Truth In Advocacy

Last summer, Seniors First San Diego advocates made their voices heard by championing the importance of AB 138 which requires the use of the Elder Index, rather than the antiquated Federal Poverty Level, in planning by local Area Agencies on Aging.

Advocates flooded the office of Senator Christine Kehoe with more than 250 letters of support. Kudos to Senator Kehoe for reading the letters and supporting the bill.

Last Sunday Governor Brown signed into law Assembly bill 138 the Elder Economic Planning Act of 2011.  It is a critical first step in making policy decisions for seniors based on real data rather than methodology that grossly understates income adequacy to meet basic needs.

This is a major victory for seniors throughout the State of California and the first big legislative success for Senior Community Center’s Seniors First San Diego™ campaign.

During this campaign, we learned a few things along the way. Foremost, we learned of the commitment that is required to see an idea transformed into policy. Issues are not resolved, nor policy created in a single act. It is a long road filled with many obstacles. So, Seniors First San Diego has adopted an acronym, V.E.R.A. which is rooted from Latin for truth, to remind us what is needed in our efforts to ensure that we stay true to our commitment to San Diego seniors.

This concept was created by Joe Gavin, a colleague working with Seniors First, and I want to introduce it to you. These four concepts form the foundation of our advocacy work, the journey that we (Seniors First San Diego) must take to turn more of these ideas into responsible public policy.

V is for Vigilance- Seniors First San Diego will scan the public landscape for issues and ideas so when the time is right, we will be ready.

E is for Engagement- Bringing together seniors, community groups, organizations, and government. Seniors First San Diego will listen, speak, and participate.

R is for Resiliency- Staying true to our advocacy efforts, we will meet the challenges ahead.

A is for Action – Moving ideas into sustainable applications that serve older adults and by extension, all of society. Seniors First San Diego will fulfill our commitment.

Seniors, people who care for seniors and organizations throughout the county are joining together through Seniors First San Diego to be the “Voice” for seniors on issues like the Elder Index. I ask that you join me and Seniors First San Diego as we work toward a better life for todays as well as tomorrow’s senior.

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