Friday, May 22, 2015

Why I Organized a Senior Advisory Commission for My City

The City of Twin Falls, Idaho, where I live is on the verge of an explosive growth of baby boomer and older adults. Retirees are relocating to the area to enjoy an improved quality of life. As you can imagine, current and future senior citizens have needs that can be more challenging to solve in those golden years, such as affordable housing and transportation. I didn't realize all of these challenges when I first proposed the Senior Citizen Advisory Commission. I'm originally from Liberia, and I understand and appreciate that any community that wants to thrive must honor its elderly population. It was that mindset and upbringing that inspired me to propose the City's first ever Commission that was passed unanimously by our City Council. I believe it's one of the best vehicles to empower senior adults. I'm convinced that every community needs one.

Advice Not Services

The Commission does not exist to provide services.

There are organizations in our community that deliver meals, provide assistance with activities of daily living, offer transportation to medical appointments, offer wellness and fitness classes and even social activities. That's not the role of the Commission, and I don't advice that for one you may organize. The last thing I wanted was for the Commission to compete with organizations whose mission it is to serve. The Commission allows participants to voice concerns and propose solutions on issues that affect older adults. It provides a voice to our mayor and City Council that may be missing on issues pertinent to senior citizens from all walks of life. For example, I envision seniors reviewing the City's strategic plan for the upcoming years and providing meaningful feedback and recommendations from the perspective of older adults.
Ordinary Citizens Participate
Read more about starting a Senior Advisory Commission.

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