Contact B'nai B'rith

1120 20th Street NW, Suite 300N Washington, D.C. 20036

info@bnaibrith.org

202-857-6600

Senior Advocacy

Center for Senior Services: Advocacy

Working with our members and supporters throughout the United States, our Senior Advocacy Initiative advances B’nai B’rith’s agenda on a range of seniors’ issues—including affordable housing, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to policy makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country.

We work directly with seniors through forums and programs on issues such as aging in place, elder fraud and technology. 

We also advise the B’nai B’rith Senior Housing Network on relevant legislation, as well as how it can contact elected leaders quickly and easily.

U.S. Rep. Blunt Rochester Visits Seniors at B’nai B’rith Affordable Housing Building in Delaware

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DEL) visited the Asher Rubin B’nai B’rith House in Claymont, Delaware, where she toured the premises and spoke with residents. The visit gave the congresswoman the opportunity to observe how vital affordable housing programs are for seniors.

Blunt Rochester said, “One of my top priorities since coming to Congress has been ensuring that everyone in our state and nation has a safe and affordable place to call their home. One of the best ways we know we can accomplish that goal is by increasing our stock of affordable housing throughout our communities. That’s why organizations like B’nai B’rith are so important and why facilities such as the Asher Rubin B’nai B’rith House in Claymont play such a critical role in creating dignified housing for Delawareans. I want to thank B’nai B’rith for their commitment to allowing seniors in Delaware to age with dignity and I’ll continue my work in Congress to support affordable housing policy.”

—U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DEL)

Click here to read more about the visit.

B'nai B'rith Attends White House Event Marking Older Americans Month

Legislative Director for Aging Policy Evan Carmen of B’nai B’rith International’s Center for Senior Services (CSS) attended an event at the White House today honoring Older Americans Month.

 The Biden-Harris administration reaffirmed its support for seniors by outlining policies the White House believes will strengthen health care and retirement security.

“I want to thank the White House for hosting an event honoring Older Americans Month,” Carmen said. “Advocacy for seniors is a priority at CSS. We appreciate the administration highlighting the importance of ensuring that seniors can age with dignity.” 

 White House administration official speakers included Neera Tanden, assistant to the president and domestic policy advisor; John Laadt, senior advisor, White House Office of Public Engagement; Assistant Secretary Lisa Gomez, U.S. Department of Labor; Dora Hughes, M.D., M.P.H., acting chief medical officer and acting director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Stephen Benjamin, assistant to the president, senior advisor to the president and director of public engagement; Rhea Fernandes, special assistant to the president for gender policy; and Tom Perez, assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs.

Few contemporary issues are more critical than the aging of the population, and we applaud the White House for shining a spotlight on senior issues. Recognizing that senior citizens remain valued members of our community, B’nai B’rith plays a leading role in providing senior housing and advocating for the issues that affect older adults. We have a long-standing relationship with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to sponsor senior housing across the country. Additionally, we frequently advocate on Capitol Hill on a range of issues—including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, internet access, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and any federal programs that affect the day-to-day lives of older adults living in the U.S.

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Congressional Visits to CSS Housing Locations

Rep. Ted Deutch Visits B’nai B’rith Deerfield Beach Apartments Deutch said, “With approximately 10,000 Americans reaching retirement age each day and increases in life expectancy, the population of older Americans will double between 2012 and 2050. Congress must continue strong support for programs like Section 202 to ensure that high housing costs do not jeopardize a safe and secure retirement for hundreds of thousands of seniors. It was a pleasure to meet with the residents, board members, and staff of B’nai B’rith to see how federal investments in affordable housing help maintain quality of life and independence for South Florida seniors. Every American deserves to retire with dignity. Organizations like B’nai B’rith make that possible.”

– U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)

B’nai B’rith international Center for Senior Services (CSS) advocates on a variety of issues affecting the lives of older adults that includes: Section 202 and other affordable housing for seniors, health care reform, income security, nutrition and etc.

Anyone can be an advocate. Below you will find step by step instructions teaching you the basics of advocacy and how you can get started today!

All it takes to get started is for you and your friends to decide to speak up and be heard. Getting your legislator’s attention is not as difficult as it may seem. Try it!  You can do something from your home, in your town or in the nation’s capitol.

February through March is when the federal budget is written. Consequently, it is a great time to write and call your members of Congress about funding for affordable housing for seniors.  

Writing Your Legislator

Legislators are extremely interested in reading correspondence from constituents. Remember: They should be responsive to you! You can write to them at the Capitol or in their hometown office. Part of their job is to respond to you.

Tips for Writing on Affordable Housing:
1. State your name and where you live. Your name and address should also be on the top of the letter.
2. Give a little bit of information about how long you have lived in your building.
3. State why you are writing.
4. Give examples of why you have benefited from living in affordable housing and the role it plays in your life.
5. Please find the sample correspondence below (PDF)

Calling Your Legislator

Legislators are extremely interested hearing from constituents. Remember: They should be responsive to you! You can call them at the Capitol or in their hometown office. Part of their job is to listen and respond to you. When you call, a staff assistant will answer the phone, but your message will go to the legislator.

Tips for Calling Your Legislator:
Write down what you want to say. In case you get nervous or lose your thought, having notes written down will help you to stay on target and direct the flow of the conversation.

1. Introduce yourself and state your name and where you live.
​2. Tell them the issue you are calling about and why the issue is important to you.
3. Be specific as to what you are asking for.
4. Thank the person for taking your call.
5. Please see the sample dialogue for a call (PDF).

Meeting With Your Legislator

Legislators enjoy visiting B’nai B’rith affordable housing properties. These visits provide a great opportunity for lawmakers to visit a building in partnership with the federal government and learn more about seniors issues. After the tour, your legislator can meet with residents in a town hall style format and discuss issue that impact seniors such as affordable housing, health care, income security, nutrition and etc.

Tips for Scheduling a Visit With Your Legislator:
1. Try and schedule your meeting when Congress is not in session. If you are not sure, you can call and ask.
2. Again, write out what you want to say so that you can stay focused. Try to separate the myths from the facts.
3. Do your research: know all about your legislators (committees, recent votes and etc.) so that you will know what to expect.
4. B’nai B’rith sponsored buildings should reach out to us for assistance. We have hosted lawmakers at our sponsored buildings numerous times, and we can use our expertise to ensure the visit goes smoothly and your issues get discussed. Email us at seniorservices@bnaibrith.org.

Tips for Meeting with your Legislator:
1. Know the status of the issue you are concerned about. Is there any major legislation pending that could impact affordable housing, health care, income security, nutrition issues and etc. The CSS team is always monitoring pending legislation to keep you updated on all issues.
2. State your concerns and explain how this impacts you. Tell them about your personal experiences…it works! They need to know how a bill will hurt or help you in everyday life. Tell a story with real emotion to show how much the issue really means to you.
3. Say exactly what you want the legislator to do, support a bill, oppose a bill or improve a bill to make it better.
4. Thank the legislator for their time and offer a firm handshake.

Tips to Remember!
1. Be in control. Don’t be intimidated. Politely explain what you want and don’t get sidetracked.
2. Be specific about what you want to see happen.
3. Get a firm answer.
4. Make it clear that you will monitor the legislator’s actions.

How To Find Your Legislator:
1. Senate https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact
2. House of Representatives https://www.house.gov/ (top right corner)