Dear Super Committee; Don’t Leave Seniors Hungry and out in the Cold

November 17, 2011

Members of Congress regularly cite the important work done by non-profit organizations to bridge the gap between government programs and actual community need.  Yet we have a situation where the so-called “Super Committee” is considering draconian cuts in domestic programs like senior nutrition and eliminating or reducing the charitable gift deduction for taxpayers.

How can they possibly expect charities like Senior Community Centers to protect vulnerable seniors without government funding and private donations?  The situation has devolved into the theater of the absurd.

To put the need in context, check out a couple of recent articles such as, “New scale finds more poverty” in the San Diego Union-Tribune and “Senior Citizens in U.S. Falling Into Poverty Faster Under Census Measure” in Bloomberg News.  They illustrate how rapidly seniors are falling into poverty at higher rates. We know that the boomers aging into programs began this year. If predictions hold true, seniors will double their numbers by 2030. With the insurgence of older adults aging into programs, we must protect our ability to fundraise, especially if congress continues their path towards under-funding essential nutrition and wellness programs for seniors. We refuse to fade quietly away while the Super Committee decides to leave seniors out in the cold.

The Super Committee needs to think about the ramifications of its proposed cuts and make a clear statement in support of the charitable deduction.   Please contact the members of the Super Committee and ask them to protect senior nutrition programs and charitable giving deductions.

Home / Members

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Co-Chair, Phone: 202-225-3484
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Phone: 202- 224-2621
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Phone: 202- 224-2651
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) Phone: 202.225.6235
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) Phone: 202-225-3561
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) Phone: 202-225-3315
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)Phone: 202- 224-2742
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) Phone: 202- 224-4521
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Phone: 202-224-3353
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Phone: 202 224-4254
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) Phone: 202 225-3761
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Phone: 202 225-5341


Measuring What Matters: The Need for Governor Brown to Sign AB 138

October 4, 2011

Assembly Bill 138 (Elder Index) sits and awaits Governor Brown’s signature. I’ve sent my letter of support to the Governor. I included a link to a video created by Joe Gavin, an advocacy program intern and West Scholar from San Diego State University. If you haven’t already Take Action and email Governor Brown before October 8th.

Moving Forward: Assembly Bill 138, The Elder Index Takes Its First Steps

September 2, 2011

elder index wall of lettersIn July, over 250 seniors participated in a letter-writing campaign to State Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to support adoption of the Elder Index for planning purposes in counties throughout the state.  The Elder Index uses actual data in four key areas – housing, healthcare, food and transportation – to determine the income a senior needs to have his or her basic needs met.

Government currently uses the archaic Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to assess economic needs for older adults.  The problem with the FPL is its questionable methodology and data.  A researcher in 1964 determined that in 1955 the average American family spent one-third of income on food.  That number was multiplied by three creating the FPL.  The only change from 1964 is that the FPL is adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).     The stark reality is that we are making major economic policy decisions impacting millions of seniors based on data more than a half century old using a flawed hypothesis.

Nowhere is this more evident that in the chasm between the FPL and the Elder Index here in San Diego.  The FPL is $10,830 per year.  The Elder Index in San Diego is $24,000 – more than double FPL.  This is why so many seniors are falling through the cracks – they simply don’t have enough money to take care of themselves.

On August 25th, thanks to the leadership of Senator Kehoe, the Elder Index bill (AB 138) passed by a 6-3 vote in the Appropriations Committee. I am extraordinarily proud of the seniors who made their voices heard loudly in Sacramento.  Getting the Elder Index out of committee is a major victory in a year of tough cuts for seniors.  Furthermore, on Wednesday the senate voted “aye” 25-14 with amendments.   Read the rest of this entry »

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