April 17, 2023 Advocacy Alert
Make Your Ask for FY 2024 OAA Funding
Reach Out to Your Senators and Representatives with Our New Grassroots Toolkit
April 17, 2023
Our recent Advocacy Alerts have urged you to push your Senators and Representatives to sign on to critical letters supporting strong investments for Older Americans Act funding. With appropriations season heating up on Capitol Hill, we need you to take action again!
In USAging’s annual appropriations request letter to Congress, we outlined the critical importance of investing in OAA and other vital discretionary programs that help older adults live with independence at home. As always, we will follow up on our requests via meetings with the key appropriations leaders. But that’s not enough: we need Congress to hear directly from their constituents—and that’s where you and our new FY 2024 appropriations campaign come in.
Why We Need Your Advocacy
Our collective goal is to ensure that members of Congress recognize that funding for the Aging Network’s programs and services needs to be significantly increased on a long-term basis for three reasons: to serve the rapidly growing numbers of older adults who need them, to meet the greater complexity of needs among the older adults you serve and to address the workforce challenges that are affecting older adults’ access to services.
In our FY 2024 appropriations asks, USAging urges Congress to double funding for three subtitles of the Act: Title III B (Supportive Services), Title VI (Native American Aging Programs) and Title III E (National Family Caregiver Support Program). This is the level of investment these programs should have had before COVID-19 and reflects what these programs absolutely need now as the COVID-relief dollars are running out. For the Aging Network to meet the growing needs of older adults, it’s past time to grow the baseline!
We need all AAAs, Title VI programs and all of your local allies to raise their voices in support of Older Americans Act funding. We must ensure that all members of Congress know that the Aging Network is seeing increased need overall and an increased complexity of need post pandemic—and the demographics will only increase these levels of need in the near future. If Congress doesn’t invest in these vital programs and services, they are risking the health, well-being and independence of their older constituents!
Take Action Now!
Contact your Representatives and Senators NOW to advocate for funding for OAA programs and services. Read USAging’s appropriations request letter and use our grassroots templates to customize your asks to reflect your agency/program: AAA template, Title VI template. Give your members of Congress a sense of how their communities are affected—take the time to localize what this funding means for the older adults and caregivers in your community, tribe or state.
STEP 1: Put Your Requests in Writing! Send a letter requesting their support. Putting the letter on your agency’s letterhead is ideal, but if that is not feasible, send it from your Advisory Board or even yourself as a private citizen. Or do all three! Use our templates (AAA/Title VI) but customize to your agency/community. Send the letter via email to their DC and district offices. You can find the contact information on your Members’ websites: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
STEP 2: Make Your Support for OAA Funding Public.
- Attend any virtual events/town halls your Senators and Representatives are hosting during in the upcoming congressional recesses (House: May 1-19; Senate: May 22-29) and raise OAA funding during the Q&A!
- Find out whether any of your agency’s stakeholders know the Members of Congress serving your community or if they will be seeing them at any virtual events. If so, ask that they put in a good word for OAA funding and its impact in your community.
If you won’t be with us in DC next week, request virtual meetings or invite your lawmaker to an onsite visit when members of Congress will be in their states and districts in May (see dates above). Get on their local calendars NOW and engage them in your May Older Americans Month activities or other events! Individual site visits, even if virtual, are also a great opportunity to educate your elected officials about the critical services you provide to their constituents. All you have to do is ask! (Tip: Put the request in writing. Call or email the DC office to ensure your request gets to the scheduler.)
STEP 4: Engage Your Provider Network. Urge your vendors/providers, advisory board members and other important stakeholders to send their own letters to Congress. Please do all you can to amplify the message and engage others who understand the value of OAA in their community! Forward this Alert to your networks or edit it to be best received by your agency’s advocates.
Stay tuned for more updates from USAging and check out USAging’s FY 2024 appropriations campaign page for additional advocacy resources, as always, we thank you for your advocacy!
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact Amy Gotwals at firstname.lastname@example.org and Olivia Umoren at email@example.com.