The Retiree Advocate: August 2015
Welcome to the August 2015 issue of The Retiree Advocate, the monthly newsletter of the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA).
In This Issue:
- Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor
- March, 2016 ADVOCATE
- Climate Change Is Violence…NOW
- Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis: The Cost of Being a US Colony
- What’s Next in the Fight for Fair Trade?
- What’s Wrong with Europe?
- "Secret Memo": Primary Election Bad News for Developers and Landlords
- Initiative 735 Urges Congress to Amend the US Constitution
- Frank Irigon Receives National Award
- In Memory of Edie Koch
- Celebrate and Organize
PSARA will be active in the 2015 legislative session. The Executive Board’s proposed legislative agenda will be discussed at our Legislative Conference on Nov. 12. We believe these proposals reflect many of the values and policies that are important to PSARA members.
Naomi Klein’s September 28 daytime meeting with labor, environmental, and community groups was puzzling to me. She was, after all, scheduled to speak to an already sold-out Town Hall, to promote her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, so the purpose of this daytime meeting of representatives of selected groups seemed redundant, if it was just to sell books. So I thought that she was going to announce something or talk about some great movement happening elsewhere.
In September we decided we would spend our fossil fuel allotment for the year and fly to New York City to take part in the People’s Climate March to demand an end to the burning of fossil fuels. We stayed in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a primarily African American community.
In September, my wife, Diane, and I traveled to North Carolina to meet with leaders of the “Moral Monday Movement.” We met with Rev. Curtis Gatewood of the state’s NAACP, James Andrew, President of the state AFL-CIO, and Rev. George Reed and Aleta Payne, two top leaders of the North Carolina Council of Churches. We wanted to learn about their broad movement that brought upwards of 80,000 to the steps of their state Capitol in February, the largest progressive rally in the South since 1965.
Remember Reaganomics? You know, cut taxes for the rich and money will somehow “trickle down” to working people. A nice story, but it just doesn’t work out that way. In fact, Reaganomics is a disaster for working families.
Like most federal agencies, the Social Security Administration has faced deep, across-the-board cuts in recent years. These cuts have seriously degraded the administration’s ability to service a rapidly growing customer base and forced the agency to make tough choices about its future.
During the summer months this year, an average of 35.9% of men 65 to 69 years had jobs as did 25.6% of women in that age group. Both figures are the highest for those months since those numbers became available in 1981. Additionally, the employment rate for women 70 to 74 was higher than any previous summer.
While “there’s no easy path to take back the State Senate,” Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) President and PSARA member Jeff Johnson told me in a recent interview, “at least we can make a good start in turning the state around.”
Local voters are on the threshold of a truly historic decision that could help launch more of Seattle’s youngest citizens toward a successful future. Unfortunately, this opportunity has been clouded by City Hall’s decision to place two positive programs for children in opposition on the ballot. Voters can only choose one of them.
PSARA members will discuss our legislative strategy after the 2014 elections and adopt the PSARA legislative agenda at our bi-annual Legislative Conference. The gathering will be on Wednesday, November 12th, from 10 am to 12 noon at UFCW Local 21 on 5030 First Ave. S., Seattle. A light breakfast will be served. Parking is available.