Last month, the Aging and Disability Services Advisory Council held our annual retreat, which is a time for our members to reflect on the previous year, both to celebrate our successes and learn from our failures. It’s also time to plan for our future—identify what we hope to accomplish in the coming year and how we will work together to make it happen.
Among our goals for the new year is to increase our visibility and our effectiveness as advocates for older adults and people with disabilities. Toward this end, each Advisory Council member shared one thing they will commit to in 2018. Their action commitments included:
- Testify at legislative hearings for key bills.
- Develop stronger relationships with our elected officials—drop by their offices when they are in session; meet for coffee when they are in town; and send thank you notes!
- Write letters to policy makers and participate in forums to solicit public input, such as the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy planning meetings.
- Publish opinion pieces in local papers and other media, and find other ways to raise awareness about important issues.
- Use our social networks to make sure people know what services and programs are available.
- Expand our networks to ensure that we represent the diversity of the communities we serve.
I am sharing these commitments with the expectation that you will hold us accountable in our role as “the vision and voice” for older adults and people with disabilities in King County. I also invite you to make your own commitment for the coming year and encourage you to reference the following article resources in AgeWise King County:
- Senior Lobby Day 2018 includes details about joining us in our advocacy efforts on February 22 or with AARP’s Senior Lobby Day on February 27.
- The January 2018 Chair’s Corner article offers additional ways you can get involved.
- In December 2017 10 Tasks for Effective Legislative Advocacy offers both traditional and innovative advocacy tasks to meet different individual styles and preferences.
I want to thank the staff from ADS and our King County partners who participated in our annual retreat. I also want to thank our amazing hosts at El Centro de la Raza—The Center for People of All Races. It was a privilege to have our event in this beautiful community center which reflects the rich cultural history of the Latino community and the agency’s commitment to racial equity and social justice. We were truly inspired by the story of their founding and the work they do every day to fulfill their mission “to build unity across all racial and economic sectors, to organize, empower, and defend our most vulnerable and marginalized populations and to bring justice, dignity, equity, and freedom to all the peoples of the world.”
Our region offers a rich cultural history shaped by opportunities, hardships, and perseverance. Highlighted below are opportunities to engage in and learn about our cultural history.
Black History Month—Learn about the Seattle Central District’s not-too-distant past in this short but powerful video from the Seattle Channel on An Elegant Utility—Building Across Generations. Also, read about Washington Rhinestone Club—a unique and special opportunity for young African American women who are crossing the threshold of becoming young adults. Consider attending the Black History Month Gathering—Resilience in the Black Community: What Gives Us Strength on February 24, 2018. Black History Month wouldn’t be complete without walking back into history to acknowledge and celebrate the brave and courageous men and women who have moved our country forward in racial equity efforts. Check out this month’s puzzle, Black History Month Scramble, to learn more about these brave individuals.
Lunar New Year Celebration—It is Year of the Dog this Lunar New Year, February 16. On February 10 the Wing Luke Museum is sponsoring a Lunar New Year Fair complete with Lion Dance, drums, firecrackers, and dancers. Click here for more details for the whole family to enjoy.
Japanese American Remembrance Trail—This month we will take you back to Seattle’s Japantown and introduce you to the new Japanese American Remembrance Trail, sponsored by the Wing Luke Museum. Consider getting your “steps in” by walking the trail while learning about Seattle’s Japanese American history.
Please join me in reflecting on the history that has shaped our region. History teaches us and leads us into a better future.
Contributor Ava Frisinger chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. She 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.
Photo credit: Lorraine Sanford, Aging and Disability Services
Top photo—Advisory Council members—front row, left to right: June Michel, Ava Frisinger, Cynthia Snyder , Dick Woo, David Baker; Back row, left to right: Zelda Foxall, Sue Weston, Dave Rogers, Diana Thompson, Andrea Swaczuk, Florence Klein, Larry Low, Molly Holmes, Jenny Becker.
Following are some of the events that ADS Advisory Council members will participate in this month:
- ADS Advisory Council Meeting (Friday, February 9, 12–2 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower 4050/60.
- Age Friendly Task Force Meeting (Friday, February 16, 9–11 a.m., Seattle Municipal Tower 1600)
- Senior Lobby Day (February 22, all day, United Churches of Olympia)
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.