May 19, 2016 Advocacy Alert

Congressional Recesses Ahead
Reach Out to Your Member of Congress Today

Members of the House and Senate will be back in their districts and states later this month, and throughout the summer and fall, before the November elections. Now is the perfect time to reach out to your Members of Congress to schedule a site visit or meeting during the upcoming congressional recesses. It is crucial to keep up the drumbeat on FY 2017 OAA funding throughout the summer and fall months!
 
There is no better way to demonstrate the value of the Older Americans Act (OAA), and its mission to help millions of seniors every year age with health, independence and dignity in their homes and communities, than by inviting your Representative(s) or Senators to see these programs at work. Use the recess opportunities to show Congress why it is critical to increase funding for OAA!
 
Upcoming Congressional Calendar:
 
The congressional recesses, when Members will be back in their districts and states, are May 27–June 6, June 27–July 5, and July 18 through September 5. These are critical times while Members are still making FY 2017 funding decisions to echo our funding requests to Members of Congress!
 
If you haven’t yet contacted your Member’s scheduler to request time during one of those breaks, reach out now! (U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202. 224.3121. Email: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov) Also consider attending any public events/town halls your Members are hosting during these district and state work periods.
 
Key Message:
 
Increase funding for OAA! The season is upon us when Congress is making funding decisions for all discretionary programs, including OAA. To aid your advocacy efforts, n4a has tools and resources available on our FY 2017 Appropriations Campaign page.
 
n4a is asking Congress to restore all OAA programs—but particularly Title III B Supportive Services, Title VI Native American Aging Programs, National Family Caregiver Support Programs and Title VII Long-Term Care Ombudsman—to at least pre-sequestration levels of FY 2010.
 
n4a’s funding request letter was one of thousands sent to the Appropriations Committee’s leaders, asking for funding for specific programs, and n4a staff? meetings with House and Senate offices will be one of hundreds staff members take. (For the full list of all of n4a’s spending priorities, see our 2016 Policy Priorities.)
 
We are focusing heavily on increasing federal funding for OAA Title III B, and encourage you to use this Title III B one-pager in your outreach to your Members of Congress. The piece highlights some local examples of the importance of III B funding.
 
To ensure that OAA programs get the attention they deserve, Members of Congress must hear from their constituents and see for themselves why OAA funding is so important and share these messages with their colleagues on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
 
Ways You Can Take Action!

  • Reach out today to invite Members of Congress to see your work in action! Encourage your Representatives and Senators to attend in any remaining Older Americans Month events you are hosting in May or to see your programs in action this summer and fall. Use these events to educate your elected officials about key programs your agency operates and the critical services you provide to their constituents! And as always, let n4a know what you are doing and take pictures!
  • Take part in a #WeAreOAA Twitter chat on May 24 at 1 PM ET! Join n4a, our national aging organization partners and other advocates on Tuesday, May 24 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET for the #WeAreOAA Twitter Chat to get the word out about OAA and tell Congress to increase funding for OAA. More information, including a Twitter chat guide, is available on n4a’s website.  
  • Spread the word about the #WeAreOAA Twitter Chat! We have graphics for use on social media and other materials available to download to help you spread the word about the need to increase funding for OAA. You can also use the #WeAreOAA Fact Sheet and Infographic to engage your networks and stakeholders in advocacy. 
  • Engage the media! Consider following the lead of AAA leaders from the Pima Council on Aging and also from Vermont via the Central Vermont Council on Aging, and submit an editorial linking the good work done on reauthorization with the need to increase funding for critical OAA programs.
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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at acampbell@n4a.org and Amy Gotwals at agotwals@n4a.org