TSCL Spearheads Grassroots Town Hall and Petition Drive
By Jessie Gibbons, Legislative Analyst
Social Security and Medicare were at the forefront of this month's election, and with so much at stake, we set out to ensure that our members were engaged like never before. In August, we hosted our first ever town hall meeting to give our members and supporters an opportunity to get to know one of their Congressional candidates. In addition, after receiving a record-setting number of petitions from our members, we trekked up to Capitol Hill to deliver them by hand to each Member of the U.S. Congress. Combined, these two efforts energized our members and let those in Congress know how seniors stand on some of the most important issues.
Some of our most active members gathered in North Carolina’s eleventh district for TSCL's first town hall meeting, and thanks to them, it was a great success. After a short speech by Candidate Mark Meadows, those in attendance had the chance to ask him their most pressing questions, like "How should we address Social Security’s funding shortfall?" and "What do you feel are Medicare's largest problem areas?" The lively debate at the meeting demonstrated just how active, informed, and concerned TSCL's members are. After nearly two hours of discussion, those in attendance left as more educated voters.
In the past year, TSCL boxed up 1.5 million petitions signed by members and supporters and delivered them by hand to each office in the U.S. Congress. The petitions that poured into offices urged each Representative and Senator to support key bills like the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act, the Social Security Fairness Act, and the Notch Fairness Act, each of which would go a long way in protecting the earned benefits of seniors. We know from experience that public opinion can sway votes in Congress, especially in the months leading up to a critical election. The stacks of petitions were met with surprise and gratitude from many, and they certainly sent a strong message to those serving in office.
TSCL strongly believes that grassroots lobbying is the most effective way for the public to communicate with elected Members of Congress. That's why we focused our energy this fall on introducing our members and supporters to candidates like Mark Meadows, and sending their petitions up to Capitol Hill. To learn more about TSCL's grassroots efforts or to sign a petition online, visit us at SeniorsLeague.org. Or, if you are interested in helping us organize a town hall meeting in your district, contact our office at 800-333-8725.