December 28, 2020

WSARA 2020 Year in Review

The WA State Alliance for Retired Americans wishes you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season! No Monday Alert Retiree News will be published on December 28th but we will resume on January 4, 2021!

Here is a brief report of activities the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans accomplished in 2020, as one of the 39 state chapters of the ARA.

After it became clear the coronavirus pandemic was disproportionately affecting older Americans, WSARA stepped up early to remind elected officials of the need to act with that in mind. We wrote op-eds in support of pro-senior and pro-working family public policies. And, in partnership with the WA State AFL-CIO’s Labor Neighbor Program, we conducted retiree townhalls with candidates for state and federal office from Spokane to Auburn to Tacoma to Vancouver who supported those policies and conducted virtual phone banks and postcard-writing parties to support their campaigns.

The WSARA Executive Board elected to postpone our Annual Convention normally held in May and we were the first ARA state chapter to conduct our convention by Zoom on August 6th and use it to also celebrate the Anniversaries of the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and Social Security.

Americans have been angry about the economic consequences of trade deal after trade deal that, taken together, have outsourced millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs.  As the pandemic swept our country, we also saw in all-too-real ways the public health consequences of that outsourcing. WSARA participated in the Northwest Virtual Townhall on Covid-19, Trade and Resilience sponsored by the WA Fair Trade Coalition to discuss how bad trade policies have made us less safe in health emergencies.

To publicize the need for federal funds to save our Postal Service from financial collapse, WSARA members drove in the Queen Anne Post Office caravan and picketed Burien’s in the Day of Action to support the American Postal Workers Union.

Due to our commitment to constantly expand our partnerships and ensure that WSARA is reflective of the diversity of the entire state and the entire organized labor community, we worked to build coalitions with unions, minority organizations, community groups and others. While the pandemic has forced many changes, it has also made advocacy more senior friendly: seniors can engage with elected officials, community representatives and labor organizations from the comfort of their homes, and will continue to do so, at a greater pace, in the coming months and years.

With 2021 bringing both a new Congress and Washington State Legislature, WSARA is committed to educating and training all retirees to be better and more engaged advocates, to cultivate relationships with their elected officials, and to stay up to date with what is happening in Olympia and in Washington, DC.

If you belong to an organization that would benefit from the support of a well-organized, politically engaged partner WSARA, click here to read a copy of our 2021 Affiliation Form for dues information. We would be happy to speak about the benefits of affiliation or answer questions.

As the only statewide organization advocating on behalf of all retirees in Washington, we look forward to building on this year’s successes and growing our active and enthusiastic retiree base next year. Thanks for your support during this exceedingly difficult year and we look forward to a brighter year for everyone in 2021!

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