By Matt Kass
PHILADELPHIA- Sen. Al Franken lent his star power to the Senior Council meeting Thursday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. He and other speakers voiced their support for Hillary Clinton for president.
Franken and other speakers including Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and Jon “Bowser” Bauman of Sha Na Na – discussed issues important to senior citizens.
The issues discussed included protecting the gains that had been made in the fields of Social Security and Medicaid, advocating for the baby boomer generation in Congress, and leaving a prosperous future to their offspring.
The Senior Council meeting was attended by members of the American Federation of Teachers and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association.
The common refrain heard throughout the meeting was that members could rest after Election Day, but that for the remainder of the campaign, it was time to work. Strategies of going door-to-door and collecting signatures, as well as engaging other voters were floated for voter engagement.
While there was a defined platform for the senior council, several members had issues that they felt were important.
Jimmy Gaunce, 84, from Lexington, Kentucky looked at Social Security as a key issue to tackle.
“I think it’s very important that we protect Social Security, that we improve Medicare, and most certainly the Affordable Care Act.”
Charles Jackson, 69, of New York City had an entirely different pet cause as a senior voter.
“The most important thing I feel is that we all get out vote. Try to get the other people who want to sit out to really get involved, because it’s very important that we try and get Hillary elected, because the opposition doesn’t really seem to care about the welfare of our seniors.”
Armando Mandes, 64, from Middletown, N. J. said pensions were the most important issue facing the senior council.
“Protecting defined benefits for everybody, including the people that today don’t have pensions,” he said.
Mandes also had strong words for how important he felt it was to ensure benefits for the future.
“Every worker, whether they’re in private industry or the public sector must have a defined pension. If you don’t the country’s going to be in trouble very shortly.”