Armchair Activist

You have never seen me on television promoting a cause, loudly protesting a ruling or stumping for a candidate, but I still make my opinions known on a variety of issues. I try to make a concerted effort to keep abreast of current issues and when I am made aware of particular rulings that will influence decisions impacting our lives, I stand at the ready to make my views known. I receive regular mail alerts from AARP concerning issues that affect the lives of seniors and in some cases those who will one day be seniors. In particular, the possible cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits authorized by Congress were brought to my attention via email. No one wants to see programs cut even though some cuts will be inevitable. It’s a question of where, when and what cuts will occur. Social Security beneficiaries have not seen a cost of living increase in their payments for two years which is the first time in social security history that benefits have not increased.

As I read a recent email from AARP,( I might add I also respond to local calls from local and state agencies to vote or voice an opinion on issues relating to our community), the email from AARP asked that we make three calls, one each to our two state senators and one to our state representative. We were asked to speak with the staff and request that our senators and representative not endorse any further cuts in Medicare, social security benefits or health care coverage. I did so and it took me not even 15 minutes to make my views known. I was kindly greeted in each telephone call and assured that my message would be given to the intended party. Whenever I have made a call on an issue of concern, I always receive a follow up email from the senators’ and representative’s office stating their stand on the particular issue. Sometimes we agree; sometimes not. The important point is that my voice is heard and acknowledged. I do not rant and rave or hurl obscenities in my speech. I simply state my view calmly and respectfully. I have been involved in various calls for the last 4 years or so and will continue to take an active role via my computer or telephone whenever I am alerted about some pending legislation or policy change.

So, may I encourage you to let your voice be heard? If you receive information from AARP or your local government about issues that will impact you and your community, act upon it. Many times, a simple phone call or email sent by you to your elected officials is all you need do to voice your opinion. Remember, you have a voice, use it and let it count for what you believe.