Author Archives: Miami APWU

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans Monday Alert – 12/14/20

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News 4 Jax: Mask mandate gaining bipartisan support in Florida

Over the past week, Florida has added more than 65,000 new cases, averaging nearly 9,300 new positive tests for COVID-19 a day.

The newest wave of infections is reigniting calls for a statewide mask mandate in Florida and the idea is now garnering bipartisan support.

State Rep. Mike Caruso, R-Delray Beach, has joined with Democrats who have been calling for a mandate since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The masks should have never been a political divider for our state and for our country,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said.

Fried, the top elected state Democrat, began pushing Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide mask mandate back in June.

“Leadership has got to start at the top,” Fried said. “So hopefully Representative Caruso’s courage to come together and to really make this a nonpartisan issue is the first step to making those changes.”

In recent days, local governments have launched new efforts to encourage mask wearing among residents. Tampa’s “Choose Your Mask” campaign is pushing a flier that implies the choice between wearing a face mask or ventilator.

But the local campaigns are only symbolic in nature. The governor’s latest pandemic executive order bars local governments from actually enforcing mask mandates.

Dr. Ron Saff, who serves on the board of the Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility, said any movement towards mask enforcement is a step in the right direction.

“And our political leaders in the House, in the Senate, they should have stepped up a long time ago to put the reins on Governor DeSantis,” Dr. Saff said.

Rep. Caruso has said he intends to push his fellow Republicans to enact a statewide mask mandate in the 2021 session, but a legislative mask mandate would have to survive the governor’s veto pen.

Attempts to reach Caruso for comment on this story were unsuccessful. The governor’s office said it has not yet been contacted by the state representative.

Face MaskFLARA needs your support! Your generosity is what allows FLARA to continue offering quality events and political engagement. All donations of $30 or more will receive a FLARA face mask!!! (while supplies last).




WLRN: White House Report Recommends Florida Limit Indoor Dining, Bar Capacity And Step Up Mask Wearing

A White House Coronavirus Task Force report about the state of the pandemic in Florida made public Saturday urges state leaders to take immediate action to slow the virus’ spread. Officials should close or severely limit indoor dining, limit capacity at bars and issue stronger policies around mask wearing, the report states.

Those are the same public health measures that Gov. Ron DeSantis has publicly assailed for months as ineffective. While he was making the case for no new business restrictions, DeSantis’ office refused to publicize reports from the task force which recommended a more robust public response.

The Dec. 6 report, which was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, is one in a series of weekly reports which the governor’s office has refused to regularly provide news organizations. The Miami Herald has not received any of these reports from the governor’s office.

AlterNet: Florida newspapers sue DeSantis administration for lack of transparency on COVID-19 pandemic

Although some Republican governors have aggressively promoted social distancing measures and coronavirus restrictions in their states — including Maryland’s Larry Hogan, Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker and Ohio’s Mike DeWine — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has drawn a great deal of criticism from Democrats for not taking the COVID-19 pandemic as seriously as he should. And Florida newspapers have been critical of DeSantis for not being more up-front about the pandemic’s impact on the Sunshine State, including some newspapers that have taken aggressive legal action.

The Associated Press reports that two Florida newspapers, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sun Sentinel, are suing the DeSantis’ administration for failing to publicly release reports about pandemic conditions in the state. Julie Anderson, who serves as editor-in-chief of both publications, is quoted as saying, “The state has given us no explanation as to why this crucial health information should be withheld. We had no choice but to ask a court to intervene to uphold the public records law.”

The White House coronavirus task force, according to AP, believes that Florida needs to do a lot more to discourage the spread of COVID-19. The Center for Public Integrity, AP notes, has obtained a copy of a report the task force issued on December 6 — and the report’s recommendations for Florida include more social distancing and discouraging indoor gatherings in bars and restaurants.

According to the report, “Florida has seen stability in new cases, an increase in test positivity and increasing hospitalizations and deaths, indicating unrelenting community spread and inadequate mitigation.”

DeSantis, however, has been resisting a mask mandate and tougher coronavirus restrictions for businesses. The far-right Florida governor recently said, “No one’s losing their job because of a government dictate. Nobody’s losing their livelihood or their business.”

