Alliance Members Testify Before NYC City Council, Rally to Oppose TPP Agreement

May 1, 2015

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Leaders from the Alliance joined other representatives from New York City’s labor, environmental, and social justice groups in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on Monday, testifying before the New York City Council and rallying on the City Council steps. Members of the organizations spoke out in support of Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s resolution to declare New York City a “TPP-free zone.” Members of the Alliance have been active in opposing TPP; leaked sections have indicated that the prescription drug prices will increase if the agreement is approved.

Audrey Iszard, President of the NYC Chapter of the Alliance and also Vice President of the AFSCME District Council 37 Retirees, spoke to the City Council on behalf of the retirees against the TPP.  She was joined by Doris Welch, Vice Chair of the NYC Alliance; and Molly Krakowski, Communications Director for the NYC Alliance (

“It’s great to see retirees take the fight over the TPP directly to municipal legislators across America,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “It’s one of the many ways we are mobilizing to ensure that this trade agreement goes down.” The “TPP-free” Resolution was unanimously approved by the NYC City Council on Tuesday.

May is Older Americans Month
The month of May is Older Americans Month, the annual celebration of senior and retiree contributions to the nation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ theme for the 2015 Older American’s month is, “Get into the Act” and encourages seniors to make positive changes in their community.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also promoting National Woman’s Health Week from May 10th- May 16th.  Women’s health needs change over time, but whether they’re in their 20s or 90s, everyone should take steps to improve their well-being. Learn more about National Women’s Health Week and consider at least one step for better health.

White House Conference on Aging Events Held this Week in Cleveland, Other Cities
The fourth of five White House Conference on Aging Regional Forums took place on Monday in Cleveland, Ohio. Retirees were active and made their voices heard at both the forum itself and satellite events hosted by the Alliance in other states in the region. Alliance members gathered in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and St. Louis to draft messages to the White House on retirement security and discuss issues relating to Social Security and Medicare. Seniors also held a rally in Cleveland to stand up for retirement issues. Senator Sherrod Brown and Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Marcia Fudge, all from Ohio, spoke at the rally.

The final regional forum will take place in Boston on May 28. The White House Conference on Aging event in Washington, DC will take place in July on a date to be determined.

Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance, said, “With employer-sponsored pensions disappearing, the White House Conference on Aging is an excellent opportunity to spread the message that we need to expand earned Social Security benefits.”

Come to the Alliance’s Legislative Conference in July
The Alliance will hold a Legislative Conference and Lobby Day for its membership in Washington, DC from July 7th- July 10th. In addition to having an opportunity to speak with Members of Congress and their legislative staffs about retirement security, the conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend trainings and workshops that will improve their advocacy skills. Attendees will receive briefings on the latest threats to Social Security and Medicare and discuss ways to strengthen and expand these vital earned benefits.

“The Legislative Conference is one of the most important events the Alliance hosts,” said Ms. Easterling. “Not only do we all learn more about Social Security and Medicare issues but attendees will gain valuable skills that they can take back to their communities.” All Alliance members are welcome to attend. Questions? Contact Joni Jones at or 202-637-5377. Ready to register? Sign up for the conference here.

Medicare Turns 50: The Promise of Retirement
“Part of the middle class promise is that, after a lifetime of hard work, you'll be able to retire and enjoy the fruits of that labor. Medicare was established to secure that promise.”
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

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