President’s Message … Margaret Schieck

Welcome to February!  Happy Valentines’ Day and Happy Lunar New Year!  This month is packed with all kinds of celebrations and commemorations.  It is Black History Month, Women’s Heart Health Month, The Olympics are starting, and there is also Presidents’ Day!

Unfortunately, it does not represent a return to in-person meetings month.  It has been determined that many of our members are nervous about returning to in-person meetings, so for February we will still be on ZOOM.  We are allowed to have up to 50 people at a meeting in-person, but that will have to wait until April.

In March, we will have our annual luncheon for members and guests.  Again, we can have up to 50 people.  The venue will be Casa Lupe at 2165 Winchester in Campbell.  Enter the parking lot from Cherry.  The date is March 15th and the time is 11:30 a.m.  It will be in a private room and Buffet Style.  The menu will consist of cheese or chicken enchiladas, beef burritos, rice and beans and sauteed seasonal vegetables.  Coffee, tea, water or a soft drink is included as well as tax and tip. Cost is $23.25 per person.  Please send checks in advance to Sharon Levine, Treasurer, at 4622 Calle De Farrar, San Jose, Ca. 95118-1914.  Checks should be made out to Chapter 5151 AARP and write “luncheon” in the memo line.  NO MONEY WILL BE COLLECTED AT THE DOOR.  The deadline for payment is March 8th.

I have been on several COVID-19 state and national calls and the advice is as follows:  1. Get your Vaccinations.  2. Wear your masks.  3. Get out and LIVE YOUR LIFE!  We need to start doing this again! This “surge” is supposed to disappear by mid- February.  In the meantime, wear a mask to the Community Center in April until further notice.

Depression and loneliness are taking lives as well as the virus.  The Suicide Hotline number is 855-278-4204.

Hope to see you in March if not on-line in February.

AARP February Meeting … Paul Levine and Ken Schieck

The speaker for our February 15, 2022, meeting will be Steve Bird, the Executive Director of 408 Food Rescue & Distribution, a Division of Lighthouse Ministries.  After 38 years in the high-tech sector (engineer, manager, trainer, and business owner), Steve retired.  Shortly thereafter, his wife “volunteered” him to help out the gleaning (food rescue) team, part of the Homeless Support Action Team or HSAT.  After his first food rescue, she asked him how he liked it.  He said, “This suits me to the core, I’ll do this until I can’t do it anymore.”  It’s been six years now.

Steve’s organization is a recognized non-profit, with a board of directors, and a team of 38 volunteers.  They just released their first “Annual Impact Report for CY2021.”  The calculations show that they collected and distributed 3.2 million pounds of food in CY2021, which translates to 2.68 million meals.  Steve’s talk will mainly consist of excerpts from their Annual Impact report, which will be emailed to our membership.

Membership … Shelly Schwartz

For those of you who may have forgotten, it is past time for you to renew your membership for 2022.  Membership fees run from January through December and are due now.  Please send your check, including the Membership Application, to me ASAP.  All information is on the Application on page 3 in this issue of the Dispatch. Remember, effective March 1, 2022, dues for members receiving the Dispatch via email will be $15.00 and for those receiving it via snail mail will be $20.00.  These changes represent a $1.00 increase or a $3.00 increase, respectively, for a yearly

Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

February seems to be a perfect time to look to filling out those 1040’s and trying to get as much money back from the government as possible.  Then our minds should turn to the mid-term elections and looking at the candidates vying for the different positions.  It is important to do our due diligence. Here’s a snapshot of candidates:

US Senate:  Alex Padilla (Incumbent) (D), Akeyemi Agbede (D), Brian Ainsworth (R), and James P. Bradley (R) are the first four of 27 candidates that will most likely be on the June primary ballot.  That’s a lot of candidates to research.

17th Congressional District:  So far, only Sarah Katz (D).

18th Congressional District:  Anna Eshoo (Incumbent) (D), Rishi Kumar (D), Peter Ohtaki (R), Ajwang Rading (D), Benjamin Solomon (R), and Greg Tanaka (D).  Again, this list is incomplete.

19th Congressional District:  No candidates yet.

Governor:  Laura Smith (R) and Major Williams (R) are so far, the only two candidates that are vying for the position.  They will be up against Governor Newsom in November, pending the primary.

In Washington:

The Build Back Better bill is still stuck in the Senate.  Again, no matter how you feel about this bill, please let your Senators know how you feel about this piece of legislation.  AARP is campaigning for the Rx drug pricing and the family and medical leave issues within the bill to be kept.  Senator Manchin is still opposing the bill, citing inflation as the reason he could no longer support the bill.  In the meantime, President Biden met with CEO’s from 10 different companies at the end of January, in hopes of keeping the bill alive.  All ten were purported to be BBB supporters.  Biden said he thought the climate portion of BBB might be able to pass the House and Senate on its own, without the social programs.

“I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now and come back and fight for the rest of it,” he said at a White House event.

In Sacramento:

The Governor and California lawmakers reached a deal to bring back two weeks of paid sick leave for California workers after the last round of supplemental sick leave expired in September 2021.  The plan is to give workers 40 hours of paid sick leave if they themselves get COVID, and on top of that, an additional 40 hours to take care of a family member who gets COVID.  It goes back to January 1 of 2022, so there’s a gap from when the last program ended to when this one starts.  So, there won’t be coverage for October, November, and December of 2021.  Employees of companies that have over 25 workers are covered by this proposal.  Part-time workers qualifying hours are dependent on the number of hours worked.

Community Service … Marilyn Clough

In anticipation of 2022 and returning to Room Q80 in April, 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!

Telephone Committee … Joy Walsh

Two more wonderful volunteers are needed to call 7 – 10 AARP members weekly to check in with them, and also to remind them of upcoming meetings or any special announcements that our President needs to get to our members.  Perhaps you enjoy getting your calls from our cheerful volunteers and would like to help out and call some of our members yourself.  Please call Joy Walsh at 408-623-8002 or email at  

Volunteer Hours … Leona Fails

In spite of all the challenges of COVID in 2021, our members were still able to service our communities.  This is just a sample of some of the projects taking place during the year — tutoring, fundraising, blood donations, caregiving, food bank help (that was a big one), phone calls, and many more important services.  Total volunteer hours 3,991.  You are so appreciated!