The White House’s coronavirus task force is headed by outgoing Vice President Mike Pence, and Dr. Deborah Birx is its response coordinator. Expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci is also part of the task force, and President-elect Joe Biden has asked Fauci to be a chief medical adviser for his coronavirus response team in 2021.

Last week, the United States suffered some of its deadliest days yet during the coronavirus pandemic — including more than 3300 deaths on Thursday, December 10. According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the pandemic has killed more than 1.6 million people worldwide and over 299,000 people in the U.S.

WPTV5: Unemployed Florida workers fearful CARES Act programs will expire at year’s end

Nearly 500,000 Florida residents could lose their unemployment benefits by the end of the month, according to a recent report by the Century Foundation.

A Boca Raton resident named Stephanie, who did not wish to provide her last name, said she wouldn’t have any income next year without any new federal support.

She has been living off unemployment since May.

Her job with the cruise lines is currently on hold, and she’s terrified her source of income will stop on Dec. 26.

“Who is going to hire me at any job? My job is gone,” Stephanie said.

The Century Foundation reports up to 12 million workers rely on unemployment programs, including nearly 500,000 in Florida. These workers could lose their benefits when two main CARES Act programs expire.

“This is like Santa Claus quit and is nowhere to be found,” Stephanie said.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment programs have helped millions of people since March.

Without a new CARES Act from Congress, those programs will expire and leave people like Stephanie with no income.

“What are we going to do with thousands of people getting no income?” Stephanie asked.

State Rep. Emily Slosberg said despite Florida’s lowering unemployment rate, there are still 659,000 unemployed workers.

“I get a lot of desperate emails and calls from constituents that are very worried come the end of December,” Slosberg said. “There is a lot of pressure on Congress to act.”

She said Florida’s Lost Wages Assistance program also expires at the end of the month.

Slosberg said unless Congress passes a new CARES Act, there would not be any additional unemployment funding.

“It really would take a special session,” Slosberg said.

Trump Administration Spending its Last Weeks in Office on Social Security Cuts

This week the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a proposal that, if implemented, could prevent nearly half a million Americans from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. As of now, SSA is required to consider age, education and work experience when determining whether a person meets the statutory definition of disability. Social Security experts say the proposal is likely to change the formula and eliminate one’s age from the equation. This change would make it harder for seniors to qualify, and could push thousands into poverty.

“This is outrageous. The Trump Administration could pull the rug out from millions of Americans, especially older Americans, in the waning days of its Administration,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “Since the day he took office, President Trump has claimed he would protect Social Security. He is showing his true colors again.”

“We are in a pandemic that is hitting older Americans the hardest. Our government should be helping Americans who can no longer work due to a disability, not scheming to deny them the benefits they have earned over a lifetime of hard work,” Fiesta added.

Biden Taps Retiree Hero Xavier Becerra for Key Position

Xavier BecerraOn Monday, President-Elect Joe Biden announced that he selected Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who earned a 99% lifetime pro-retiree record in the Alliance’s annual Congressional Voting Record, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Becerra, a strong ally of retirees, was the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security from 2011–2017. If confirmed, he will run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), set rules governing nursing homes, and implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Becerra is a long-time proponent of the ACA and will lead the Biden Administration’s effort to protect and strengthen the program that provides health insurance for millions of Americans.

“The ACA has been life-changing and now through this pandemic, we can all see the value in having greater access to quality health care at affordable prices,” said Becerra. “Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities.”

President-elect Biden also nominated Dr. Rochelle Walensky as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Walensky is currently the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Harvard Medical School professor.

“We are confident that this is the team who will not only defeat the pandemic but work to improve and protect Medicare and Medicaid,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “After years of assault on the retirement health benefits we have earned, this change could not be more welcome.”

Covid-19 Vaccines are on the Way. Here’s what Seniors Can Expect.

vaccinationThe Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory panel evaluated Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday and voted 17 to 4, with one member abstaining, in favor of its emergency authorization for people 16 and older. With rare exceptions, the FDA follows the advice of its advisory panels.

Moderna’s vaccine is expected to go before the panel on December 17th. Both vaccines have been highly effective in preventing the spread of the virus in adults aged 65 and older tested so far, but some questions regarding how the vaccines will specifically affect seniors remain unanswered.

