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The Chair’s Corner

As I began to write this article, the sky was covered by a blanket of white haze that blocked the brilliant blue sky that I am accustomed to seeing at this time of year. At first glance, it could have been mistaken as a typical Seattle cloudy day, but as we inhaled and exhaled, the microscopic smoke particles were inescapable. Unexpectedly, the wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia extended their reach into our cities. As in all unwelcomed events, we adapted and overcame. In this case, some of us donned masks, took an extra puff on an inhaler, or adjusted our schedules to avoid the haze for extended periods of time.

We are three quarters into 2017. It has been a year of adapting and overcoming challenges—from devastating hurricanes to healthcare reform uncertainties to outcries of racial and social injustice. One way to overcome challenges and barriers is to get involved in advocacy in your community—to inform legislators of what older adults need and want. Older adults have a unique voice—full of wisdom, discernment and lessons learned—that political leaders should hear. And I have the perfect engagement opportunity for you!

The Washington State Senior Citizens Foundation will hold their 2017 Annual Fall Conference on Thursday October 19, 2017 (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. Topics include health care, Medicare, Medicaid, long term care, guardianship, aging, housing, and the budget. There will be 40 exhibitors with resources for older adults. Click here for registration and costs.

The evening prior (October 18), advocates, advisory council members, and legislators are invited to socialize and network at a legislative reception. Beverages and appetizers will be served. There is no cost for the reception; however, pre-registration is required (click here).

If you can’t make the conference, consider participating in the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby. They meet on the third Monday of the month in Lacey, WA. For details, click here.

Don’t sit on the sidelines. Get up, join in, and let your voice and passion be heard. Change happens when we speak up. Your voice counts!

Photo credits: (top photo) Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby website. (bottom photo) Senior Lobby Day 2017. Both by Lorraine Sanford, Aging and Disability Services.

David BakerContributor 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 ( as well as applications for open positions on the council. For more information, visit

Following are some of the events that ADS Advisory Council members will participate in this month:

  • ADS Advisory Council meeting (In lieu of the October meeting, the Advisory Council will attend the Washington State Senior Citizens Lobby Foundation 2017 Annual Fall Conference on October 19.)
  • Age-Friendly Communities Task Force meeting (Tuesday, October 20, 9 a.m., Seattle Municipal Tower 1600)

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 or 206-684-0652.