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Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Newsletter – 8/10/20

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Monday Alert banner

Celebrate the 85th Birthday of Social Security with FLARA

Plan to join us at noon on Friday Aug. 14th, via Zoom, to celebrate the 85th Birthday of Social Security. We only get this opportunity once a year, so make sure you join us!!! We encourage everyone to BYOC (cake, cupcake, cookie or cocktail). We will be having brief remarks from ARA Leadership and various Elected Officials, in addition to our usual cake cutting ceremony. A complete agenda of speakers will be sent out in advance of the event.

 

Gov. DeSantis Names Task Force Focused On Easing Nursing Home Visit Restrictions

Gov. Ron DeSantis Friday announced the formation of a new task force focused on the safe and limited reopening of long-term care facilities in Florida.

He says the panel will develop guidelines on how to safely allow family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities ,where visitation has been prohibited since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

How This Conservative Florida County Became A Surprise 2020 Battleground

Before COVID-19 and before the death of George Floyd, Monique Sampson said she thought Joe Biden and President Trump were “different wings on the same bird.”

The 23-year-old American history teacher with dangling earrings that proclaim, “A woman’s place is in the struggle,” had been hoping for a Bernie Sanders presidency. She still doesn’t like plenty of Biden’s policies — and she’s not thrilled he’s the presumptive Democratic nominee. But a summer of chaos has made her reassess her own politics.

“For a very long time I wasn’t going to vote for [Biden],” Sampson said. “And then COVID happened. And I was like, ‘You know what, he sucks,’ for lack of a better term. But he’s not criminal. His actions aren’t criminal in the sense that he wouldn’t view 150,000 deaths as progress.”

Sampson’s story is part of a larger shift underway in Florida’s Duval County — one that mirrors many of the headwinds facing Trump in large swaths of the country. In a county that for more than four decades has been a reliable Republican vote, Democrats are sensing new optimism ahead of the November elections, thanks to intense anti-Trump energy among Black voters like Sampson, young voters and college-educated professionals in the suburbs. Read More

FLARA Donation Drive

FLARA needs your support! Your generosity is what allows FLARA to continue offering quality events and political engagement. This year’s drive ties into our September State Meeting. *All donations of $30 or more will receive a FLARA face mask!!!.

There will be multiple picture opportunities to be photographed wearing your mask with our various speakers. Join in the fun and make a donation today! *While supplies last

» DONATE TODAY

Salmonella Outbreak In Florida, 42 Other States Linked To Onions

A salmonella outbreak caused by onions is expanding and has infected 640 people from 43 states, including Florida.

At least 85 of them have been hospitalized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t eat, serve, or sell them or any food prepared with them,” the CDC said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to eat onions from Thomson International Inc. The advice applies to red, white, yellow, and sweet onions.

Some of the onions were sold at stores including Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Publix, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, and H-E-B, under a variety of brand names, the CDC said. Read More

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Annual State Meeting and Awards Ceremony

September 16th and 17th, 2020

Honoring the 2020 Recipients of the

Tony Fransetta Outstanding Senior Advocate Award Dave Jacobsen and Richard Polangin

Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award Tony Kiwak and Felicia Bruce

J.W. Strickland Award for Dedication to Others Beverly Curphey

Program Sponsorships:

  • Outside Back Cover: $2000 (7.5” x 10”) SOLD
  • Inside Back Cover: $1000 (7.5” x 10”) SOLD
  • Inside Front Cover: $1000 (7.5” x 10”)
  • Platinum Page Ad: $750 (7.5” x 10”)
  • Gold Page Ad: $500 (7.5” x 10”)
  • Silver Page Ad: $400 (7.5” x 10”)
  • Silver Half Page Ad: $300 (7.5” x 5”)

DEADLINE FOR SPONSORSHIP SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

Online Payments can be made at https://actionnetwork.org/ fundraising/2020-annual-state- meeting-sponsorships?source= direct_link&

If paying by check, please make payable to Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and mail to 1975 Sansbury’s Way, Ste. 115, West Palm Beach, FL 33411

For Questions Contact; Jordan Kanter 561-792-8799 or Jordan@flara.org

Barriers to Voting by Mail in Minnesota Removed Thanks to Minnesota Alliance Lawsuit

The Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon reached a settlement that will protect the civil rights and health of hundreds of thousands of older Minnesota voters in the November 2020 election. Ramsey County District Judge Sara Grewing approved the agreement Monday that allows voters to submit their mail-in or absentee ballots without a witness signature. Election officials will also count ballots that arrive within seven days of the election, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

The Minnesota Alliance and three of its members, supported by the National Redistricting Foundation, filed a lawsuit in May to protect the rights of older voters in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This development is especially critical

for seniors, who are the most at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and need to be able to vote by mail to protect their health,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta.