Federal officials have said that side effects would be closely monitored during the upcoming trials.

Seniors in nursing homes and assisted living centers will be among the first Americans vaccinated, following recommendations last week by a federal advisory panel. Older adults living at home will have to wait a while longer.

Among the issues that remain are concerns about side effects and whether the vaccines offer meaningful protection to seniors who are frail or have multiple chronic illnesses.

“Effective vaccines are critical to ending this pandemic in the United States, but they are only one part of the solution,” said President Roach. “We must stay vigilant, remain physically distant as much as possible, and always wear masks when we are near others.”

Early Voting for the Georgia Senate Runoffs Begins Monday

Alliance members and retirees from participating unions continue to take part in a series of phone banks to help Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their respective Senate races in Georgia. If you live in Georgia you can confirm your polling location at

The next phone bank shift will be on Tuesday, December 15th at 2:00 Eastern Time, and you do not need to live in Georgia to participate and call Alliance members in the state. Click here to sign up.

The Alliance has also prepared comparisons on where the candidates stand on issues important to retirees: the Raphael Warnock-Kelly Loeffler comparison is here and the Jon Ossoff-David Perdue comparison is here.

Early voting begins on December 14 and Election Day is January 5, 2021.

“If Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock win, we can stop current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue from trying to cut our hard earned Social Security benefits,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “With a Democratic Senate, expanding Social Security and strengthening retirement security is possible. The stakes could not be higher.”

APWU Day of Action – Nov. 17, 2020

U.S. Mail not for salePostal workers have stood up for the democratic rights of millions of people. More than 65 million Americans cast their votes safely by mail. Now it is time to continue the fight to save our public Post Office.

On November 17th, we will gather at Post Offices and in virtual events across the country to celebrate workers and demand proper funding. We are counting on you to be a part of the day of action.

Check the map to find the event closest to you!

If there’s not one in your community, our team is here to support you as you create one yourself.

The demands are clear – Congress must provide at least $25 billion in COVID funding for the USPS. We need to see an end to DeJoy’s slowdown policies. We want an expanded role for the Postal Service to provide more of the services our community needs.

Everyone should see the public’s appreciation for Postal workers who have delivered for our democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that our message reaches elected officials.

This is a crucial moment for us all to harness the power we hold and push for change.

We are counting on you to sign up and take action. Find out more.

US Mail Not For Sale
1300 L Street
Washington, DC 20005

Federal Benefits Open Season Information

A New Day for the Civil Service

Federal Benefits Open Season

(Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Programs)
November 9, 2020 through December 14, 2020

This is the only notification you will receive regarding Open Season

If you are satisfied with your current health plan, you do not need to do anything

It’s quick and easy to request health benefit changes and plan information.

  • Go to Open Season Online at
  • Call Open Season Express at 1-800-332-9798
  • Write to us at:
    FEHB Open Season Processing Center
    P.O. Box 5000
    Lawrence, KS 66046-0500

For General Open Season information, click the above link to use Live Help or send a secure webmail message.

For information on comparing health plans visit

For more information regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement visit

For information on the Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) visit the secure enrollment website or call 1-877-888-3337, TTY 1-877-889-5680.

For more information on Open Season or health care reform legislation, visit

For information on Medicare, visit

If you are having trouble reading this email you may copy and paste the following link into a web browser’s address bar:

Please do not reply to this email. The Office of Personnel Management will not respond as it is not a monitored mailbox.

United States Office of Personnel Management


Alliance for Retired Americans Newsletter – 10/16/20

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Social Security Administration Announces Meager 1.3% COLA Increase for 2021

The Social Security Administration announced on Tuesday that its annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 1.3 percent in 2021, which means an average $20 boost in retirement benefits per month. This year’s COLA is the smallest since 2017 and slightly under the 1.4% average over the past decade.

“The members of the Alliance are disappointed and angry that Social Security beneficiaries will receive a paltry 1.3% benefit increase,” said Richard Fiesta,Executive Director of the Alliance in a statement. “While any COLA is better than nothing, 1.3% is not nearly enough to keep up with the escalating cost of prescription drugs and other expenses seniors have to spend their money on.”

He noted that at least 16% of seniors who work have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic, making Social Security a larger portion of their income.

