President’s Message … Margaret Schieck

Happy Holidays to all whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or any of the other 26 religious or cultural holidays that occur between November 25th and January 6th.  Just enjoy the time and company.

At this point in time, we are looking forward to resuming in-person meetings in room Q 80 at the Campbell Community Center, # 1 West Campbell Avenue, on January 18th, 2022.  No coffee can be served as of this date.  Anyone entering the Community Center must wear a mask whether vaccinated or not.  We will update any changes to this information as we receive them.  Since our meetings must currently be limited to no more than 50 people, please sign up to attend prior to the meeting by calling Joy Walsh, Telephone Chair, or e-mailing her at  Her phone number is in this Dispatch.  Your reservation should be made prior to January 17th, 2022.  If you do not sign up, you may not be able to attend, depending on numbers.

The Board will be discussing a slight increase in yearly dues at its next meeting.  The information will be in the next Dispatch as well as on our website.  As you know, we are spending more than we are taking in.  The cost of printing and postage has been rising for over 4 years and we can no longer subsidize the cost of sending the Dispatch.  If you can possibly receive your Dispatch via e-mail, please consider making that change on your renewal information.  I will also no longer bring copies of the Agenda to the General Meeting except for a few copies for new members.  We have been paying to print copies of the Agenda and then throwing them out after the meeting, which is a waste.  If you wish to have an Agenda in front of you at the meeting, please print and bring your own.

Our Annual Luncheon has been moved to March 15th.  More details will follow in the January Dispatch and at the General Meeting regarding place, menu, and cost.  Payment will be collected at the January and February meetings.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in person in January.

AARP December Meeting … Paul Levine

For our December 21, 2021 meeting, we will be entertained by Mark Wallace, a talented singer, guitarist, and songwriter who performed for us last year at Christmas time.  Mark was born in 1949 in 29 Palms, California and lived in the Bay Area for many years where he worked as a professional handyman.  (Jack-of-all-trades and Master-of-Many)  He was a long-time member of the San Jose Peace Chorale and entertained at many area weddings as well as at the Unity Temple, Moraga Concert Hall (Santa Cruz), and the Great Hall at Betty Peck’s (Saratoga).  About a year ago, he moved to Colorado to be with his childhood sweetheart Tori Palmer, a retired veterinarian.

For our program, Mark will be singing favorite and obscure seasonal songs of Joy and Praise that people can sing along with (as long as they are on mute).

Membership … Shelly Schwartz

Yes, we made it to December!  The new year of 2022 is right around the corner, so here’s a reminder for you.  If you have not yet sent in your dues for the new year, please take a moment, make out your check and mail it to me with your membership application.  All the information you need is on the application in this issue of the Dispatch.

Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

Now that the Build Back Better (BBB) Bill has passed the House, it has gone on to the Senate to be debated and voted on.  With all the stuff that is in the Bill, it is hard to know what’s what.  So, here is a list of the key points:

  1.  Climate change – $555 billion to fight against climate change – The bulk of clean energy spending, $320 billion, comes in the form of tax credits for companies and consumers that install solar panels, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and purchase electric vehicles.
  2. Spending also goes towards the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps that would provide some 300,000 jobs to restore forests and wetlands and guard against the effects of rising temperatures; it is somewhat similar to the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
  3.  Universal Preschool – $400 billion for free universal preschool for all three and four year olds, which the White House has dubbed the largest expansion in education programs since the creation of public high school.
  4.  Paid Family Leave – $200 billion in this bill creates a permanent, comprehensive national paid leave program that gives employed workers, including those who are self-employed, four weeks of paid family and medical leave, which can be used for caregiving or personal illness.
  5.  Healthcare Premiums – $165 billion of this spending bill reduces health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act and expands Medicare coverage to include hearing benefits.
  6.  Prescription Price Regulation – The BBB Bill also delivers a compromise for taking on Big Pharma over rising drug prices.  It would restrict how much drug makers can increase their prices each year and set an annual limit on out-of-pocket spending, but only after those drugs have been on the market for about a decade.  This means drug companies could still charge an enormous amount for new drugs, with price regulation taking effect nine years later for most common medications and 13 years later for more complicated drugs.  Contrary-wise, out-of-pocket costs for insulin, a protein hormone used to treat diabetes, would be capped at $35 for a 30-day supply, significantly lower than current costs, starting in 2023.
  7.  Affordable Home Care – The plan provides $150 billion in funding for a Medicaid program that supports in-home health care, helping to reduce a backlog of people waiting to receive subsidized home care and improve wages for providers.
  8.  Affordable Housing – Another $150 billion will go towards building more than 1 million new rental and single-family homes.  The bill aims to reduce cost pressures by providing rental and down-payment assistance through an expanded voucher program.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the Build Back Better Bill that includes a 10-year “amnesty-lite” in the form of work permits, Social Security numbers, eligibility for welfare benefits, and the ability to get a driver’s license to 4-5 million illegal immigrants.

AARP backs this bill because of the affordable prescription drugs and the paid family leave. These are important, but don’t forget about the rest of the bill!  Let your Senators know how you feel about this bill.  Let your voice be heard!  Don’t forget to thank your Representatives for doing their due diligence and voting on this bill.

In-Person Meeting Sign Up … Joy Walsh

For our future in-person Campbell Chapter meetings, hopefully beginning January 18, there is a 50-members limit.  So, advance reservations will need to be made via Joy Walsh, Telephone Committee Chair.  No one will be allowed into the meeting without a reservation, a mask, and proof of vaccination (if still required at the time of the meeting).  These are AARP National and Campbell Community Center rules.  To sign-up, please email: call her cell phone number listed on page 3:  Callers must speak clearly and spell your last name if leaving a voice message.  Until local health department rules change, coffee and goodies will not be provided, but you are free to bring drinks and snacks for your own consumption.

Telephone Committee … Joy Walsh

One of my callers needs to be replaced.  We need a cheerful volunteer to call 8 people during the week prior to the Chapter meeting.  The calls are placed before the 3rd Tuesday of the month and every other week to check how members are doing.  If members have any special needs, you should contact our President, Margaret, to see if there is something the chapter can help with.