April 25, 2018
NYSARA Biennial Election Convention 2018 Officers and Directors Elected/ ARA Executive Director Addresses Group
The biennial election convention of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans began on the night of April 18th with its Board of Directors meeting. At this meeting retiring Board members Doug Matousek, Walter Dunn and Floyd Cameron were recognized and new Board members Karol Tapias (Liveon NY) and Patrick Lyons (NYSUT) were introduced.
A bylaw amendment was passed to formally change our name back to the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. The Board continued their discussion on implementing an intergenerational initiative as well as a continuation of our strategic planning process. The Board came up with two five-year goals:
1. In 5 years NYSARA membership will be made up of 1/3 Community members/activists.
2. In 5 years NYSARA will have 10 geographic regional chapters.
The board will be establishing intermediate goals for 4, 3, 2 and 1 years as well as anticipating obstacles and their work arounds.
On April 19th the biennial election convention was convened. Andy Pallotta, President of NYSUT welcomed us to NYSUT headquarters and spoke about the challenges of the Janus case, currently being considered at the Supreme court and about the positive impact of retirees in furthering working peoples objectives. The Honorable John T. McDonald III, NYS Assembly Member from the 108th District, a local pharmacist, spoke to the group about the difficulties created for New York State government by legislation and actions of the federal government.
Two resolutions, “Support for the elderly in Puerto Rico” and “Addressing the abuses of the pharmaceutical industry”, were presented and passed and NYSARA President Barry A. Kaufmann made a presentation on “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid)
After lunch, elections of officers took place. Elected for a two year term were:
Barry A. Kaufmann – President (NYSUT/AFL-CIO)
Paul Schuh – Executive Vice President (UAW)
Doris Welch – Secretary (IBT)
Gary Lanahan – Treasurer (CSEA)
Directors: Fred Nauman (NYSUT), Patrick Lyons (NYSUT), James Carr (PEF), Paul Cole (AFL-CIO), Paulette Fialkoff-Amedeo (RWDSU), Audrey Iszard (AFSCME), Terry Melvin (AFL-CIO), Joseph Robinson (IBT), Lourdes Rodriguez Dox (1199/SEIU), Gary Tavormina (AFSCME), Dennis Tracey (Past President and NYSUT), Michael Tutrone (TWU Local 100), Suleika Cabrera-Drinane (PR Hispanic Elderly) and Karol Tapias (Live On New York)
Regional Representatives: Doris Welch (NYC), William Spreter (Central NY), Steve Muscarella (Western NY), Karen Wojcik-Hess (Capital District) and Stanley Bergman (LI).
Rich Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, presented our second keynote of the day. Rich did a presentation on the 2018 Political Outlook, highlighting how important the senior vote is, especially in mid term elections. Seniors are the demographic that votes in the highest numbers. Rich also detailed how a campaign that highlighted support of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid can overcome a campaign seeking diminishment and questionable changes. (i.e.: Connor Lamb – Pennsylvania Congressional District Special election)
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The final presentation was by NYSARA Executive Director, Stephen Madarasz on Building our Successes – Using our strengths as demonstrated in our efforts, with our partners, to defeat the Constitutional Convention in New York State. Steven demonstrated the successful communication strategies that enabled us to contribute to an 82% NO vote on the Constitutional Convention question with this question being defeated in ALL 62 COUNTIES IN NEW YORK STATE. The meeting ended with a report from the President’s of all NYSARA Regional chapters.