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August 12, 2003 12:15 PM

Senior Bill of Rights

We're all familiar with the "Bill of Rights", the first ten amendments to the constitution. Now AARP has developed a bill of rights just for Senior Citizens. AARP State Director Rick Weiland says, "It's really about making your voices heard" With more than 80 thousand members in South Dakota alone, AARP has a strong and loud voice. Weiland says, "We really can make a difference especially if we can speak with one voice." The group is using strength in numbers approach, to rally behind a Senior Bill of Rights. On the list, affordable health care including prescription drugs, a safe and secure retirement income and quality long-term care that's accessible and affordable for older South Dakotans. AARP Member Sylvia Henkin says, "These are genuine concerns, and from the grass route level we have a powerful voice." The Rallies are really just a call to action, seniors will sign a pledge of support for the bill or rights which will be passed on to lawmakers as a show of force behind the issues." Weiland says, "We want to deliver thousands of post cards with signatures saying we need help. We need your help to make sure we address issues affordable health care, prescription drugs, social security and long term care services." Members hope it's a message that can't be ignored. Member Elaine Hicks says, "The more people that read this and get in involved the better it is for all of us." Henkin says, "To get a powerful voice to congress so they know where we stand, how we stand and how strong we are." Rallies will be held at the Aberdeen Ramkota Inn August 13th, and at Mount Rushmore August 15th. Contact the AARP at 362-3043 for more information or to sign up.

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