“I am relieved and elated that the Secretary of State and the court have affirmed my constitutional right to vote without putting my health at risk,” added Teresa Maples of Red Wing, Minnesota, a plaintiff and member of the Minnesota Alliance.

In addition to Ms. Maples, the plaintiffs include Minnesota Alliance members Gary Severson of Chaska and Mary Samson of Newport.

» SUPPORT OUR WORK

Trump Betrays Seniors by Directing Social Security Cuts

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he plans to sign an executive order to cut the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Executive Director Fiesta immediately issued a statement in response.

“After learning that Democratic and Republican Congressional Leaders would not go along with his harebrained scheme to cut Social Security’s dedicated funding source, President Trump lashed out and announced he would begin dismantling the system single-handedly,” said Fiesta.

He added that seniors pay for their housing, food and medicine with their Social Security, putting $1 trillion into our economy every year. Since older Americans have earned their benefits through a lifetime of work, their retirement security should not be put at risk “because President Trump is mad at Congress for not bending to his will.”

“Alliance members will fight this attempt to gut Social Security, and when voting starts in September we will remember who was willing to defend and protect our earned benefits,” he concluded.

Alliance Members Host More Medicare and Social Anniversary Events

Alliance members across the country continued to celebrate Medicare’s 55th and Social Security’s 85th anniversaries this week.

Over 200 seniors and activists participated in the California Alliance’s Celebration and Call to Action last Friday and other members have held banners at key intersections and organized “CARAvan parades.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Cynthia Axne joined the Iowa Alliance’s anniversary virtual event while Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson joined a Texas Alliance online celebration. Rep. Colin Allred sent a message for the Texas Alliance event by video, and Rep. Marc Veasey called in by phone.

The celebrations continued on Thursday. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD) joined the Maryland/DC Alliance online and Executive Director Fiesta spoke at the Washington State Alliance Virtual Convention and Anniversary Celebration.

“Alliance retirees aren’t letting a pandemic stop them from drawing attention to these critical earned benefit programs,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.

 

Take Action: Postal Service Backlog Affecting Delivery of Critical Mail

So-called “cost-cutting measures” directed by President Trump’s new postmaster general are causing days-long backlogs of mail, putting the health of millions of Americans at risk.

Alliance members have reported delays in receiving their prescription drugs, something that did not happen before Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took office in June. The media has also interviewed veterans who are having the same problems.

Postal workers are alarmed by the changes to Post Office operations, which include shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail behind to avoid extra trips — even for Priority or Overnight Mail.

“Directing hard-working postal employees that they cannot deliver the mail on time is outrageous and puts millions of Americans’ lives at risk,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “Congress needs to hold the Administration accountable and let postal workers do their jobs.”

Raise Your Voice: Sign Our Urgent Petition to Congress.

You’re the Front Line Heroes – Yet Our Jobs Are in Danger

Sisters and brothers,

As part of our efforts to educate and mobilize our fellow members around the urgent need for financial assistance to the Postal Service, we are mailing the attached postcard to every active member this week. Another mailing to retired members will soon follow.

I hope we’ll all use the piece as an organizing opportunity and have the important conversations with our members on the need to act, to engage our Senators and to secure the relief we need. Our jobs and the future of the vital service we provide to the country relies on it.

I’m also attaching a Call-in Flyer with similar information that was mailed to our News Service Bulletin distribution list.

As ever, the struggle continues.

In solidarity,

Mark Dimondstein, President
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO

1300 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 842-4250
(202) 842-4297 (Fax)

Important Links:

A Note About Our Postal Service

I want to bring a very important issue to the front of your inbox: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

We’ve seen a significant drop in services, and revenue could plummet by more than 50%. The bottom line is the Postal Service could be insolvent by September of this year.

Without congressional action, there’s a very real chance our federal postal system could cease to exist. This would be devastating for the entire country, but it would hit our rural communities especially hard. For the more rural parts of Michigan, the Postal Service is a vital connection. That’s why I’ll do everything in my power to ensure the USPS remains strong and vibrant.

I’ve negotiated a loan so the Postal Service could continue operating – but there are bigger challenges ahead that demand action from Congress and the president. I need your help: will you add your name to my petition demanding Congress take action to save the Postal Service? I’m hoping to get 4,000 signatures before midnight tonight. [ Sign the Petition ]

I really appreciate you speaking out. These times are hard for all of us, but we can’t lose sight of the many facets that make our country great.

Gary Peters, U.S. Senator

ARA Friday Alerts – 3/27/20

Provided by: Alliance for Retired Americans

» CLICK HERE to read the March 27, 2020 ARA Friday Alert

About the ARA

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide grass roots organization, launched in May 2001, with more than 4.3 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics, and institutions that shape American life.

