Campbell Area AARP Chapter Meetings

Campbell Area Chapter 5151 meets at the Campbell Community Center on the third Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. in Room Q80. Don’t sit at home with little to do! Come join this active group. Make new friends. Expand your horizons. Meetings are open to residents of all communities, but membership in the National AARP is required for Chapter membership, which provides, for an annual fee, a mailed black-and-white local newsletter or an emailed color version.

Members often share common interests. Monthly general meetings provide a forum to keep people informed about various local, state, and federal issues, such as legal news, health, identity theft, personal safety, utility regulations, musical programs, magicians, dance and drama groups, and much more.

Members are encouraged to volunteer in the local area to help fulfill the National AARP, “To serve, not be served.” Chapter 5151 has provided commendable volunteer service to many organizations, even throughout the pandemic of 2020-2022.

Come visit us at our next meeting on the third Tuesday of the month and bring a friend.

President’s Message…Margaret Schieck

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!  I hope you all enjoyed the holiday break.  We start a new year with new challenges and new opportunities!

Our General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 18, in Room Q80 at the Campbell Community Center.  Social time is at 9:15 a.m. with the program scheduled for 10:00.  Meetings are limited to 50 participants, so please sign up in advance prior to January 17, by emailing Joy Walsh or calling her.  We MUST enforce the 50-person limit. If you do not sign up in advance, you may not be able to attend. Officers and Committee Chairs are automatically on the sign-up sheet.  Thank you, Joy for doing this.

Masks are required to enter the Community Center buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

The information regarding in-person meetings is contingent upon COVID guidelines staying as currently defined; we may have to switch to ZOOM at the last minute.

Our Chapter has been operating at a deficit for several years, mostly due to printing and mailing costs, and we find it necessary to raise membership dues for 2022.  Effective March 1, 2022, dues for members receiving the Dispatch via email will be $15.00 and for those receiving it via snail mail dues will be $20.00. These changes represent a $1.00 increase or a $3.00 increase, respectively, for a yearly membership.

On a brighter note, the social committee has chosen a venue for our annual luncheon on March 15, 2022. We will be meeting at Casa Lupe Restaurant in Campbell on Winchester at Cherry at 11:30. The luncheon will be a buffet in a private room, with seating for 50 people with plenty of space. More details to follow at the January meeting.

Many thanks to Sue Yeager for stepping up to manage the Book Exchange table.  There will be no post- meeting lunch in January as no one has volunteered to be lunch coordinator.  For events to take place, we must have volunteers.

See you on January 18!

AARP January Program…Paul Levine

The speaker for our Jan. 18, 2022, meeting will be Ken Johnson, the Executive Director of the Campbell Chamber of Commerce.  His presentation will cover activities of the Chamber, including upcoming events, which can serve as opportunities for our members to serve as volunteers.

Ken has lived in Campbell for the last 31 years.  Prior to joining the Chamber staff in 2018, he co-founded WAGIC, Inc. (What a Great Idea Company) with his brother, where he served as Vice President of Idea Development.  For more than 30 years, WAGIC’s commitment to innovation in every stage of the design process provided outstanding results for its clients and the firm’s own consumer product lines.  Ken served as the company’s point man for creating, nurturing, and developing new ideas and partnerships.  Ken is also passionate about baseball.  He served as a varsity baseball coach for 12 seasons at Westmont High School in Campbell. Currently Ken is an assistant varsity coach at Branham High School.

Opportunity Drawing…Sharon Levine

Assuming we have an in-person meeting on January 18, there will be 3 Opportunity prizes:  a $15 gift card for Starbucks (anonymous), a tote bag (thanks to Shelly Schwartz), and a car sun-visor (thanks to Ron Berube).   The winner of the December-meeting prize ($15 for Panera Bread) was Harry Kiesler.

Membership…Shelly Schwartz

Happy 2022 to everyone!  Here’s hoping that this year will be a great improvement over last year, so continue to stay safe and be healthy.  And, since it is the beginning of a new year — and past time for all those who have not yet submitted their membership dues — please take a moment to write out your check and send it to me with your completed membership application. We always need your continued support, especially in these trying times.  Dues remain the same until March 1, 2022.  (See President’s Message.)

Legislative News…Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

Legislative News Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

2022 is starting off with bated breath…

Federal:

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act did not pass in 2021.  The delay has immediate implications, as the enhanced child tax credit, along with other provisions, ended on December 31st.  Senate Democrats have discussed possible tools to bypass the almost dead-in-the-water act and pass a voting-rights bill in the coming weeks with no Republican support.  Democrats tried to pass federal voting rights legislation last year after several states passed restrictive voting laws, but Republicans have blocked their efforts, insisting states should control elections.

