Local Seniors Brief California Legislature on Nutritional Needs | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:42


By Barbara Cullinane




Castro Valley residents Bess Chin and Carol Sugimura recently joined 61 other California seniors who have been named “California Senior Leaders” to help educate State Assembly members and encourage appropriations for Assembly Bill 1560 – “Food for Health: Aligning Medi-Cal and Nutrition Assistance.”

To draw attention to their numbers and mission, before visiting their district representatives, members of the California Senior Leaders Alliance donned bright blue tee shirts with their title and logo. Steering Committee member Frank Rose provided the slogan on the back of the tee shirts: “I don’t think outside the box...I think outside the warehouse.”

Chin and Sugimura and four other members of their delegation met with staff members of District 18 to deliver their own talking point and answer questions about the legislation and felt the staff members were “receptive, knowledgeable, and supportive.”

The Alliance members had spent six hours the previous day reviewing the legislation, underlying concerns about nutrition and healthy eating opportunities for the poor, and effective ways to convey their concerns.

Baywood Court’s Bess Chin says the experience was “stimulating and educational.

“It is important to know how laws come to be, to get in on the grassroots level, before it gets to the floor for voting,” she said.

Bess had been nominated to be a California Senior Leader in 2005 for her work with Japanese Services of the East Bay.

She has formed a “Heart Warmers” group at Baywood which began knitting shawls for resident friends in the Health Center and has expanded to knit for veterans in the hospital in Livermore and the Family Emergency Shelter in San Leandro.

Carol Sugimura was a 2010 California Senior Leader awardee, nominated for her work with United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County. She is a former member of the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee.

Carol says she was “equally inspired not only with this year’s topic, but also the significance it would make to the population at large.”

“Older people have so much to offer and so much wisdom. I feel that this program really highlights what an older person can offer, and they are doing that all over the state.”



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