] in South L.A.”.In 2014, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed suit against the City of San Francisco. AHF claimed that city restrictions on chain stores targeted them unfairly when the organization attempted to open a retail store.

In 2013 AHF sponsored Proposition D in the City of San Francisco, which required the city to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers and set a city policy to request that state and federal lawmakers create laws that would reduce drug prices. It passed 80% – 20%.
Real estate development company Crescent Heights has been at odds with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation over its plans to build two towers next to the foundation headquarters on Sunset Boulevard. So far, Crescent Heights has contributed more than $2.5 million to oppose Measure S. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, in turn, has chipped in more than $5.5 million to support it.

In 2019, the California legislature passed and the governor signed AB 1482, which created a statewide rent cap for the next 10 years. The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 caps annual rent increases at 5% plus regional inflation, pegged to the rental rate as of March 2019. The new law does not apply to buildings built within the prior 15 years, or to single-family homes (unless owned by corporations or institutional investors) and retains “vacancy decontrol”, meaning that rents can increase to market rate between tenants.

In 2016, the AIDS healthcare foundation filed suit against East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana, claiming it was discriminated against in the awarding of healthcare contracts. The suit specifically targeted funds given to longtime-standing local AIDS service organizations such as HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge, and others. The suit was settled with funding left unchanged.
The group began converting a facility in Elysian Park that had been Barlow’s old nursing quarters into Chris Brownlie Hospice —the County’s first AIDS hospice—which was named in Brownlie’s honor when it first opened December 26, 1988. Meyer, who also served as Treasurer of the AIDS Hospice Committee, was honored in 1987 by the Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Committee with its ‘Heart of Gold Award’ for her early work in the effort to formulate AIDS hospice care in Los Angeles.AHF produced the documentary film Keep The Promise: The Global Fight Against AIDS, depicting the AHF sponsored protest of government anti-HIV funding levels and anti-HIV drug prices at the XIX International AIDS Conference, 2012. The film premiered on March 29, 2013 at the Vail Film Festival.

In 2014, AHF was audited by Los Angeles county and billed $1.7 million for duplicated services. AHF filed suit, arguing that they were targeted on the basis of their political actions in the 2013 lawsuit. The lawsuit filed by AHF was thrown out by a judge. The billing case was dismissed, finding AHF had not billed the county for $6 million in allowable services with neither the foundation nor the county having to repay funds.