Failure to pass the plan could have broader long-term implications, not only on the country’s social and climate policy, but also in this year’s mid-term elections.  Delays in passing the Build Back Better Act would have broader implications beyond the Senate’s plans.  Democrats see the legislation as a transformative package that would make child and health care more affordable, offer an extra layer of financial support to families, and make the biggest investment in curbing climate change in the country’s history.  The longer it remains in limbo, the less effective the BBBA will be and will have to be renegotiated, thus losing more and more momentum.  Republicans call it an overwrought spending plan that would fuel inflation.  Despite the obstacles, President Biden and congressional Democratic leaders have said they will not walk away from negotiations. They firmly believe in this piece of legislation.

Whichever way you feel on this hot-button issue, please let your Senators know how you wish them to vote and thank them for their support of the BBB Act.  As far as AARP is aware, both Senators Feinstein and Padilla support the Build Back Better Act.  Please do write, email, or call them. They keep records of all calls and emails; they want to know what their constituents have to say.

The two most important issues for AARP are: (1) Rx Drug Pricing and (2) Family and Medical Leave.

Rx Drug Pricing:

We need you (The Senators) to commit to ensuring that prescription drugs are included in the Build Back Better package that just passed the House. We urge you to remain engaged with Leader Schumer’s office and the Administration about the importance of getting the deal to the President’s desk.

• ASK:  Can I count on you to ensure prescription drugs are included in the Build Back Better package that includes Medicare to negotiate pricing and create a hard out-of-pocket cap to Part D?

Family and Medical Leave:

AARP strongly supports paid family and medical leave. It’s essential that caregivers be able to take time off work to support their loved ones.

• AARP feels it is very important to ensure that all caregivers – people caring for newborns and for aging family members – are equally included.

• There are over 4.7 million family caregivers in California who sacrifice their own financial health by taking unpaid time off and to help their loved ones.

• Including federal paid-leave benefits in the Build Back Better Act is an important step in supporting the critical work they do.

• ASK: Can I count on you to enact a universal federal paid-leave benefit for ALL workers?

State:

Please call the Governor’s office at 916-445-2841 and ask him to extend COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave retroactive to October 1, 2021.  Here, we might have a chance….

Happy New Year 2022!

Community Service…Marilyn Clough

In anticipation of 2022 and returning to Room Q80, we will be able to have our Book Exchange thanks to (yay!) Sue Yeager.  There will not be a Treasure Chest as we do not have a chair for that position.

Sacred Heart Community Service is now accepting canned food (pull-tops a plus), clothing, and bedding.  The trick is going to be to not bury your committee chair with so many odd bags and boxes that her car will not be able to leave the parking lot.  Please don’t bring all your donations to our first meeting.  Think of my health!  And thank you to all who contributed to Sacred Heart during the holidays.  It is much appreciated; they are able to make donations of every sort go a long way.  Keep volunteering — it shows our community what senior power can accomplish!

Pondering…Joy Walsh

The rabbit is always jumping up and down, but it lives for only two years.  The turtle, that doesn’t exercise at all, lives 400 years.  How did smart people come to the conclusion that exercise prolongs life?

President’s Message … Margaret Schieck

November is full of special days and the beginning of the Holiday Season.  In some areas, November 2 is Election Day.  The celebration of Diwali is on November 4.  Veterans’ Day is November 11, followed by Thanksgiving on November 25 and the first day of Hanukkah on November 28.  It’s a month of various commemorations and celebrations.  In the midst of it all, don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 7.

We are now authorized to begin in-person meetings for up to 50 people.  However, since our programs for November and December were set up for ZOOM meetings, we will not return to the Community Center until January.  I have spoken to Tina about this, and we will be in touch with her a few weeks before our meeting to discuss protocol for refreshments at that time.  Masks are currently required for anyone entering the Community Center.  If all goes as expected, our meeting will be on January 18 in the Center.  We will have to set up a sign-in system to make sure we don’t go over 50 attendees.

Paddy Wray and her committee are working on getting a luncheon organized.  At this point in time, it will not be in January as the closing of Mama Mia has complicated matters.  We will have more about that in a later Dispatch.

As promised, I attended the Home Fit video AARP presentation on October 21 and picked up some useful information on aging in place for those of us who want to stay in our own homes.  One point was to always have professional handymen install grab bars in bathrooms; do not depend on clips or suction cups.  Also, have a handrail at every entrance.  For useful and relatively easy and affordable tips, consult aarp.org/homefit.  You can also request a free Home Fit guide. We will see you on ZOOM on November 16.