Greetings! I hope your summer is going swimmingly! These columns become a problem when there’s not much good news to report but I found a few “good news” items.
Foremost is a huge THANK YOU all for your support, contributions, donations, work and attendance at the May 4th Fun(d)raiser. Final numbers aren’t complete, but it appears we will be just over $19K raised to continue the work of the Council as we approach the 2020 election cycle. That’s good news!
After a two-year push, and due mainly to the work of the Elder Voice Family Advocates, Minnesota will now license assisted living facilities. We are the last state in the U.S. to reign in this industry which sometimes allowed seniors to be abused at the hands of providers while being profitable for the provider. Governor Walz signed the bill into law on June 5th and said “It’s always difficult. There will be some fits and starts but I think the commitment to getting it right is one that we’ll just keep until we perfect it.” This is good news for seniors!!
Secretary of State Steve Simon reports that “After the election systems in Minnesota and twenty other states were targeted by the Russian government, Congress and the President made millions in security money available to us. But for over a year, the Minnesota Senate blocked the funds, making us the only state in America not to get the money. One prominent Senator even claimed that election-related hacking is "no big thing." But the political stonewalling is finally over.” And goes on to say “We can now start several projects to modernize and secure our election system in time for the 2020 election – absentee balloting for the presidential nomination…” begins with absentee voting on Friday, January 17, 2020 and ends on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, Primary Presidential Election Day! Mark your calendars. This is good news for Minnesota voters!!
Don’t forget another important event in 2020 that needs your attention now is the 2020 Census. An accurate count is very important for Minnesotans if we are to retain all eight congressional districts and get our fair share of the Federal dollars returned to the states for Federally mandated programs. If you would like to help and get paid for your efforts here’s a couple links to Census jobs and getting involved in the 2020 Census: https://www.2020census.gov/en/jobs ; https://mn.gov/admin/demography/census2020/get-involved/ In addition, the Minneapolis Regional Retiree Council, AFL-CIO, already has a Committee meeting to involve their members and other seniors in activities to get an accurate count of all people in the state.
So watch for continuing news about important work to do in the upcoming months as we prepare for 2020!
Ken McInnis, President