Almost 100 Senior Advocates Gathered to Learn About Federal Policies Impacting Older Americans Ahead of 2024 Elections

The Giving Coast

Pictured: from left-right - Ron Turner, Erin McLeod and Bob Blancato. Photo by Jodel Velarde, Senior Friendship Centers.

For May is Older Americans Month, nearly 100 senior advocates convened at Senior Friendship Centers’ Sarasota campus on May 8, 2024, to gain insight into federal policies and programs directly affecting older Americans in preparation for the upcoming 2024 elections. The event began with advocates from the Department of Health, Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida, and other senior-serving organizations networking, followed by a presentation led by Bob Blancato, National Coordinator of the Bipartisan Elder Justice Coalition. Blancato educated attendees with critical federal changes such as the Older Americans Act (OAA) – an act that funds essential services such as meals, transportation, job training, and more, currently up for reauthorization, and the Credit for Caring Act—a bill referred to Congress proposing tax credits for family caregivers. Additionally, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner provided crucial information on voter registration and the election process for the upcoming election year. Here are the key takeaways from the event:  Engage with elected officials: Your voice matters and reaching out to elected officials can make a real difference in advocating for seniors.  Vote—it matters!: As we approach this crucial election year, your vote is essential in shaping policies that impact older adults. Stay connected with Senior Friendship Centers (SFC): We're committed to making older adults more visible and valued, and we invite you to join us in this movement. President/CEO Erin McLeod highlighted the significance of seniors’ voices in the political landscape, stating, “Seniors are a vital voting constituency, so to have their voices heard and understood by our elected officials in this crucial election year is invaluable.”

Pictured: from left-right - Ron Turner, Erin McLeod and Bob Blancato. Photo by Jodel Velarde, Senior Friendship Centers.

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