Issue: Over 25 million seniors in America lack basic economic security, with many unable to keep up with rising costs of living and increasing health care costs. The richest country in the world consistently fails to guarantee basic nutrition, shelter, and healthcare to senior citizens who have nowhere to turn for services.
In a case that was emblematic of a system that puts profits over people, in February 100-year-old Iris Canada was evicted from the Western Addition apartment where she had lived since the 1940s. Not long after, she passed away. The epicenter of a nationwide eviction epidemic, San Francisco has seen countless cases of greedy landlords who have no qualms throwing the book at longtime elderly residents to evict them and charge more for their unit.
Proposal: Our seniors have contributed immeasurably to society and deserve the same dignity and rights as all citizens. It’s time for Congress to reverse the cuts to senior programs they made in 2011, and eliminate waiting lists across the country by fully funding the community services supported by the Older Americans Act. Additionally, Congress needs to update the Older Americans Act to include the provision that no senior who has lived in their home or apartment for at least a decade and consistently pays their rent can legally be evicted under any circumstances.
The dignity of every senior citizen is of the utmost importance, and the inhumane conditions we subject many seniors to today reflect poorly on the state of our nation. We need to dedicate sufficient funding to ensuring that adult care is accessible for those who need it. We also need to look forward at how we can improve quality of life for older Americans, by increasing research grants for new treatments for Alzheimer's, Dementia, and other degenerative diseases.