Time to Get Loud on OAA Funding!
Engage Your Grassroots in Advocacy Opportunities Now
August 15, 2019
Members of Congress are in their districts and states for the August recess and will return to DC in September to tackle decisions about federal funding for FY 2020. The Bipartisan Budget Agreement that increased overall federal budget caps for FY 2020 and FY 2021 sets the stage for lawmakers to finalize spending decisions by the end of September when current FY 2019 funding expires. More details about the budget agreement compromise are available in n4a’s recent Legislative Update.
In order to finalize all FY 2020 discretionary funding bills, including those for Older Americans Act and other critical aging programs, the House and the Senate will need to agree on funding levels for thousands of individual programs.
The good news is that earlier this summer the House passed significant increases for OAA and other important federal aging programs. This means advocates need to encourage Senate appropriators to adopt the House-passed increases for critical aging supports! It’s vital that your agency and your grassroots advocates connect with federal lawmakers NOW about the importance of adopting funding increases for Older Americans Act (OAA) and other aging programs.
Please augment the appropriations outreach that you have already done with your Members of Congress by asking your grassroots to take action, too. We need Members of Congress—especially in the Senate—to hear directly from their constituents who benefit from the OAA programs and services that you deliver.
n4a has updated our Grassroots Advocacy Alert Template included in our FY 2020 Appropriations Campaign Toolkit, which we hope will help you to urge your network of local advocates to take action now! Here’s your to-do list:
- Put your agency on record. Send an updated letter to your Members of Congress—especially in the Senate. Use n4a’s updated template letter to send your own messages about the importance of funding increases to your Members of Congress.
- Engage your grassroots. Using our toolkit or your own creative ideas, get the word out in your networks that action is needed now! Here are some approaches you could take:
- Ask your grassroots to email or post a short social media note to lawmakers. Members monitor their email/website traffic for constituent correspondence, and personal messages resonate most. Ask your advocates to share why OAA is important to them.
- Ask local advocates to call Congress. Included in the Template Alert are instructions to call lawmakers and a short sample script that constituents can use.
- Share stories in person. Encourage your local grassroots advocates to attend a townhall meeting during the rest of August to share the importance of funding for OAA. You can also invite your Member of Congress to come see your agency in action and meet some of their constituents receiving OAA services! Or, better yet, do both!
We need all AAAs, Title VI Native American programs and local allies to raise their voices in support of Older Americans Act funding. We must ensure that all members of Congress know how important robust federal funding for OAA is to promote the health, well-being and independence of their older constituents and those who care for them.
More advocacy resources are available on n4a’s FY 2020 Appropriations Campaign page. Stay tuned for more updates from n4a and thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!