23rd Annual LiveOn NY Aging Advocacy Day – MAY 9, 2018
300 older adults from over 100 Senior Centers, programs, and NORCs show the momentum older adults bring to their communities and come to City Hall to advocate for funding for community-based services
On the 23rd anniversary of LiveOn NY’s Aging Advocacy Day, 300 older adults from over 100 senior centers, NORCs and other programs converged on City Hall and met with 43 Council Members to talk about how senior services fuel their communities. Older New Yorkers are the fastest growing population in the City. From 2000 to 2030 their numbers will double to 1.84 million, about one in five New Yorkers. Current resources do not allow senior services staff to connect with the broad array of needs of ever changing immigrant groups, diverse populations and caregivers. The budget priorities for FY 19 reflect community supports for all older New Yorkers, both through $22.1 million in new funding, as well as full restoration for aging programs through City Council Schedule C senior allocations.
Allison Nickerson, Executive Director, LiveOn NY, states, “Our City’s aging services are the building blocks that allow hundreds of thousands of older New Yorkers to tap into the momentum of later life so that they can power up the economy, volunteer in their communities, be caregivers and live their best life. An investment in the New York City Department for the Aging and community based senior services is therefore a commitment to social justice across the lifespan – ensuring that we can access needed meals, life sustaining services and opportunities for engagement as we grow old. When the city makes this commitment to fund senior services, the return on that investment is seen community by community, borough by borough, and is key to making New York City a better place to age. It is essential that we continue to work together to advocate for funding to support the infrastructure of services that allow us to age with confidence, grace and vitality.”
“While we have made significant inroads to fund and expand senior services last year, the work to ensure that every older New Yorker has the opportunity to age with dignity in their community has only just begun,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, Chair of the Committee on Aging. “Senior funding still comprises less than one half of one percent of the City’s $88 billion budget. I am proud to stand with aging advocates once again to rally for deeper investments to cut case management waiting lists, increase capacity for our neighborhood senior centers, address senior hunger and provide universal free lunch for seniors at senior centers and enhance NORC funding. Together, we can disrupt the false idea that seniors are a burden to society, and create a new narrative that celebrates the countless contributions they make every single day. Thank you to LiveOn NY for making today’s Aging Advocacy rally a reality.”
“I am proud to once again stand with LiveOn NY and our advocates as we work to ensure that New York City is a great place for seniors to live,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “Our city’s senior centers are second homes to over 6,000 seniors. They gather with friends, enjoy meals and access vital services. We have continually worked to improve the quality of life for our seniors and today we stand together to once again make clear that our city budget needs to reflect the needs of our rapidly growing senior population.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF BUDGET PRIORITIES:
LiveOn NY calls upon the city to:
- Address elder hunger with a $12.1 million investment to support senior center/congregate meals and home delivered meals.
- Support neighborhood senior centers by immediately allocating an additional $10 million in funding to support critical staffing and program needs.
- Address critical capital and facility needs in the nearly 100 senior centers and programs in NYCHA buildings with $5 million.
- Support critical citywide aging services such as the SuCasa program, Support our Seniors, NORCs, Healthy Aging and others with a full restoration of Schedule C programs.
- A commitment to supporting and spreading awareness of aging programs and services to reach older adults, caregivers and communities so that seniors can access these vital services.
Thank you to all of our Advocacy Day participants and to all of the Council Members who joined us during this wonderful event!