The Seattle Mayor’s Council on African American Elders (MCAAE) is seeking candidates to fill current openings. Established in 1995 by Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice to oversee the development of a comprehensive continuum of services to serve the needs of African American elders, the MCAAE promotes well-being and quality of life for older African Americans throughout the greater Seattle area.
Council members are appointed by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and can serve up to two consecutive two-year terms. Members can reside anywhere in King County and must be willing to serve without compensation. Expectations include participation in monthly meetings (currently held online on the third Friday of each month) and at least one subcommittee. Council members also promote and participate in relevant public meetings and events.
The 12-member council makes recommendations to City officials and leadership teams, solicits public input, and conducts public forums on topics and issues impacting older adults. MCAAE members reflect a broad range of professional and community experience and diverse perspectives. Candidates who are active in age-friendly community affairs, have knowledge and/or experience with caregiving, health care, senior housing, legal matters, technology, and/or public relations, and have contacts with African American churches and organizations in King County are especially encouraged to apply.
“Serving on the MCAAE was an important and valuable experience,” said former chairperson Brenda Charles-Edwards. “It involved advocating for the needs of our elders, the heart of our community, to be addressed in equitable and meaningful ways. Anyone who has a passion for supporting and promoting older adults should consider being a part of this important work.”
Recent issues addressed by the MCAAE have included COVID-19 precautions, testing and vaccine distribution equity, Senior Property Tax Exemption Program enrollment, funding for a registered nurse for the African American Elders Program, local police department funding, statewide long-term care funding, falls prevention awareness, and building connections with African immigrants. In addition, the MCAAE partnered with AARP, the Northwest African American Museum, and Aging and Disability Services to promote Grandparents Day in September.
The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply. To be considered for appointment to the MCAAE, apply via the Seattle Boards and Commissions website.
Contributor Karen Winston is a planner at Aging and Disability Services, Seattle Human Services Department.
Photo at top (left to right): ADS staff Brent Butler and Karen Winston; MCAAE members: Paul Mitchell, Brenda Charles-Edwards, Dr. Brenda Jackson, Claudette Thomas, and Dr. Benjamin Abe.