Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama's 2012 Budget Contains Deep Cuts But Offers Boosts To Other Programs

This week Generations United's Policy Team issued a policy alert in response to President Obama's 2012 Budget. We express disappointment that the president's budget contains cuts to valuable programs such as a $2.53 billion reduction for home-heating to poor families and cuts to community services block grants.

However, there is also much to applaud, including a proposed $1.3 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a suggested $866 million increase for Head Start and a suggested $350 million to create an Early Learning Challenge Fund.

The budget also contains provisions to assist older adults, including $10 million for Lifespan Respite, $192 million for National Family Caregiver Support Program, $8 million for Native American Caregiver Support, and $13 million for Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

The president's 2012 budget would allow AmeriCorps, the nation's largest national-service program, to grow to 90,000 members.

The policy alert also addresses the proposed House GOP cuts to the 2011 budget, calling it "damaging to families and children." For example, the nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) stands to lose nearly $1.1 billion in funding. Community health services are also proposed to be cut by $1.3 billion, reducing access in care for families.

We urge you to contact your member of Congress to voice your opinion on these detrimental cuts. You can read more analysis in the full policy alert here.

Rich Robinson is Press Secretary for Generations United. You can reach him directly at

Monday, February 14, 2011

Generations United Supports the Obama Administration Social Security Principles

The White House put forward six principles for Social Security reform, none of which suggest benefit cuts of any kind. In fact, the Administration doesn’t appear to embrace any recommendations for Social Security reform from the Deficit Commission. The Commission had called for a higher retirement age and a scaling back of benefits.

Here are the six principles:

  1. Any reform should strengthen Social Security for future generations and restore long-term solvency.
  2. The Administration will oppose any measures that privatize or weaken the Social Security system.
  3. While all measures to strengthen solvency should be on the table, the Administration will not accept an approach that slashes benefits for future generations.
  4. No current beneficiaries should see their basic benefits reduced.
  5. Reform should strengthen retirement security for the most vulnerable, including low-income seniors.
  6. Reform should maintain robust disability and survivors’ benefits.
We encourage the White House to hold firm and protect Social Security for all generations.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

We Welcome Two New Board Members

We're happy to announce the election of Sandra Nathan and Marla Viorst to Generations United's Board of Directors. The pair were introduced at our recent winter board meeting.

Sandra is Senior Vice President, Economic Security at the National Council on Aging. She leads NCOA's efforts to improve work force opportunities for Older Americans. She has a rich resume in human services, with two decades of leadership experience in government and social services. Most recently she served as President and CEO of the Richmond's Children's Foundation, following top positions with Santa Clara County, CA, the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services and AARP. Dr. Nathan earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology at the University of San Diego, her Master's degree in Public Administration at National University in San Diego and a Doctorate of Philosophy at International Apostolic University in Dayton, OH.

Marla Viorst is Senior Vice President at Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates. She has more than ten years of experience working on a range of public affairs issues, such as trade and immigration, food safety and healthcare. Her knowledge and strategic council has led to the creation and execution of successful programs in a number of disciplines, including message development and dissemination, ally development, reputation management, and regulatory and legislative affairs. She earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Indiana University and a Master's degree in English Literature from Northwestern University.

"Sandra and Marla bring a wealth of knowledge to Generations United's mission," said Board Chair William L. Minnix, President and CEO of LeadingAge. "Both are deeply committed to improving conditions for vulnerable populations such as our oldest and youngest."

Rich Robinson is Press Secretary for Generations United. You can reach him directly at