Monday, April 15, 2024

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, September 8, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, September 8, 2023

Call-to-Action Campaign! We Need Your Help!

This is our final press on our letter campaign. The deadline for the 2024 federal funding bills is approaching soon, so we need your help if you haven’t already sent a letter.

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy agreed upon a bipartisan budget bill. However, some newly proposed funding bill cuts, by some House members, would negatively impact many public services due to the lack of adequate funding and slash federal funding levels by almost 30%. If not agreed upon soon, a stalemate could lead to a federal government shutdown.

Although your Social Security and Medicare payments will not be impacted, there is still the possibility of cuts being proposed that could adversely impact these federal earned-benefit programs, along with the likelihood of service delays. Proposed funding bill cuts will also affect public safety, education, and many other needed public services by slashing federal funding headed to states and cities.

Join us in signing onto our letter to your Congressperson, which urges them to oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare and avoid a shutdown by passing 2024 federal spending bills. If you have already signed on and sent a letter, thank you for helping and you do not have to do it again. 

Click here to send our letter!

Instructions:

  1. Click the above link.
  2. Click ‘Start Writing’ in the right-hand column.
  3. Select your prefix (ex. Mr. or Mrs.).
  4. Select “Government Operations and Politics” as the topic.
  5. Click ‘Send Letter’.

RPEC Executive Board Member to be Inducted into 2023 Northwest African American Museum Elders Circle on Sept. 10 

Congratulations to RPEC Executive Board District 9 representative and Chapter 3 member, Claude Burfect, for his upcoming induction into the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM)’s 2023 Elders Circle! Claude is a lifelong labor and civil rights activist who does incredible work to strengthen not only RPEC, but also his community as a whole, through his outreach and close relationships with legislators.

This Sunday, on National Grandparents Day & African American Elders Day, Claude will be recognized for his work as a civic and union leader, along with Kibibi Monie, storyteller and NuBlack Arts West Director; Lyle Quasim, leader of the Black Collective; and Dr. Mona Lake Jones, educator, author, and poet.

The event takes place at the NAAM in Seattle on Sunday, September 10th from 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. Additionally, the celebration includes a book giveaway, free food, interactive story time, and a variety of performances and entertainment. Admission is complimentary for seniors, and $10 for other attendees. Come to the event and show your support!

For more information and to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grandparents-day-african-american-elders-day-celebration-tickets-710273104977?aff=oddtdtcreator.

RPEC Legislative Champions

RPEC is honored to present our 2023 Legislative Champion award to three legislators who have supported public service retirees and have taken action to further our priorities.

The first legislator to receive this award has been instrumental in fighting for the restoration of the recurring Plan 1 COLA. Senator Steve Conway (29th) was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 5350, providing a one-time 3% COLA to Plan 1 retirees and requiring the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP) to study and recommend an ongoing COLA proposal to the legislature. We owe much of our progress on the Plan 1 COLA issue to Senator Conway and his work as Chair of the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP).

The second legislator to receive this award has advocated and fought for a stronger voice and choices for retirees in Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) health insurance plans. Senator June Robinson (38th) secured a budget proviso that promotes increased input from retirees regarding what the Health Care Authority (HCA) offers for plans. Part of that proviso is increased accountability of HCA to garner input from retirees and research additional options to make socially responsible decisions regarding the plans they offer. Thanks to Senator Robinson and her work with our members, we are on track toward health care options that are both adequate and affordable for seniors.

The third legislator to receive this award has pushed for the reinstatement of an ongoing COLA for Plan 1 retirees. In the 2023 Legislative Session, Representative Drew Stokesbary (31st) was our main proponent for an ongoing Plan 1 COLA, which he demonstrated by his introduction of House Bill 1459. We are grateful for Representative Stokesbary and his efforts with the House to work towards reinstating the Plan 1 COLA.

Thank you to Senator Conway, Senator Robinson, and Representative Stokesbary for your commitment to our members!

September Monthly Leadership Call

This month’s Leadership Call is on Friday, September 15th at 1:00 PM and will be our final leadership call this year, which means we will be looking forward to deciding what is next for us to offer to our chapter leaders. With that in mind, this call will include a recap of key topics we have discussed during the leadership calls over the last year and a discussion about what the successor to these calls may look like. We are planning to take a more individualized approach to leadership support by providing training and support in smaller groups rather than with all leaders across the state. Please join us for a review of key topics and to provide feedback about the replacement for our Monthly Leadership Call series.

RPEC is a member-driven organization, so we need input as to how our chapters and leaders could use additional and ongoing support. Please encourage other members in your chapter who may be interested in future leadership opportunities to attend as well. We look forward to having you attend and help with developing a plan to better support you, our valued chapter leaders.

Upcoming Events: 

Please refer to our calendar page for more information about each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.

  • 10 – National Grandparents Day & African American Elders Day
  • 12 – WSARA Convention, Federal Way
  • 14 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • 15 – Monthly Leadership Call (1:00 pm)
  • 18 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
  • 19 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • 22 – Pension Policy Workgroup Meeting (10:00 am)
  • 28 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • 6 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • 6 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • 12 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)

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