FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2017
Contact: Bobbie Sackman
Associate Executive Director of Public Policy
917-690-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org
IN STATE OF STATE, GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MAKING NY THE FIRST AGE FRIENDLY STATE AND THEN PROPOSES CLOSING OF 65 NYC SENIOR CENTERS
GOVERNOR IGNORES PLEAS OF 13,800 SENIORS TO REVERSE THE CUT OF $17 MILLION OF TITLE XX FUNDS FOR SENIOR CENTERS
13,800 LETTERS FROM 104 SENIOR CENTERS SENT TO GOVERNOR CUOMOOPPOSING CUT THAT WOULD CLOSE DOWN 65 NYC SENIOR CENTERS
In his State of the State address in January, Governor Andrew Cuomo proudly announced that he would make New York the first age-friendly state in the nation. Then his budget sent a shock wave through senior centers in New York City as its proposal to cut $17 million of Title XX funds would result in the closing of 65 senior centers citywide. Not the right direction for an age-friendly state which requires community based services. According to the city’s Department for the Aging, there will be about one senior center closed per Assembly district. The last time the Governor attempted this was in 2011, but the cut was avoided by strong opposition from seniors.
In an astounding outpour of opposition, in only two weeks, 13,800 letters in English, Spanish and Chinese were sent to the Governor urging him to change the language within the 30-day amendment period. The Governor’s budget shifted Title XX federal funds from senior centers to child care. A letter was sent to the Governor from aging and child care advocates stating opposition to pitting generations and services against each other.
According to Bobbie Sackman, Associate Executive Director of Public Policy, LiveOn NY, “While Governor Cuomo’s announcement to make New York the first age friendly state in the nation is laudable, it is disturbing that his budget would then close 65 NYC senior centers. Governor Cuomo failed to respond to the 13,800 seniors from 104 NYC senior centers who sent him letters urging him to change his budget language to prevent the $17 million cut to Title XX funding. This unnecessarily leaves thousands of seniors in high anxiety that their beloved local senior center will close. The closing of 65 senior centers would deprive 6,000 seniors a day of a local senior center, 1.5 million meals annually would be lost, and 24,000 hours of case assistance to help seniors access public benefits, housing concerns, and other necessary aid in their own language would disappear. Seniors are understandably fired up and left asking why the Governor would do this. We are concerned that senior centers will become a political football when they should be treated as the life sustaining programs they are. LiveOn NY and our partners will continue to work to return the Title XX funds to senior centers which they have funded for four decades.”
CONTACT BOBBIE SACKMAN TO GO TO A SENIOR CENTER AND TALK TO SENIORS.
LiveOn NY is dedicated to making New York a better place to age with confidence, grace and vitality. LiveOn NY’s 100 member organizations range from individual community‐based centers to large multi‐service organizations. LiveOn NY’s membership serves over 300,000 older New Yorkers annually and is comprised of organizations providing an array of community based services including elder abuse prevention and victims’ services, case management for homebound seniors, multi‐service senior centers, congregate and home‐delivered meals, affordable senior housing with services, transportation, NORCs, family caregiver supports and other services intended to support older New Yorkers and their family caregivers.