2016 ANNUAL REGIONAL MEMBERSHIP SUMMITS
Through a generous grant from the Archstone Foundation, CSLA held four Regional Summits: June 21st, Southern California San Diego, at The Gary and Mary West Wellness Senior Center, San Diego; June 22, Southern California Los Angeles at California Endowment, Los Angeles; June 29th, Central Northern California at California Endowment, Sacramento and June 30th, Greater Bay Area at California Endowment, Oakland.
The agenda for each meeting included a welcome by the Regional Chairs and Vice Chairs. Each region had a guest speaker from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that spoke about SSA’s Representative Payee Program. More than eight million people, who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits need help managing their money. SSA can appoint a relative, friend or other interested party to serve as the “representative payee” to receive the beneficiary’s payments and is given the authority to use them on the beneficiary’s behalf. Additional information on the program is available at www.socialsecurity.gov. CSLA Senior Leader and Board Treasurer Linda Leahy recommended this topic for this year’s Regional Summits based on her experience as a Representative Payee and the growing need many seniors have for assistance in managing their social security benefits.
Carolyn Fowler, Executive Associate gave the Financial Report, which included a review of Community Partners/CSLA Financial Guidelines and a report of Membership Dues and Donations. Carolyn also requested each Region to develop a yearly calendar of meetings that will be posted on CSLA’s website. She reviewed the revised By-Laws and introduced the Board’s new By-Laws Committee and noted its Chair Elaine Sierra, Board Secretary. Any recommendations for By-Law changes should be forwarded to the Regional Chairs who will make sure the By-Laws Committee receives the recommendations. Additionally, Carolyn revisited the Media Committee Representative from each Region that was discussed at the 2015 Regional Summits. Each Region Chair is to provide the names of their Region representative at the July 25th Advisory Board meeting.
An in-depth discussion took place on the Capitol Action Team (CAT) . CAT’s roles and responsibilities are spelled out in the By-Laws. It was acknowledged that while living in or near Sacramento had an advantage for visiting the Capitol, all CSLA Senior Leaders have a role to play in advocating for legislation and have an opportunity to support CAT in their efforts. All Senior Leaders, no matter where they live, are encouraged to join CAT.
A poignant video produced by Justice in Aging was shown “Dottie, Sandy, Lydia and Myrtle Have Something to Say About Being Poor”. The video exposed the difficulties aging women in poverty have in meeting life’s economic and social challenges. The video is available on our website.
Betty Johnson, Executive Director reviewed the 2016 Summit Evaluations, gave an update on the Grants and the CSLA data base. A Analysis of the Evaluations was handed out and discussed. The overall conference evaluation was important in two areas where Senior Leaders posted the following ratings:
- Overall experience at the Conference: 67% Excellent- 21%Good - 10%Average - 2%Poor
- Organization of the Conference: 72% Excellent – 18% Good – 7% Average – 3% Poor
It should be noted that because of the small sample of respondents the poor rating that was received in each of the categories was based on the rating of only one person.
Betty announced that CSLA has entered into an agreement with California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Department of Gerontology to provide us with Interns. A contract with CSULB will be developed.
The Grant to fund the Annual Membership Summits from Archstone Foundation is scheduled to end in 2017. A request will be made to extend the Grant beyond that date after the final report is submitted. CSLA has been awarded a mini grant from California Wellness Foundation for $3500 to strengthen our Website and social media presence. And the final portion of the Dottie Fowler bequest for $4,000 is due to CSLA.
Senior Leader Rick Kaplowitz donated the File Maker Pro Software to CSLA and he developed a comprehensive membership database. He also traveled to Los Angeles to train Exec. Dir Johnson on File Maker Pro so that she could take over the management of the database. Many thanks to Rick for his generosity.
Dallas Fowler Website Consultant provided the Senior Leaders with a virtual tour of the website. She also provided them with a handout that described how Senior Leaders can contribute content to the website and the process for getting content approved.