President Nan Brasmer and Senator Mark Leno at the introduction of SB 810
CARA is very involved in legislative issues at the State and National levels. The Legislative Committee, chaired by Hene Kelly, Vice President of CARA representing the CA Federation of Teachers – Retired, along with 30+ active members meet monthly (3rd Thursday of each month, 10am-2pm. 1127 11th St., Suite 425, Sacramento (CA Labor Federation Conference Room) .
The committee reviews legislation that impacts seniors and recommends positions on bills (support, oppose, watch). Once a position is approved by the CARA Board based on the committee’s recommendations and research, committee members write letters (which are posted on our website) and communicates our position with the authors of the bills.
The Committee also identifies Priority Bills for CARA to focus on – these are bills that match the issue priorities adopted by CARA delegates at our annual convention. For Priority Bills, CARA not only writes letters, but the Committee creates one page Action Alerts on each bill that are forwarded to our CATS – and become the focus of our letter writing, phone call, and advocacy efforts at both the local/district level as well as statewide. We attend every hearing on the priority bills, and volunteers testify when appropriate, participate in rallies, press events, and whatever else we can do on our own, or with coalition partners.
In 2016, the CARA legislative committee took a position on many bills of interest. Each bill has the letter that CARA wrote in support or opposition linked to it. If there is additional information about the bill from the author, or written by CARA or a partnering organization, we have linked that to the bill as well. The One Page fact sheets on CARA’s priority bills are also available in this section. Four of our 2016 bills actually made it to the Governor's desk! And he signed 3 of them! Stay tuned for our efforts in 2017.
The CARA Legislative Committee also reviews national legislation, and takes positions when appropriate, or connects with the Alliance for Retired Americans and other national networks on these issues, such as Social Security, Medicare, Older Americans Act issues, Health Care Reform, etc.
The Legislative Committee is always looking for new members – especially folks who are in the Sacramento area and available to attend hearings, rallies, come to the committee meetings etc. For information and to get involved, call CARA at 510-663-4086.