By: John Krikorian
The 50-Plus Election: People age 50-plus are expected to vote in record numbers, and they'll make up a larger portion of the electorate. In the 2004 presidential election, 50-plus voters accounted for more than 35 percent of those who cast ballots, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Exit polls in the 2006 midterm elections put the number much higher, at 52 percent.
Is anyone paying attention? Is anyone reviewing the findings of the challenges outlined in the LA County Seniors Have Spoken! Survey? Is anyone paying attention to the California Budget Report, released this August, that outlines the state’s population that is growing, aging, and becoming more diverse?
It is obvious that the California is facing three major demographic trends: • California is Big and Getting Bigger; • California is Increasingly Diverse; • California is growing older.
The age profile of California’s population will shift along with the state’s racial and ethnic composition. Most importantly, California is becoming older – although the state’s population of children and young is continuing to grow, the older population is expected to increase dramatically. Between 2000 and 2020, the number of Californians age 65 or older is expected to increase by 75.4 percent, compared to a 29.4 percent increase for the state’s population overall.
The question that needs an answer is what do these shifts mean for public policies? We need not look at our leaders in Washington, DC or those in Sacramento. We need to take a closer look at what are our elected officials doing in our Cities and in our County?
We are fast approaching a Presidential election in November, soon to be followed by local State and City Council campaigning. We understand that there are immediate needs to be taken care of that take time, planning and importance to the needs of the growing number of seniors. We know that some of our Cities and Counties with Senior and Aging Commissions are doing their best to get the attention of those that are representing them in the cities they reside in.
Our compliments to Gabriella Holt, RN, EJD, a candidate for the California 54th State Assembly District and her commentary “Framework Prepares for Baby Boomer Aging” that appears in this edition of Senior LIVING Magazine. Holt took the initiative to follow through on the recent Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City Survey and request that “boomers must call their state legislators to act now”. Senior LIVING ask their elected City Council officials and City Staff to place the findings of the County and other such data on their radar screen for action.
Our Thanks to Legislation authored by Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) that protects seniors from financial abuse that was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. SB 1164 DOJ Investigators is a simple bill that does one thing – it gives investigative auditors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) the ability to serve search warrants on financial institutions, Internet service providers and telecommunications companies in order to help expedite investigations of elder financial abuse, MediCal fraud, and other financial crimes. “Since coming to the legislature I have been concerned with protecting our most vulnerable citizens against scam artists and financial rip-offs,” stated Senator Scott. “The California Department of Justice estimates thousands of seniors are the victims of financial abuse every year and the problem threatens to grow worse as the “graying” population increases. With this bill, we’re moving one step closer to putting these con artists out of business.”
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