September 6, 2018
State and Local Organizations #StandWithSeniors and Urge Gubernatorial Candidates to Participate in Statewide Televised Debate
(SACRAMENTO) – As a fiscal and humanitarian crisis among California’s senior population looms, prominent stakeholders have called on the state’s gubernatorial candidates—businessman John H. Cox and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom—to participate in a debate focused on the issues that impact all Californians. The statewide, televised debate slated for the fall is co-hosted by We Stand With Seniors… Will You? and KGTV ABC10 (San Diego), in partnership with the California Broadcasters Association and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
More than 20 stakeholders and organizations have sent letters urging participation of one or both of the candidates, including the Aging Services Collaborative of Santa Clara, Alzheimer’s Association, California Association of Area Agencies on Aging, California Commission on Aging, California Health Advocates, California Senior Legislature, Choice in Aging, Congress of California Seniors, Justice in Aging, Kern County LTSS Coalition, LeadingAge California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Orange County Aging Services Collaborative, Santa Barbara County Adult & Aging Network, Senior Coalition of Stanislaus County, Serving Seniors, The Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties and Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, with many others in the works.
“Despite California’s rapidly growing aging population—by 2030 nearly one-fifth of the state’s population will be over the age of 65—and the fact that older adults make up more than half of likely voters, seniors have historically, and surprisingly, taken a back seat in state policy discussions and platforms,” said Shelley Lyford, president and chief executive of West Health. “With the support of such prominent organizations, we are that much closer to a time where all Californians are able to age safely and with dignity.”
The SCAN Foundation and West Health, senior-focused nonprofits, founded We Stand With Seniors in early 2018 to draw attention to and seek solutions for the current and future challenges facing California older adults, families and caregivers.
“This debate will bring California’s critical issues to the forefront, allowing voters the opportunity to hear the candidates’ ideas and proposed solutions,” said Bruce Chernof, MD, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “The fact that organizations within the aging, healthcare and business industries have all come together to #StandWithSeniors proves this issue transcends party lines and demographics. It’s time for the candidates to pay attention.”
Recent statewide surveys show that likely voters of all ages and backgrounds see and understand the widespread implications of the state’s senior crisis—nearly 84 percent of California voters saying they are more likely to support a candidate for governor who has a vision and long-term master plan to address the state’s increasing need for senior services.
Republican candidate John Cox recently agreed to participate in the debate and organizers await Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s acceptance as well.
About We Stand With Seniors
West Health and The SCAN Foundation’s We Stand With Seniors… Will You? nonpartisan, public awareness and education campaign focuses on the specific challenges seniors and their families face in accessing high-quality, affordable healthcare, dental care and supportive services and the cost to the state if these challenges are not addressed. Keep up with #StandWithSeniors by visiting www.WeStandWithSeniors.org and following on Facebook @WeStandWithSeniors and Twitter @WeStandWSeniors.