The OAA reauthorization is set to expire on Sept. 30.
With members of Congress now on break in their home districts, this is the best time to connect with your federal legislators. Give your voice on the matter, by calling U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (608) 264-5338 and Ron Johnson (608) 240-9629.
Ask them to support moving bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act forward and to adopt House-approved funding increases for the Act and other aging service programs. Simple. It takes just two calls. Or, if letters or emails are more your thing, check out their websites for that contact information. Senior Center staff can assist you with this.
Want to do more?
Most issues affecting us daily are being decided on by legislators at some level. Some like OAA are at the federal level, how to direct those Older American Act funds or other federal funds (like affordable healthcare) are decided at the state level, and how an Area Agency on Aging distributes funds to senior centers is decided by the county so on to municipal decisions.
It can be overwhelming to 1) keep track of all the issues, and 2) feel like you have any control over decisions being made. Here are suggestions to make you feel like you are a part of positive change:
1). Educate yourself. Reading the paper is an obvious way to stay in the know. Though, keep in mind, the pages to even our favorite papers are limited. Unfortunately, aging topics don’t always “sell” to the broader populations. For topics specific to seniors consider checking out:
· AARP: their magazine, their website: aarp.org or blog: blog.aarp.org
· National Association of Area Agency on Aging (n4a): n4a.org/advocacy
· Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network: gwaar.org/wisconsin-aging-advocacy-network
2). Keep in mind, you do have control. Politicians work for us. It is every citizen’s responsibility to vote, and it’s also their responsibility to voice their opinions to their elected officials. Good politicians represent the citizens in their district. When they don’t, it is the people’s job to tell them and to vote differently at the next election. So, put your legislators on your speed dial or bookmark their “contact me” webpages. You can find your legislators by typing in your zip code or address here:
· U.S.: www.govtrack.us/congress/members
· State: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/
· Dane County Executive: https://exec.countyofdane.com/contact.aspx,
· Dane County Board Supervisor: https://board.countyofdane.com/Supervisors
· Stoughton City Council: https://www.ci.stoughton.wi.us/council