March is national Women’s History Month. The 2023 theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” We celebrate women’s history as well as women who are making history and making a difference in our communities.
On the ADS Advisory Council, I serve alongside several remarkable women who are staunch advocates for healthy aging in community. I’ve seen many of them in action over the years, so it’s only fitting that I share a few words of appreciation for them this month:
- Zelda Foxall: Zelda is a remarkable human who is active on several community boards (AARP, RESULTS, etc.) and a strong voice for children and grandparents on our council. She also portrays stories of powerful Black women in history, including a moving portrayal of the first African American Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, which I’ll never forget.
- City Councilmembers Marli Larimer (Kent) and Kim-Khánh Van (Renton): I always appreciate seeing Councilmembers Larimer and Van at our meetings. Both are elected officials with full-time jobs and countless other engagements. They have seats on our Council because they care about their older constituents and bring to focus the needs they’re seeing in their cities.
- Alex O’Reilly: Alex is our newest member and a huge asset to our Advisory Council. She’s a former human services manager with the City of Bellevue, but retirement hasn’t slowed her down! She knows the local human services landscape intimately and spends her free time with several groups, including Phinney Neighborhood Association and the King County Mobility Coalition. Alex is well-versed in various topics, but housing and transportation issues are near and dear to her heart.
- Cindy Snyder: Cindy is an irreplaceable member of our Council. She brings a rural perspective to our aging discussions, which is easy to forget as many of us are based in urban areas. She volunteers regularly at her area senior center and offers insight into the realities facing programs and services that cater to older adults.
- Lorna Stone: Lorna is someone who is not afraid to ask the hard questions. She chairs the Advisory Council’s Planning & Allocations Committee, which has oversight of the Area Plan and Aging and Disability Services’ discretionary budget. Her career spanned leadership roles at several healthcare organizations, so she understands how health systems and programs like Medicare and Medicaid work and brings that critical eye for details to Advisory Council business.
- Diana Thompson: Diana is a force of nature! She is a retired lawyer and a familiar face to her elected representatives in Washington, DC, in Olympia, and locally. As a Bellevue resident, she makes sure the needs of the Eastside are represented in aging conversations. She is also a vocal supporter of better hearing and healthcare for seniors and is involved with several advocacy organizations, including the Hearing Loss Association Washington and the Washington State Dementia Action Collaborative.
- Barb Williams: Barb and I share a special bond since we joined the Advisory Council at the same time back in 2019. She is passionate about several issues and is an active volunteer at Seattle Aquarium, in the Washington Continuing Care Residents Association, and more. I think of her as the Advisory Council’s key digital equity champion, elevating needs of older adults in conversations about digital access.
If you would like to join this amazing set of women (and others) on the Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council/. To apply, click “Join Us” on that page.
This month—in recognition of Women’s History Month—take time to recognize the women who make a difference in your life, whether family, friend, neighbor, local elected, or national figure. I’m not sure where we’d be without them.
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).
Mark Your Calendars
Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:
- NW Universal Design Council: Tuesday, March 7 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, March 10 (12 noon–2 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Sariga.Santhosh@seattle.gov.
- Mayor’s Council on African American Elders: Friday, March 17 (2:00–3:30 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee: Tuesday, March 21 (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.). Join in person at Neighborhood House High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle, WA, 98126) or virtually. 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.