It’s been my honor and humble privilege to chair the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services in 2017. We’ve had a fantastic year, including several successful advocacy efforts that raised awareness about issues facing older adults. Some highlights from this year include:
- Older Americans Act—at the federal and state level we are standing strong advocating for funding to continue current programs, adding new ones, while keeping vigilant of policy makers and the issues that impact older adults.
- Age Friendly Seattle—a city where people can grow up and grow old has moved forward with momentum that will continue into 2018. The council looks forward to continued support of this initiative and working with newly elected Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and county partners.
- Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy—while federal funding may be uncertain, in November, King County voters renewed the Veterans, Seniors & Human Services Levy, which will include funding to meet the needs of older adults. To prepare for implementation of the levy, King County is holding community conversations on Vashon and in Kenmore and Burien and want to hear from you either in person or via Facebook Live. They also want to hear from you via an online survey and I encourage you to share this information with your community, family and friends.
I want to thank our committed council members and Aging and Disability Services staff for the countless hours and support they provided throughout the year.
I am delighted to hand the gavel to Ava Frisinger, who will take over as Advisory Council Chair in January 2018. Ava is very familiar with this role, having served as chair in 2015. As a former four-term Mayor and Councilmember from the city of Issaquah, and an emeritus board member with the Sound Cities Association, Ava is uniquely qualified to help us build relationships with cities and regional partners to ensure that every community in King County is age friendly. Finally, Ava serves as the King County representative for the Washington State Council on Aging, where she ensures that our voice is represented in statewide policy discussions and that we are informed and able to respond about developments in the state legislature.
I will continue my duties as Mayor of Kenmore, striving to make my city a great place for people to grow up and grow old. And who knows, you may find me as your next Uber driver as I exercise my own phased-in retirement plan.
Wishing you all the very best this holiday season as you spend it with those near and dear to you!
Photo at top by Terry Ann Lee
Contributor David Baker is chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.
Following are some of the events that ADS Advisory Council members will participate in this month:
- ADS Advisory Council meeting (Friday, December 8, 12 noon, Seattle Municipal Tower 4050/4060)
- Age Friendly Task Force meeting (Friday, December 15, 9–11 a.m., Seattle Municipal Tower 4050/4060)
The Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services meets monthly, except January and October, and holds periodic forums. Open to the public, agendas are available within a week of the meeting. For more information or to request an accommodation, contact Gigi Meinig at email@example.com or 206-684-0652.