In December, it was my pleasure to be elected to a second term as chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. It is an honor and my privilege to serve.
My first year in this role was incredibly rewarding, with several opportunities to advocate for our aging communities. I hosted monthly public meetings, emceed special advocacy events, and connected with state and federal legislators on myriad issues throughout the year. I’m humbled by the trust of my Advisory Council colleagues. I look forward to what we can accomplish together in 2023!
As we gear up for the 2023 state legislative session, which begins Jan. 9 and ends Apr. 24, I want to share what we know about the legislative landscape. Last month, Governor Inslee released his proposed $70 billion budget for 2023–2025. After a successful 2022 session that saw record investments in housing, public health, education, transportation, and more, the Governor has signaled his interest in preserving those hard-won gains this year. Affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and behavioral health reform are top budget priorities, in addition to climate, environment, public safety, state workforce, and more.
Despite a higher than anticipated revenue forecast last November, the Legislature will need to balance economic threats (high inflation, rising interest rates, slow housing market, recession concerns) with the Governor’s ambitious spending plan. Now is the time for advocates to rally as the 2023 Legislature kicks off Monday, January 9. To that end, please see Sariga Santhosh’s article, “Statewide Advocacy for Long-Term Care Services and Supports” in the December issue of AgeWise.
The ADS Advisory Council won’t be alone in advocating for additional resources that support healthy and livable communities for people of all ages. Read about AARP Washington’s legislative priorities in this issue of AgeWise.
Whether you’re a seasoned activist or new to the legislative process, you can benefit from collaboration with AARP and any of the following organizations. All are doing great work:
- End of Life Washington
- Housing Development Consortium
- Leading Age Washington
- League of Women Voters of Washington
- Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA)
- Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A)
- Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
- Washington State Budget and Policy Center
- Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby
Contributor Joe Hailey chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photo collage at top created by Irene Stewart from five different years of in-person advocacy at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
Interested in joining the Advisory Council? Visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council/ for more information. To apply, click “Join Us” on that page.
Mark Your Calendars
Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:
- New Year’s Day: Observed Monday, January 2. Aging and Disability Services offices will be closed this day.
- NW Universal Design Council: Tuesday, January 3 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- NW Universal Design Council Happy Hour: Thursday, January 11 (5:30–7 p.m.). For details and to RSVP, visit com/r/NWUDCjan11 or e-mail email@example.com.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, January 13 (12 noon–2 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Sariga.Santhosh@seattle.gov.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Monday, January 16. Aging and Disability Services offices will be closed this day.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee: Wednesday, January 25. For more information about the Civic Coffee and other events, visit our Virtual Events webpage or Facebook. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mayor’s Council on African American Elders: Friday, January 20 (2:00–3:30 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.