February 23, 2016
February 19, 2016 Independent Democratic Conference Press Conference
Queens, NY – Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein and State Senator Tony Avella, on Monday February 19, joined leaders from New York’s senior organizations across the state, to launch the IDC Seniors First Initiative.
Senators Klein and Avella released a report, the “New York 2020: Seniors First Initiative” detailing the results of a quality of life and affordability survey taken by over 4,500 seniors and laying out the IDC’s proposals to help New York’s seniors comfortably live out their golden years.
The survey is a product of an unprecedented partnership between the IDC, the NYS AARP, the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans (NYSARA), the New York Statewide Senior Action Council, Live On New York, the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), Lifespan, Protectseniors.org and the Association of Belltel Retirees. NYSARA contributed a large number of the survey responses, most notably in upstate New York.
Senator Klein said “I am proud to have created an unprecedented partnership with so many of New York’s senior citizen advocacy groups, to survey the 4,500 seniors statewide and launch the seniors first initiative. With the Seniors First Initiative it is time for the State to listen to New York’s seniors and put their needs first.”
Barry A. Kaufmann, President of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans said ” The 440,000 members of NYSARA are pleased to have participated in the IDC’s survey of senior citizens’ needs. Through the definition of a specific senior agenda leading to a productive discussion of the issues that seniors face, we can arrive at solutions that support our seniors. We think that there are many good proposals in the conference’s package and are pleased that the Independent Democratic Conference recognizes and supports paid family leave as a senior issue. The New York State Alliance for Retired Americans looks forward to a continued collaboration with the conference in order that seniors across the state are able to live with the dignity they have earned through many years of contribution to our society and our state.”
Areas addressed in the survey and in the agenda include: Protecting the Elderly from Financial Exploitation, Independent Utility Consumer Advocacy, Long Term Care Insurance, State Senior Heating Assistance Program (SHEAP), Taking Care of Caregivers Initiative, Retirement Security, Protecting the New York State Senior Citizen Rent and Homeowners Exemption (SCRIE and SCHE) issues that NYSARA has taken a position on (See NYSARA issues tab) and Paid Family Leave, to enable seniors friends and relatives to take care of an ill relative or friend or bond with new children, without fear of bankruptcy or financial stresses.