[ CLICK HERE to Read More ]


Status of the Campaign to Cave the Public Postal Service

As we are heading into the vitally important presidential election, we encourage all of you to vote in defense of your jobs, families and union.

We want to take a moment to bring you up-to-date on the status of the campaign to save the public postal service, defeat plans for postal privatization and build a better future for postal workers.

We have been inspired this past year by your dedication and activism and the outpouring of public support for their Postal Service and for postal workers. As we’ve commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Great Postal Strike, the power of our collective efforts remains clear today – from the streets, to the workplace and the ballot box.

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives and health of postal workers. It has also had a deep economic impact, causing projected losses of $50 billion in postal revenue in the coming years. Since tax dollars do not normally fund the Postal Service, a large drop in revenue will likely cause the USPS to run out of money early next year.

Since March, postal workers, our allies and members of the community have been fighting for Congress to pass vital COVID-related emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service to sustain our jobs and its mission as a public service.

Two million signatures to “Save the Post Office” were presented to Congress. 60,000 phone calls were made to members of Congress through our legislative hotline. We have been at the forefront of organizing thousands of in-person events in every state and territory. We have held car-caravans, educated our neighbors, built support in the workplace and taken the fight to the media.

A bipartisan coalition now stands firmly behind our public Postal Service.

You can be proud of what we have done together. PMG Louis DeJoy has been forced, at least temporarily, to halt policies that have led to severe mail delays. We have defended the integrity of vote-by-mail and of the proud postal workers who move election mail. After months of pressure, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which contained $25 billion in Coronavirus-related relief for USPS, as well as hazard pay for front-line workers, including postal workers.

The Senate leadership has refused to take up the HEROES Act and address financial support for the Postal Service, thus any new stimulus package appears unlikely prior to the presidential election.

But we are not discouraged. This fight is far from over. We can and must continue until we secure and expand the role of the Postal Service as a source of good union jobs and universal postal services.

So, we encourage you to do three things to win this fight.

1. Vote to Defend Your Jobs and the Postal Service

After months of delays for financial support for the USPS, it’s clear that we need to elect leaders who listen to our voices and support our needs. Participate! Click here to find out how you can get involved in APWU’s Labor 2020 election campaign.

2. Promote the Integrity of Vote-by-Mail

It’s safe, secure, virtually free of fraud. It is part of how we proudly serve the people of this country. It is the only way that tens of millions of voters will have safe access to the ballot box. Remind your community that postal workers can be trusted to get the job done!

3. The Struggle Continues – November 17 – Save the Date for National Mobilization

In November, we must mobilize again. The PMG has said that he will reinstate his regressive policies after the election. The USPS will be even closer to the COVID-related financial crisis. We’re preparing to mobilize on November 17 to fight off service cuts and call for a renewed commitment to the prompt and robust postal services the public deserves!

Stay tuned and stay strong! Together, we will win!

In union solidarity,

Mark Dimondstein
President, APWU

Miami-Dade County Early Voting Schedule & Drop Box Locations


[ CLICK HERE to view or print the schedule ]

Voted vote-by-mail ballots are accepted at Early Voting sites and may be dropped off in a secure Ballot Drop Box.

Voters can also drop off their vote-by-mail ballot at the following locations from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Monday 11/2/2020 and Election Day 11/3/2020:

  • Elections Department (Main Office) – 2700 NW 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33172
  • Stephen P. Clark Center – 111 NW 1st Street, Lobby Miami, FL 33128
  • North Dade Regional Library – 2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056
  • South Dade Regional Library – 10750 SW 211th Street, Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Alliance for Retired Americans Newsletter – 10/2/20

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The Alliance wishes President Trump and Melania Trump a speedy recovery from the coronavirus. No one should have to suffer from this horrible disease. Please take precautions,wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Voting Rights Opponents Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Alliance’s recent voting rights victory is being ​appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court​ by Pennsylvania Republican state legislative leaders and the Republican National Committee. The Supreme Court has not yet said whether it would accept the case.

court house“Voting rights opponents are not giving up on their efforts to make it harder to vote in this election,” said ​Richard Fiesta​, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We committed to this fight. All seniors should be able to cast a ballot that will actually be counted without putting their health at risk.”

