We’re still months away from 2012, but AARP Utah is already looking for ways to expand our reach to members next year through our programs, education, and advocacy. We know that the debt ceiling debate and concerns over Social Security and Medicare have dominated the news, and we will continue our advocacy to make sure no cuts are made to these essential programs. But there are many other issues we know are important to you, and we want to make sure we have your interests protected.
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Many people are worried about having enough money for retirement or their job security. One of our priorities in the state is to continue our work with the Utah Securities Division to eliminate fraud and abuse from the financial marketplace. We will also work with Utah legislators to eliminate unfair or misleading practices and products, such as payday loans. The legislative session doesn’t being until next January, but we are already working with legislators to help protect consumers.
Although Medicare is often highlighted as an area of major concern, Medicaid also needs to be strengthened and protected. Medicaid provides a lifeline to many older people, as well as those with disabilities, and AARP Utah is working with other organizations to make sure people have a safety net when they desperately need it. This includes long-term care services as well as more basic health care needs.
We are also working with our volunteers to find more ways to help educate people about health care reform, the wise use of medications, brain fitness, and identity theft. There are still too many people who don’t know the benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act, and we want to make sure the public knows where to go for resources and assistance. We’ve been going to communities across the state, with the help of our volunteers, to reach people where they live and hear their individual concerns. We’ve also partnered with local organizations on these issues – such as city councils – so that people can find help close to home. We want these relationships to grow in 2012. Volunteers provide a crucial link between members and AARP Utah programs and advocacy, and we want to explore ways we can build upon our wonderful volunteer base.
We also want to offer ways for people to connect and have fun. This year, we invited members to an “AARP Utah Night at the Bees” game, and had over 150 people join us! We’ll be looking to partner with the Salt Lake Film Center for movies at historic theaters around the state next year. We’re also looking for opportunities to provide local discounts so that you can take advantage of the many wonderful activities Utah has to offer.
If you have ideas for how we can better serve you or want to know about volunteer opportunities, please contact Jill Duke at email@example.com. We appreciate our members and want to make sure your experience with AARP Utah is valuable and worthwhile.