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How Will Your Elected Leaders Address the Age Wave?

Age wave 2016

In January 2017, we will see a cast of new legislators in Olympia—State Senators and Representatives who will descend on Olympia into a sea of policy and budget challenges. Before they get too distracted, let’s make sure to remind them about the Age Wave—how the increasing number of older people is affecting our state.

Today about 15 percent of Washington residents are age 65 or older. By 2040, the number is expected to grow to 22 percent—more than one out of every five people in our state will be 65-plus.

Right now, more than 129,000 Washingtonians are age 65 or older. By 2040, that number will more than double, and by 2060, we will have more than 560,000 residents who are age 65-plus.

While we celebrate longevity, our state is facing some significant challenges. Our society is going to look a lot different in the future. State lawmakers must prepare for that changing reality today.

Do you know who will represent your neighborhood in Olympia next year? Do you know where they stand on age-friendly communities, health, long-term supports, and retirement security? Now is your chance to find out!

The AARP Washington, Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby, and other aging organizations—including the Bellevue Network on Aging, and Kirkland Senior Council, and Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services—are hosting a series of candidate forums. They are occurring statewide. Plan to attend a forum near you:

  • Snohomish County: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (3:00–5:00 p.m.) at the Carl Gipson Senior Center (3026 Lombard Avenue, Everett). Note: We include this forum because the 1st and 32nd Legislative Districts span parts of north King County.
  • South King County: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 (10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon) at the Auburn Community Center & the REC Teen Center at Les Gove Park (910 9th Street SE, Auburn). RSVP Auburn
  • East King County: Monday, October 10, 2016 (1:30–3:30 p.m.) at the North Bellevue Community Center (4063 148th Avenue NE, Bellevue). RSVP Bellevue

The organizations listed above are part of a statewide Age Wave Coalition—advocacy organizations and providers of aging services who share common goals and coordinate with one another through information sharing, joint advocacy, and events. Priorities in 2017 include:

  • Promote age-friendly communities.
  • Promote economic security in retirement.
  • Protect and strengthen our state’s long-term support system.
  • Increase protections against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Continue the Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging & Disability Issues.
  • Budget for tomorrow—engage in thoughtful discussion to plan for the needs of all ages, now and in the future.

For more information about the candidate forums, or to request an accommodation, contact Advisory Council liaison Gigi Meinig at gigi.meinig@seattle.gov or 206-684-0652.

Resources

  • To determine which legislative district you live in, click here.
  • To see who currently represents you in the state legislature, see the League of Women Voters’ 2016 They Represent You booklet.
  • To learn who and what is on your November 2016 ballot, visit King County Elections.

Voter Registration Deadline: October 10, 2016

If you or someone you know is not registered to vote, please let them know the deadline they can register online or by mail. That deadline is Monday, October 10, 2016. (It’s possible to register in-person as late as October 31, 2016 but not as easy.)

To register online, visit the Washington State Secretary of State’s MyVote website at www.sos.wa.gov/elections/myvote/olvr.html.

Additional information is available on the King County Elections website (click here). The deadlines are the same.

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