The Republicans are objecting to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that it is legal to both use drop boxes for ballot returns in Pennsylvania and require ballots that are postmarked by Election Day but arrive up to 3 days after the election to be counted.

A record number of citizens have already requested absentee ballots, significantly increasing the workloads of county election board staff members, who are currently under stay-at-home orders.Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service, which will be relied on to deliver more than a million anticipated ballots, is under severe financial and operational pressure, and may be unable to deliver all voters’ ballots in a timely manner.

Biden Releases Plan to Improve Nursing Home Care

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Thursday ​unveiled a plan​ to increase safety, oversight, and transparency in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

The plan proposes that infectious disease specialists be at every location; increases pay and benefits for nursing home workers; and requires more communication between operators and residents, particularly during a crisis like the coronavirus crisis.

“The Covid-19 crisis has brought problems in nursing homes to the public’s attention and made improvements an immediate necessity,” said ​Robert Roach, Jr​., President of the Alliance. “We applaud the Biden campaign for taking steps to address these issues quickly in a ​Biden-Harris administration in a few months.”

Postal Employees Fight Measures to Slow the Mail

The ​​Washington Post ​reported this week that many U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees are quietly pushing back on so-called cost cutting measures implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy​ that are causing significant mail delivery delays.

postal workers organizing
Logun Buckley, organizer for the Iowa Alliance, speaks at a rally against changes, including removal of a sorting machine, at the Post Office in Waterloo, Iowa, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.
(photo credit: Brandon Pollock, ​The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier​)

The workers view DeJoy’s actions as violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the law​ and have taken steps to make sure that mail continues to move efficiently. For example mechanics in New York drew out the dismantling and removal of mail-sorting machines for so long that their supervisor gave up on the order. In Ohio, postal clerks culled prescriptions and benefit checks from bins of stalled mail to make sure they did not remain undelivered.

Postmaster General ​Louis Dejoy ​is fighting a court order to halt his actions, telling a judge that reinstating overtime to ensure timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the November 3rd election could be abused by workers.“

Dejoy’s claim is ridiculous, since employees must have overtime approved by a supervisor,” said Joseph Peters, Jr.​, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “It is baseless and it is offensive to the hard working postal employees.”

Additionally, DeJoy failed to ensure that at least 1.8 million addresses in its database were updated, a routine action the Postal Service takes several times a year. ​TIME​ described the lapse as ​“highly unusual​.” An election official in one of the affected states said that the outage resulted in a roughly 10-day delay in processing its mail ballot distribution.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Latest Threat to the Affordable Care Act

protest sign
Iowa Alliance members joined Progress Iowa and other allies to fight for the ACA in Cedar Rapids this week.

The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ​come into serious question with President ​Trump​’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett ​for Supreme Court Justice to succeed ​Ruth Bader Ginsburg​.

On November 10th, the Supreme Court will hear the case ​Texas v. United States​ concerning the ACA. The lawsuit, originally brought by Republican attorneys general in2018, argues that the ACA is unconstitutional, and many legal analysts think Barrett is likely to strike it down if her nomination is confirmed.

“In case anyone needed one more reminder of what is at stake in the upcoming elections, the future of the ACA and coverage for 20 million people is at risk,” said Executive Director Fiesta. “If the ACA is struck down, we will lose our coverage for preexisting conditions, forfeit free preventive care and re-open the doughnut hole prescription drug coverage gap.”

Vote Early – and Beware “Naked Ballots”

In addition to the ruling in the Pennsylvania Alliance’s case, the state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania ruled in mid-September that “​naked ballots​,” mail ballots arriving without inner secrecy envelopes, must be thrown out. That is because Pennsylvania uses a two-envelope mail ballot system: a completed ballot goes into a “secrecy envelope” that has no identifying information before going into a larger mailing envelope that the voter signs.

“This is another reason to double check the rules in your state and formulate a plan in advance for how you will vote,” said​ President Roach​. “Go to ​​ to familiarize yourself with the process and minimize the chances that your ballot will be questioned or thrown out on a technicality.”

The next states to kick off early voting in-person are the following:

  • Oct. 2 – Montana
  • Oct. 5 – California, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska
  • Oct. 6 – Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio
  • Oct. 7 – Arizona

For more information visit:

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

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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


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”)


Online Payments can be made at 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

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.


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)

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