The Chair’s Corner

Head shot of top of capitol building with tree tops

As I began to write this article, the sky was covered by a blanket of white haze that blocked the brilliant blue sky that I am accustomed to seeing at this time of year. At first glance, it could have been mistaken as a typical Seattle cloudy day, but as we inhaled and exhaled, the microscopic smoke particles were inescapable. Unexpectedly, the wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia extended their reach into our cities. As in all unwelcomed events, we adapted and overcame. In this case, some of us donned masks, took an extra puff on an inhaler, or adjusted our schedules to avoid the haze for extended periods of time.

We are three-quarters into 2017. It has been a year of adapting and overcoming challenges—from devastating hurricanes to healthcare reform uncertainties to outcries of racial and social injustice. One way to overcome challenges and barriers is to get involved in advocacy in your community—to inform legislators of what older adults need and want. Older adults have a unique voice—full of wisdom, discernment, and lessons learned—that political leaders should hear. And I have the perfect engagement opportunity for you!

The Washington State Senior Citizens Foundation will hold their 2017 Annual Fall Conference on Thursday, October 19, 2017 (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. Topics include health care, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, guardianship, aging, housing, and the budget. There will be 40 exhibitors with resources for older adults. Click here for registration and costs.

The evening prior (October 18), advocates, advisory council members, and legislators are invited to socialize and network at a legislative reception. Beverages and appetizers will be served. There is no cost for the reception; however, pre-registration is required (click here).

If you can’t make the conference, consider participating in the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby. They meet on the third Monday of the month in Lacey, WA. For details, click here.

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Get up, join in, and let your voice and passion be heard. Change happens when we speak up. Your voice counts!

Photo credits: (top photo) Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby website. (bottom photo) Senior Lobby Day 2017. Both by Lorraine Sanford, Aging and Disability Services.


David BakerContributor David Baker is chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail ( as well as applications for open positions on the council. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared on AgeWise King County (October 2017)