June 1, 2016 Advocacy Alert

Members Are in Districts and States
Reach Out Before Next Week on OAA Funding

Members of the House and Senate are back in their districts and states this week. But, we are hearing rumors that the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill, which has jurisdiction over Older Americans Act and other critical aging programs, when they return next week. It is especially critical to reach out to your Members of Congress while they are in town this week and ask them to support increases for OAA.
Key Message:
Increase funding for OAA! Now is the time that 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. (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 visit your programs this summer and fall. Members will be back in their districts and states until June 6, and also June 27–July 5, and July 18 through September 5. Invite your elected officials to see first-hand 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!
  • If you can’t schedule time with your Member, contact the office by email or phone! It is critical to connect this week—before the Labor-HHS bill is introduced—to encourage members to increase funding for OAA—particularly Title III B. Use n4a’s March letter to Appropriators as a template, and also our one-pager on the importance of increasing funding for OAA Title III B. If your Representative or Senator is on the House or Senate Appropriations Committee, it is especially critical that you reach out! If he or she is not, it is still important to ask them to contact the committee to echo your message.
  • 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 to your local media outlets linking the good work done on reauthorization with the need to increase funding for critical OAA programs. 
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. 
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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

USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!