Residents Act to Preserve Medicaid and Senior Housing

Grassroots | September 11, 2017 | by Barbara Gay, Rebecca Gershten, Kavod Senior Life

As a result of Medicaid cuts Congress was considering earlier this summer, residents of the Denver-area Kavod Senior Life community were propelled to take action.

A resident-led Social Action Committee hosted a rally on July 19 in front of the Kavod Senior Life building. Approximately 50 residents participated by marching and holding signs advocating for continued and expanded health care for seniors adults. As a result, a local news station did an interview with residents and Colorado Senator Irene Aguilar on July 23. Interview participants, from left to right, were Colorado Senator Irene Aguilar, Ondalee Kline – Kavod Senior Life resident, Pat Narup – Kavod Senior Life resident and News Anchor Anne Trujillo from Denver 7.

In addition, the Social Action Committee led the following:

  1. Over 70 letters were signed by residents and sent to Colorado senators voicing the same message as the rally.
  2. Over 40 English-speaking residents attended a session on general advocacy practices led by one of our board members, Jamie Sarche- see attached photo.
  3. Over 50 Russian-speaking residents attended a follow-up session led by our CEO that was translated.
  4. 100 postcards were mailed to Senator Cory Gardner letting him know that the senior vote matters; they asked him to protect Medicaid, Medicare and affordable housing. The residents then raised additional funds to purchase more postcards.
  5. Residents participated in a campaign from The Colorado Coalition for Homeless in a photo montage regarding the benefit of low-income housing that is being sent to Washington. #ourhomesourvoices

Future activities include a two-hour town hall meeting this fall with governmental officials; several of Colorado's gubernatorial candidates also are coming to speak with our residents.

LeadingAge applauds Kavod Senior Life residents and staff for speaking out on these issues. These residents have provided a great example of the impact that all of us can have in speaking and acting together.