March 04, 2015

Dallas Chapter Sharpens Aim on the Issues

On March 4, a cold, dark, rainy day, the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans held a bright and lively meeting at the APWU hall, 2010 Postal Way. They began with a review of our highly successful participation in the “Senior Day” that was organized by other groups at the State Capitol. Not everybody was entirely satisfied with the agenda and speakers that had been selected, but our own participation was seen as a big step forward. Organizer Judy Bryant and one of our brightest new activists, Frank Romero, were singled out for their specially excellent work in getting the Dallas bus load through the day. We ended the discussion with a big round of applause!

Let’s Participate in the White House Conference on Aging!

The Dallas chapter is eager to hold an event on April 1 in solidarity with the regional meetings sponsored by President Obama. Texas will be represented at the meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on March 31, but National ARA encourages us to hold solidarity meetings in Texas cities.

Next, under Judy Bryant’s able direction, we took up several of the national issues facing retirees. She began with the “Trans Pacific Partnership,” an unfair trade deal being proposed to the Congress. National ARA asks us to contact our congresspersons to oppose the trade deal and the undemocratic “fast track” rules that would whisk it through congress. Click here if you’re not sure who your U.S. Representative is.

Next, Judy presented us with a 2-page fact sheet on “Social Security Disability Insurance.” Anti-senior congresspersons are trying to hold the program hostage by changing their rules to make it harder to transfer funds between SSDI and the Old Age Assistance program.

Our next fact sheet was on “Medicare Redesign.” A proposal in congress would raise deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for retirees.

A fact sheet on how physicians get paid by Medicare explains that a proposal in congress would shift more costs to seniors. Our Alliance supports fixing the physician payment forumla, but opposes shifting costs onto beneficiaries. The same sheet explains why our Alliance opposes “means testing” as to who gets Social Security and who doesn’t. It’s a simple attempt to divide (and conquer) us. We also oppose a proposal to raise the deductible on Medigap benefits and another proposal to create a new copayment for home health care visits. In general, most of the proposals being considered in the present congress represent different and sinister cuts for retirees!

The Dalllas Chapter’s Secretary, Barbara Rojas, has done excellent work on one of our key fund-raising programs. The Dallas Chapter commended her for getting the go-ahead from state and national officers to make magnetic automobile signs to be offered to the growing number of activists who are making regular pledges to the Texas Alliance. Some of them write checks or bring cash, but most of them click on the “donate’ button on this site, then put down a number and click “recurring payment” on the Paypal page. The automobile advertising should help us get better known throughout the state. Barbara is ordering 20 signs while this is being written.

Activity Level Keeps Increasing

Judy Bryant will participate in the march for Medicaid expansion that takes place in Austin on March 12. TARA is committed to getting health care coverage for more Texans, but Texas politicians have so far opposed it.

Able-bodied retirees were asked to join the “March for the Right to Vote” that starts on the west end of the Continental Bridge in Dallas at noon on March 6.

Our commitment to saving the pension fund for state employees will be focused on their march in Austin on April 8th.

Money is Always Necessary

Activists brought cash and checks for the state fund drive. The Dallas Chapter “passed the hat” for small donations and raised another $57. Every little bit helps!

–Gene Lantz

PLEASE contribute any amount, or make a monthly pledge, to Texas Alliance for Retired Americans by clicking here.

Sign our petition to Dallas Mayor Rawlings asking him to stop pushing to privatize the school district.

We’re also still gathering petitions for health care implementation in Texas. Sign that petition at:

http://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4055/c/1254/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4684

Contact Gene Lantz at labordallas@sbcglobal.net

Judy Bryant at 214-729-0063

facebook: Texas Alliance for Retired Americans

Twitter: @Tx4TARA

 

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