Hopefully, you are aware that this e-newsletter—AgeWise King County—is published by the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. I chair the Advisory Council. In addition, I hope you have at least a fundamental knowledge of the work that Aging and Disability Services (ADS), the Area Agency on Aging does throughout King County. If you need to know more, I encourage you to visit www.AgingKingCounty.org to learn more.
The reason I’m hopeful is that I want to invite you to provide input on the ADS Vision, Mission, and Values statements that will be incorporated into the agency’s next four-year Area Plan—a document required by the State of Washington that charts a course for planning, coordinating, advocating, and providing a comprehensive service delivery system for older people, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. See the related article about the Area Plan 2024–2027 in this issue of AgeWise.
This year, in addition to preparing a four-year plan, ADS is revising it’s Mission and Values, and adding a Vision statement, and ensuring alignment with its commitment to racial equity. Two years ago, ADS staff created a set of internal agreements to help guide constructive conversations about race, along with a North Star: “Lead with Race | Center Community | Stronger Together.”
In July, ADS received national recognition for leading with race when they received a 2023 Aging Achievement Award from USAging at a conference of Area Agencies on Aging from across the country. At the same conference, ADS Director Mary Mitchell, Executive Assistant Lena Tebeau, and HSD Communications Manager Irene Stewart shared their experience with colleagues from around the country by presenting a workshop called “Race: Let’s Talk About It” that was standing room only and received very favorable feedback.
With the ADS North Star and wealth of experience in mind, the agency is hoping to ground what matters most in a new Vision statement and updated Mission and Vision statements. You can help. Please visit ADS Vision, Mission & Values – Survey #2 (a Forms survey) and let us know what you think.
Kudos to ADS Director Mary Mitchell and her staff for shining a light on racial equity. You may know the saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Keeping racial equity in the forefront of the aging services network means equity, dignity, and respect for all older people, adults with disabilities, and families, across the board. It means ensuring that people who need ADS services get ADS services. It doesn’t take away from anybody; rather, it builds community.
Contributor Joe Hailey chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail (email@example.com).
Mark Your Calendars
Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:
- Primary Election Day: Tuesday, August 1.
- Night Out Against Crime: Tuesday, August 1. Follow the link to the national site or search for Night Out events in the city or neighborhood you live in (e.g., Seattle).
- NW Universal Design Council: Tuesday, August 8 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, August 11 (12–2 p.m.), virtual only. The agenda includes a presentation by the Hearing Loss Association Washington State. To receive meeting links and announcements for Advisory Council meetings, e-mail ADS_AdvisoryCouncilfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor’s Council on African American Elders: Friday, August 18 (2:00–3:30 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee: Technology and Aging–Friday, August 18 (3:30–4:45 p.m.) at South Park Senior Center (8201 10th Ave S #4, Seattle 98108. Discussion will focus on the vital role of digital equity—fair access to technology for all older people, fostering inclusivity and empowerment. For more information about the Civic Coffee and other events, visit our Virtual Events webpage or Facebook. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
- Seattle Design Festival: How Can Design Drive Inclusivity in our Home and Neighborhoods?: Saturday & Sunday, August 19–20 (10 a.m. –7 p.m.) at Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave N, Seattle). FREE. See the related article in this issue.