For 18 years, we have mobilized retired union members, seniors and community activists into a nationwide grassroots movement advocating a progressive political and social agenda that respects work and strengthens families.

For more information visit: https://retiredamericans.org/

Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Resources

coronavirus resources

Provided by: USPS Employee Assistance Program

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) our goal is to keep the United States Postal Service employees and their families safe and informed. See the materials below for information that may help you and your household during this time. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information visit CDC.gov.

[ CLICK HERE for Additional Resources ]

Coronavirus Update from the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans

Sisters and Brothers,

As the coronavirus, also called COVID-19, continues to spread in the United States, we want to share specific  information for older Americans about how to stay safe and healthy.

Please read this material and forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives. Older Americans and people with pre-existing health conditions are at particular risk from this virus.

We hope you find the information below from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) helpful. Of course, please contact your health care provider or local health department for more specific information.

What is the coronavirus?

The “Coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19) is a new (also called “novel”) respiratory illness that makes it harder to breath. The name comes from how the virus appears under a microscope, as it appears to have “crowns” and corona is the Latin word for crown.

How does the coronavirus spread?

The virus is mainly spread between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

As of March 12, the CDC says “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illnesses it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States,” so all of this information may evolve as we learn more.

Can I get the virus from somebody who doesn’t know they are sick?

YES! The disease can be spread by infected people without — or prior to showing — any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow the public health guidelines before knowing of an outbreak in your community.

Why are older adults at greater risk for the effects of the coronavirus?

Viruses are not equal opportunity. Early data suggest older people are at least twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.

This may be because people’s immune systems change as they age, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection.

Older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions (including diabetes and heart/lung/kidney diseases) that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.

If you are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications due to age or because you have a severe underlying medical condition, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.

How can I protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with simple preventive actions.

Avoid crowded places and steer clear of close contact with people who are sick. This entails avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially not embarking on cruise ships. We are seeing sports leagues, colleges, businesses and churches shut down large gatherings to avoid the spread. You should think before going to any gathering of more than a few people.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

What extra steps can I take if I am in a vulnerable population?

Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand. If you cannot get to the pharmacy, consider using mail-order for medications.

Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms in case you become ill.

Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.

Avoid crowds as much as possible. If you are in a crowded area take precautions to keep space between you and others.

Stay home as much as possible. Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.

What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread.

Where can I find more information about the coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page on “People at Risk” specifically addresses concerns older Americans might have.

The World Health Organization also has an incredible amount of information on the situation around the world.

In Solidarity,

Bill Sauers

Miami-Dade County Weekly News – 02/28/20

Miami-Dade County Weekly News heaader graphic

coronavirus

Miami-Dade County monitoring COVID-19

Miami-Dade County officials continue to work with local, state and federal agencies in monitoring COVID-19, part of the coronavirus family. Read helpful tips and resources to avoid potentially spreading the disease.


2020 elections

Early voting for presidential primary starts Monday

Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary Election starts Monday, March 2 and runs through Sunday, March 15. Visit one of the 23 locations to cast your vote. In addition, the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the primary, which can be done online, is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7.


property taxes

Pay property taxes online and save

The last day to get a discount for paying your property tax bill early is Monday, March 2. Get 1 percent off your bill and avoid phone wait times by making your payment online. In addition, the deadline to apply for property tax exemptions is Sunday, March 1.


riding bikes

Join the ride on Bike to Work Day

Try a healthier way to get to your job on Bike to Work Day Friday, March 6. Ride along a police-escorted trail from University Metrorail Station to Downtown Miami. The opening ceremony starts at 8 a.m. but arrive early for free gifts. Read about more bike events happening this month.


community clean up

Help our County stay clean and thrive

Roll up your sleeves and help clean up the Florida City Pineland Preserve on Saturday, March 7. Volunteering in the Environmentally Endangered Lands program is a great way to get involved and make a positive impact in our community.

free tax preparation help

Stop the Postal Sell-off: Say NO to a Privatizer as the Postmaster General

The public service mission of the Postal Service has made it the most popular federal agency. However, this public good is at risk if we don’t all act soon.

In June 2018 the White House announced proposals to privatize the Postal Service. Now Postmaster General Megan Brennan has announced her departure as Postmaster General in January 2020.

The Postmaster General has wide powers to shape the mission of USPS and there is a real risk that Brennan’s successor could hand over parts of the service to private, profit-making corporations and prepare it for a wholesale sell-off.

The people will rightly expect a new Postmaster General who will uphold the Postal Service’s public mission and will work to preserve and enhance our national treasure.

Add your voice. Protect our public Postal Service. [ CLICK HERE to Sign the Petition ]

US Mail Not for Sale petition talking points