Making a List and Checking It Twice

By: Judy Beard, APWU National Director Retirees Department

(This article appears in the January-February 2014 edition of The American Postal Worker.)

Retirees were smart. We started planning for the 2014 elections right after the 2012 presidential election. We began by paying close attention to the public statements of elected officials about issues that impact our wallets, our families and the people in our communities.

Now that we’re closer to the midterm elections, which take place Nov. 4, 2014, it’s time for retirees to increase our involvement and start taking aggressive steps to protect our benefits. In approximately 11 months, every member of the House and 33 members of the Senate will be up for election. Gubernatorial races also will be held in 36 states and three territories.

Let’s all begin by making a list of contacts who will be our support network in the upcoming election. The list should include family members, friends, neighbors, and people we know in community organizations, along with their names, phone numbers, home and email addresses.

Our goal is to provide the people on our list with information about issues and help with voter registration, absentee ballot information, and poll locations and hours.

Retirees must step up our political participation because we have seen too many attacks on seniors in recent years. Many congressional representatives may think that by the time Election Day arrives, we will have forgotten who on the ballot favored cutting Social Security, Medicare, federal retirement programs, healthcare benefits and other “entitlement programs.” They refuse to accept the fact that our benefits are not the cause of the nation’s deficit.

Fifty-one Republicans were bold enough to call for cuts in Social Security in an Oct. 8, 2013, letter to House Speaker John Boehner. They wrote:

“We believe that the ongoing fiscal discussions in Congress provide an opportunity to address entitlement program deficits.”

“Many budget advocacy organizations on all sides of the political spectrum have stated recently that Social Security is the most straightforward entitlement program to address.”

“Virtually everyone recognizes that our nation’s entitlement programs are the primary, long-term drivers of our debt.”

(To read the entire letter, visit The signers’ names are listed below. Is your representative on the list?

State     U.S. Representative State     U.S. Representative
AL           Mo BrooksAR          Steve Womack

AR          Tim Griffin

CA          Devin Nunes

CA          Doug LaMalfa

CA          John Campbell

CO          Cory Gardner

CO          Scott Tipton

FL            Dennis Ross

FL            Jeff Miller

FL            Richard Nugent

FL            Ron DeSantis

FL            Steve Southerland

FL            Ted Yoho

FL            Tom Rooney

GA          Austin Scott

GA          Phil Gingrey

GA          Rob Woodall

IL             Aaron Schock

IL             Adam Kinzinger

IL             John Shimkus

IL             Randy Hultgren

IN           Marlin Stutzman

IN           Todd Rokita

IN           Todd Young

KY           Andy Barr

MD         Andy HarrisMI          Bill Huizenga

MO        Vicky Hartzler

MS         Alan Nunnelee

MS         Steven Palazzo

ND          Kevin Cramer

NV          Mark Amodei

NY          Tom Reed

OH          Bob Gibbs

OH          Jim Renacci

OH          Steve Stivers

OK          Jim Bridenstine

OK          Markwayne Mullin

PA          Glenn Thompson

PA          Mike Kelly

SC           Mick Mulvaney

SC           Tom Rice

TN          Marsha Blackburn

TX           Bill Flores

UT          Chris Stewart

UT          Jason Chaffetz

VA          Scott Rigell

WI          Reid Ribble

WI          Tom Petri

WY         Cynthia Lummis

We cannot continue to elect officials who try to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. We must make sure everyone on our contact list is registered to vote, has the proper ID, knows the issues, and votes for candidates who support our families.