The Senior Space – It is an exciting time to be engaged in the ‘senior’ dynamic

“The time is now for older adults to begin the process of defining what next year will bring. You, too, can make a difference by playing an active role within the senior dynamic.” – Steve Grund

It is an exciting time to be engaged in the ‘senior’ dynamic. Election Day is right around the corner; and, we are about to witness a sea change in political leadership across the board. Older adults tend to be a bit more prepared at this stage of the cycle. They tend to have a pretty clear view of what candidates and what issues they support.

It’s also fairly clear as to what lies on the horizon for the State regarding aging demographics. Colorado’s 80+ population will double by 2030; and, a full 25% of the population will be 60 or older by then as well.

The senior dynamic is a bit more pronounced in Colorado; but, aging is a nationwide epidemic! Some are frightened by this forecast while many others are full of excitement. Older adults can have a say in what the future holds by taking matters into their own hands; not just by voting and reacting to what is on the ballot; but, through action.

Colorado Senior Lobby was organized in 1981 to offer a non-partisan platform to help educate state lawmakers on senior issues. What do you think can and should be done to create a healthy foundation where our older adults can reach their full potential? What are the most effective ways to develop relationships with our state representatives and state senators? Can one person make a difference?

The Senior Lobby places members in the heart of the action as policy is crafted in real time. Each week, members receive updates on all legislative efforts affecting older adults.

Attached today is 2016’s “pink book” which helps all members immediately identify their state representatives and state senators as well as the vital committee memberships where new laws are born. It offers email addresses and phone numbers right at your fingertips.

Each month, Colorado Senior Lobby’s Newsletter will highlight information you need to know now. We’ll buddy-up new members with current members to help communicate with lawmakers, simplify the process of how a bill becomes a law and help connect members with tools in technology and with ideas that inform and inspire.

Earlier this month, the Denver Post headlined its Sunday, October 2nd newspaper with a comprehensive report on Elder Abuse and what has happened since the state’s first Elder Abuse legislation was signed into law in 2013. Colorado Senior Lobby members were instrumental in securing this long-awaited legislation to protect our more vulnerable citizens. (Click here for story: Colo. sees rise in cases.)

Colorado’s 2017 Legislative session gets underway on January 11th. A great deal of planning and preparation leads up to that date. After the Election, lawmakers attend a rigorous set of meetings in November to prepare them for the session. Like you, they need to study in order to become effective. By the first two weeks in December, the newly minted legislators have already communicated their ideas (each lawmaker is allowed to introduce five bills) to the State’s Legal Services division to begin crafting the language of those ideas into bills that are ready to be introduced.

The time is now for older adults to begin the process of defining what next year will bring. You, too, can make a difference by playing an active role within the senior dynamic.
– Steve

Steve Grund serves as Policy Chair for the Colorado Aging Commission and as a legislative liaison for the Colorado Senior Lobby. The Senior Space, however, is a reflection of his views only.
Email Steve