April 21, 2022 Advocacy Alert



 
First Call for Senate, Last Call for House!

CALL and Urge Your Members of Congress to Sign on to FY 2023 OAA Letters!

Our congressional champions in the House and Senate are circulating letters of support to double Older Americans Act funding for FY 2023, which is in line with USAging’s own requests to double funding for key OAA programs—but they need your help.

We need YOUR advocacy to gain momentum and get the maximum amount of congressional support possible. Ask your Senators and the Representatives that serve your PSA to join their congressional colleagues for long-overdue annual funding that can sustain essential OAA programs and services in their communities!

In the Senate, it is Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who is once again leading the charge to double the entirety of OAA investments. Senator Sanders recently circulated a letter urging his colleagues to sign onto the Senate Appropriations Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee request that doubles every part of the OAA (including Title V, the Senior Community Services Employment Program) for a total of $4.33 billion in FY 2023. This request recognizes the growth in demand for and cost of services—as well as the impact the pandemic continues to have on older adults and caregivers.

Our goal this year is to surpass the 39 Senators who signed onto last year’s Senate letter—but we have a long way to go before we reach that number!

Last week, we shared two Advocacy Alerts encouraging you to ask your Representative to sign onto the letter Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici’s (D-OR) is circulating that requests House Appropriations Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee leaders double OAA Title III programs and services for FY 2023. Representative Bonamici’s Dear Colleague letter represents bipartisan support for older adults to age independently at home as Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and John Katko (R-NY) are cosponsors of the letter, as well. Signatures are due tomorrow so contact your Representative NOW and drive signatures to the OAA letter. Help ensure congressional appropriators recognize the BIPARTISAN support that already exists for boosting funding for these critical and underfunded programs!

Read the bipartisan Bonamici-Stefanik OAA Title III sign-on letter.

Read the Sanders’ OAA sign-on letter.


Deadlines
Representatives’ signatures are due by close of business on Friday, April 22.
Senators’ signatures are due by close of business on Friday, April 29.



Action Requested:
1. Call your Representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter circulated by Reps. Bonamici, Stefanik, Deutch and Katko on OAA funding.
2. Call your Senators and ask them to sign on to the OAA Dear Colleague letter circulated by Senator Sanders.

Even if you know enough about your Member’s/Senators’ voting history to understand your request is not an easy one, please do this outreach anyway. It’s vital that your elected officials understand how critical OAA funding is to older adults and caregivers!

STEP 1: Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act or appropriations issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find the number on your Member’s/Senator’s website.

STEP 2:
If you’re contacting your Representatives
Tell them about the bipartisan Bonamici-Stefanik OAA Dear Colleague letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it.

If you’re contacting your Senators
Tell them about the Senator Sanders OAA Dear Colleague letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it.

STEP 3: Let them know exactly why you want them to sign on to the OAA letter. Give local statistics that demonstrate the need for an increase in OAA funding and make sure to highlight the growing demand for services in your community. If they ask for a staff contact for Rep. Bonamici, tell them to contact Andrew Dunn at Andrew.Dunn@mail.house.gov. If they ask for Senator Sander’s staff, tell them to contact Michaela Brown at Michaela_Brown@help.senate.gov.
 
The deadline for Representative signatures is Friday, April 22.
The deadline for Senate signatures is Friday, April 29. 

 
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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact Amy Gotwals at agotwals@usaging.org and Monica Billger at mbillger@usaging.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 2022 winners!