January 26, 2017 Advocacy Alert
Reach out to Your Members to Advocate for Aging Programs
Use n4a’s New Advocacy Resources to Connect
Now that President Trump has been officially sworn in as the 45th U.S. President, his Administration and the 115th Congress are wasting no time tackling a slate of policy proposals that could have significant implications for tens of millions of older adults, caregivers and the local community-based organizations (CBOs), including AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs, that promote aging at home and in the community.
Last November, n4a sent a transition memo to the Trump transition team outlining critical areas we encouraged the Administration to prioritize. This week, n4a also sent a letter to all new Members of Congress as well, as Members serving on committees critical to advancing the interests of older adults and caregivers. This outreach also included two recently released n4a Policy Briefs:
- What Policymakers Must Know About an Aging Nation highlights the demographic necessity of promoting policy decisions that enable aging in place and outlining key principles that policymakers should consider when making these decisions.
- What Would ACA Repeal Mean for Older Adults, Caregivers and the Aging Network? details the provisions in ACA that affect older adults and the Aging Network, as well as posing key questions that policymakers should consider as they develop a replacement plan.
We encourage all AAAs and Title VI programs to use these resources and reach out to your Representatives and Senators directly! It is critical that as Congress and the Administration move forward with major policy and funding decisions in 2017 that they hear from your agency about the work you are doing locally to keep their older constituents and their caregivers healthy and independent in the community for as long as possible. We encourage you to use n4a’s template language to develop your own letter, including information about your local agency and the people you serve in their districts and states. We also encourage you to send both n4a’s ACA and Aging Nation policy briefs to your Members of Congress.
n4a’s Message to Congress
n4a sent a letter to new Members of Congress and to Members on key House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over aging programs and issues affecting older adults with a few simple messages:
- Lawmakers must understand the changing demographics of an aging nation, and how this reality will affect policies and people at every level of government;
- Repealing the ACA will have major implications for older adults, caregivers and the Aging Network, and any replacement package must ensure that vulnerable populations are protected; and
- As Congress makes FY 2017 and FY 2018 budget and funding decisions about OAA and other aging programs, lawmakers must, at a minimum protect OAA programs from further cuts.
Local Advocates Must Weigh In!
In addition to n4a’s outreach, it is critical that local AAAs and Title VI programs reach out to your members of Congress to echo and reinforce these messages.
- STEP 1: Write to your Members of Congress now! All AAAs and Title VI programs should make sure to send a letter (via fax) or email to Members of the new 115th Congress. Use n4a’s template letter to help guide your outreach, but be sure to customize messages with information about your own agency. Make sure to share our ACA and Aging Nation policy briefs as well!
Outreach is especially important if your Member of Congress serves on the following House Committees: Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Budget or Education and the Workforce; or on the following Senate Committees: Appropriations, Finance, Budget, Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) or Aging. You can find contact information for offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
- STEP 2: Ask for a visit! Invite Members to come see your programs in action or ask for a meeting when they are back in their districts and states. The House and Senate schedules are available now, so you can see when they are scheduled to be at home. Also, now is a great time to start setting up meetings if you are coming to DC for the n4a Aging Policy Briefing & Capitol Hill Day April 3-4, 2017!
Note: as you reach out it’s also important to PERSONALIZE the faxes or emails you send and share anecdotes about the importance of your agency and OAA programs in your community.
Thank you for your advocacy!
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