April 20, 2016
Founding Convention of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund Inc. a great success
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On Thursday April 14, 2016 the founding convention of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund Inc., a new 501 c (4) organization was held at NYSUT headquarters in Latham, NY. The convention attendees were welcomed by NYSUT Vice President, Paul Pecorale, who oversees the issues of over 200,000 NYSUT Retirees and spoke about how important that retirees were to legislative and political activism. Over 65 activists attended the convention and got to hear from new ARA President Robert Roach Jr., as our keynote speaker. Mr. Roach spoke to us about engagement in the political and legislative process and the changes he envisions happening at the national Alliance. He addressed the NYSARA Educational Fund’s Board of Directors the night before the meeting and engaged in a dialogue to solicit suggestions as to how best to advance our agenda.
Officers of the new organization were elected to a two year term of office:
Barry A. Kaufmann (NYSUT/NYS AFL-CIO) – President
Paul Schuh (UAW) – Labor Vice President
Molly Krakowski (JASA) – Community Vice President
Doris Welch (IBT) – Secretary
Gary Lanahan(CSEA) – Treasurer
Attendees were presented with NYSARA activities completed since last May as well as our progress toward the organizations 12 goals. The NYSARA 2016 Senior Legislative agenda of 8 issues was presented and discussed. Our successes on Paid Family leave, the increase of the minimum wage and the defeat of the initiative to increase cost and not pay agreed upon reimbursement for Medicare Part B premiums to retired workers were noted and detailed. The new and expanding partnerships with other’s that share our issues was detailed as well as a plan to send out a Monday Alert to all who give their e mail address to NYSARA. Included in the Monday Alert’s will be all the Friday Alert items from the ARA plus NYS and local events.
A presentation was given to attendees on Palliative care by NYSARA member Bev Alves, with her very personal story and links to find out more about this very important senior issue. (Links are available on the website under Senior issues/important links)
Our second guest speaker was Dr. Angelia Smith-Wilson who is the Assistant Director, Local Program Operations of the NYS Office for the Aging. She spoke on many issues of concern to seniors in New York, including funding for the office for the aging and the possible impact of a NYS Constitutional Convention on Senior Citizens. Also discussed was the study of a potential Office for Community Living.
President Barry A. Kaufmann and Executive Director John M. Costello discussed what we have done and where we go from here. Convention goers where treated to a request for activism beyond what has ever done in the past as there are more forces that seek to diminish what seniors have earned through many years of work and contributions to society. President Kaufmann said that “with our membership of 440,000 members from labor and the community we are in a unique position to influence the discussion of our issues.” “By mentioning the size of our membership we get an immediate credibility that stands us in good stead, but to continue that credibility and to acquire the influence on the state and national level, we must SHOW our activism by being visible.”
Click on picture below to see a gallery of photos of our founding convention…..