The Chair’s Corner
Happy New Year!
I am starting the new year with renewed optimism and focus! I look forward to working with all of you to roll up our collective sleeves and tackle the work ahead—from improving how we share information to advocating for the needs and promoting opportunities for older adults and people with disabilities.
I want to start 2018 by hearing from you! I invite you to take a brief online surveyabout our AgeWise King County e-newsletter. Our goal for this newsletter is to share content that is meaningful and important to our readers. Consider taking a moment to tell us how we are doing and give us your ideas for how we can improve.
The AgeWise King County e-newsletter is a source for advocacy information, but we also have the following e-mail lists:
- Aging King County Advocates—receive updates and action alerts on policy and legislative issues that impact older adults and people with disabilities.
- ADS Advisory Council Meetings—a monthly e-mail announcement that includes the agenda, location and meeting minutes for the ADS Advisory Council.
- Age Friendly Communities—a forum to share information with the Age Friendly Task Force and community partners. Content includes meeting appointments and minutes, announcements about events and other opportunities, and updates on Age Friendly Seattle and regional efforts to promote Age Friendly Communities.
I want to encourage you to stay engaged and informed by clicking on any (or all) of the links above and request being added to the distribution group.
The ADS Advisory Council and our advocacy partners are gearing up for another big year of advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels.
- At the federal level, the tax bill has passed and removes the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. As a result, it is projected that 13 million people will not have health care coverage, which could drive up health care premiums. Also, Congress has averted a shutdown by passing a continuous resolution through January 19. Advocacy is still needed to secure the Older Americans Act Title III B Supportive Services increase called for in the House spending bill. Continue to reach out to your legislative representatives in support for this funding.
- Our state legislative session is off to a promising start—the Governor’s budget, which was released in mid-December, had some good news—funding for hearing aids! We have a lot of work ahead to make sure this item remains in the final budget. To advance our legislative priorities, we are preparing for upcoming advocacy efforts in Olympia, including Senior Lobby Day.
- Locally, we are very excited about the implementation of the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy, which will provide much needed funding for aging services throughout King County. We are also looking forward to the release of Seattle’s Age Friendly Action Plan which will outline strategies for making Seattle a great place to grow up and grow old. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.
I welcome you to join me and the advisory council in working together to ensure that our state, our region, and our country are great places for people of all ages and abilities to live, work, and play.
Contributor Ava Frisinger is chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. She welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.
Related advocacy article 10 Tasks for Effective Legislative Advocacy (December 2017)
This article originally appeared on AgeWise King County (January 2018)