By Gene Roza
CARA (California Alliance for Retired Americans): Who are we? We are not the AARP, although many of us belong to the AARP. CARA is a statewide organization that unites retired workers and community groups to win social and economic justice, full civil rights and a better, more secure future for ourselves, our families, our neighbors and future generations. CARA is the official affiliate of the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA). CARA represents more than 950,000 members, which include individuals and more than 250 affiliate organizations in California.
Over the past decade (we are a little more than 10 years new), CARA has helped to create the Campaign for a Healthy California to win Improved Healthcare for All. We helped celebrate Medicare’s 49th birthday (July 30) throughout the state including at the Federal Courthouse in Fresno noting that Medicare has provided peace of mind for America’s elderly and disabled for almost 50 years. Yet, there are those who wish to cut Medicare and turn it into a voucher system so a few can profit. CARA firmly believes in a “Medicare for All” system where the healthcare of every American is primary to the profits of the medical/insurance industry.
CARA is coming to the Central Valley on Oct. 8 for its regional convention. In odd years, we hold a statewide convention (Sacramento 2013) and in even-numbered years we hold three regional conventions, this year in Fresno, Buena Park and Richmond. The Fresno event encompasses from Bakersfield to Stockton and beyond; all are invited. This year’s theme: Protecting Retirement Security. Under that umbrella is health, income, food, housing and pedestrian security. We will talk about all of the things we need to retire with dignity and independence including elder abuse and security from scams.
The convention will include a special presentation by Fresno’s own Adam Scow, California organizer for Food & Water Watch, speaking about the campaign to ban fracking in California. Consumer Watchdog will be here to speak on the “Yes on Prop 45 Campaign.” Congressional candidates on the November ballot from Districts 4, 10, 16, 21 and 22 have been invited to participate at the Fresno CARA convention, and we expect some to be there to provide information and answer questions from our delegates, attendees and the press.
There will be entertainment, discussion on key issues on the November ballot and afternoon roundtables on priorities that are important to Central Valley and the state. Lunch is included plus a heck of lot information provided for distribution to others. Transportation is being coordinated from various locations; please contact the CARA office directly for that information.
The Central Valley convention will be held at the VFW Hall 8900 (3585 N. Blythe Ave., Fresno). Doors open at 9 a.m. for registration; bring your unused or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal at the pharmacists’ exhibit table. This is an opportunity to welcome delegates and attendees to Fresno from throughout the greater Central Valley and beyond. Contact CARA by mail at 600 Grand Ave. #410, Oakland, CA 94610 or by phone at 510-663-4086. Register and receive more information online at www.Californiaalliance.org.
Questions will be addressed locally by current CARA Vice President Gene Roza at 559-905-3521 (voice or text) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meetings are open, and everyone is welcome. Register today for this convention.
Gene Roza is the vice president of CARA. Contact him at 559-905-3521 or email@example.com.