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.

AARP November Meeting Program … Paul Levine and Barbara Robinson

The speaker for our November 16 meeting will be Kurt Elvert, who has been working in water conservation for 20 years.  At San Jose State University, he majored  in Environmental Studies and, upon graduation, began working full time at Valley Water.  He currently works for San Jose Water and manages the Field Service Department, Meter Shop, Meter Readers, Water Conservation, and Recycled Water Programs.  He oversees a staff of 50 who read meters for billing, respond to emergencies, and perform water conservation audits for homes and businesses as well as investigate reports of water waste.  This presentation will include information pertaining to the water supply and transportation of water in California, overall current water supply conditions, and water conservation tips, tricks, and techniques.

Membership … Shelly Schwartz

This year has gone by so quickly; and as you are aware, it’s Membership Renewal time.   Each membership year runs from January to December, which means that your membership dues are payable before January of 2022.  All the information needed to send in your dues is on the Membership Application in this Dispatch.  When sending in your check, please include the Membership Application.  We are looking forward to hearing from you all.

Legislative News .. Daniel Nnorth & Claudia Schott

The California Legislature is at recess until January.  Therefore, we are focusing on Washington….

We are still working on the Prescription Drug bills to stop the RX Greed Campaign.

  • Outrage:  It’s time for Congress to fix the unfair system that is rigged against Americans.
  • Americans are still sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs. Everyone agrees Congress needs to lower prices NOW.
  • 3x More:  It’s outrageous to have to pay 3 times what people in other countries pay for the same medicine.
  • Negotiate Prices:  Every year, Medicare spends more than $129 billion on prescription drugs.  Yet it’s prohibited by law from using its buying power to negotiate with drug companies to get lower prices.  Giving Medicare the power to negotiate will save taxpayers and people on Medicare $117 billion and lower prescription drug costs for all Americans.
  • People shouldn’t have to choose between buying medicine and paying for food or rent.  Just Wrong:  It is wrong that even during a pandemic and financial crisis, drug companies increased the prices of over 1,000 drugs last year!
  • Ask your member of Congress and two Senators:  Can AARP count on you to act now to lower prescription drug prices?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In April, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced S.1435, the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act, which would curb major drug companies’ anti-competitive use of patents to protect their prescription drugs and prevent generic and biosimilar competition from coming to market.  The bill is designed to encourage competition and give patients greater access to prescription drugs at a cheaper cost without stifling innovation or infringing on patent rights.

S 1773, the Prescription Drug Pricing Dashboard bill, was introduced in May. This bill would amend title XI of the Social Security Act to establish internet website-based dashboards to allow the public to review information on spending for, and utilization of, prescription drugs and biologicals covered under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This bill is co-sponsored by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The Social Spending bill is still hanging on.  Now that the Democrats have cut the total from $3.5 trillion to *only* $1.7 trillion, they are hoping that all Democrats will accept it.  The hold-outs have been Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.  The main points are

1.   Medicare and Medicaid expansions – these may be cut

2.   Paid family leave – this may be cut from 12 to 4 weeks

3.   Taxes on the wealthy and corporations – figuring out how much to tax them….

4.   Child tax credit – this may be cut

5.   Climate change – adding public utility companies?

The Infrastructure bill, HB3683, has passed the Senate, and now is being debated between the House and the Senate as they hammer out the few items that seem to be sticking points.

If you have any opinion on these bills, NOW is the time to contact our Senators and Representatives to let them know how we feel!  Stay informed and keep in touch with our Congressmen and Women.

Nominating Committee … Marilyn Clough

We are very fortunate this difficult year to be able to tell you that the entire Executive Board has agreed to continue on into 2022.  You will be voting to accept them at this month’s meeting. 

Almost all of these Board members have been doubling up on their responsibilities, which has enabled our Chapter to remain engaged.  The Officers and Nominating Committee members are always listed in the Dispatch, as are the other Board members you will be voting on. We are seeking committee heads for two Board positions (Social and Public Relations), plus other committee “How About You’s?” listed in the Dispatch.  Please contact anyone on the Nominating Committee if you’d like to jump in here with us as a new year begins.  It’s a great way to make new friends and keep active.

President’s Message…Margaret Schieck

Our previous hopes of returning to in-person meetings in October have been dashed by the Delta Variant of COVID-19.  For the foreseeable future, we will continue to meet via ZOOM.  If you are uncomfortable using ZOOM, please consider joining one of National AARP’s volunteer-led training sessions.  To get more information and register go to:  http://bit.ly/Trainings4AARPVols.

At this point in time, we are still planning to have our annual luncheon in January.  Please give some thought to contributing items for door prizes for this event.

It has been suggested that a future column in the Campbell Press can be comprised of comments from members as to why they like attending AARP meetings, even via ZOOM.  If members will please send their positive comments to me at K1141@sbcglobal.net, I will compile the column.

Hope you enjoyed the three-day Labor Day weekend.

AARP September Meeting Program…Paul Levine and Linda Cumalat

The speaker for our September 21st meeting will be Brian Lam, the External Relations Manager for Reading Partners Silicon Valley.  He will go into depth about the Reading Partners program and what one can expect as a volunteer.  Brian is a born-and-bred Silicon Valley native who has spent his professional career in the educational realm, both as a teacher and in the nonprofit sector.  He is passionate about getting communities involved in helping their young students succeed academically and beyond.