In Illinois, You’ve Earned A Say

Hi folks! It’s Gerardo from the Illinois Communications team bringing you information about a series of events that AARP will be hosting across the state over the next few months and into 2013 – events that will help ensure YOU have a voice in any debate about the future of Medicare and Social Security.

AARP is launching “You’ve Earned a Say”. Why? Because, you have earned a say about the future of Medicare and Social Security – and because AARP believes it’s time to take the debate about Medicare and Social Security out from behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., so you can make your voice heard.

We will be spending the next year listening to voters and giving Americans straightforward information about the proposals politicians are putting on the table related to Medicare and Social Security- both the pros and cons – without all the political jargon and spin. AARP believes that you have earned the right to know all the options politicians are putting on the table. YOU have earned a say in any conversation about the future of Medicare and Social Security.

Plain and simple – any conversation about you should include you! You have earned your coverage and benefits, as well as the protections and guarantees they provide – you have a right to speak up about how to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for YOUR generation and future generations.

So how do you make YOUR voice heard? There’s two ways – by filling out a questionnaire we will be distributing and collecting at our upcoming events, or going to the You’ve Earned a Say website and sharing YOUR ideas with us.

As a matter of fact, we started our listening tour this week in Illinois with a couple of very successful listening sessions: one in Chicago and one in Edwardsville.

In Chicago, nearly 180 African American, retired men and six female volunteers met at Trinity United Church of Christ on the Southside. Among the many attendees – former Police Superintendent Leroy Martin; Interim CEO at Cook County Health and Hospital Systems, Dr. Terry Mason; and Ardythe Sayers, Board Member for the Gale Sayers Center and wife of NFL and Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers. This Male Health Forum provided an ideal setting to hear what folks had to say about Medicare and Social Security and the future of these programs.

You've Earned a Say event in Chicago's Southside. Photo by Laurinda Dodgen

In Edwardsville, nearly two dozen residents attended the You’ve Earned a Say listening session and engaged in a lively conversation about the future of Social Security and Medicare.  The session even went into “overtime” as people voiced their opinions about these programs. Not a single attendee remained silent! That’s the idea!

You've Earned a Say event in Edwardsville Photo by Mindy Ruckman.

There’s much more to come. Again, to find out more about what You’ve Earned a Say is all about – and to give us your thoughts and ideas because, visit the You’ve Earned a Say website.  You can also follow AARP Illinois on Facebook and Twitter for updated information.