Visalia Seniors Fired Up Over California Budget

For years, seniors in Tulare County have been among the hardest hit by state budget cuts. On Tuesday in Visalia, we fought back.

Dozens of local seniors rallied in front of Assemblywoman Connie Conway’s office to put a face on the the deep cuts that have affected the community, and demanding respect for seniors and “no more cuts” to the vital services that help seniors stay healthy and independent.

Visalia City Councilmember Mike Lane joined the seniors rally, praising their action and called for a fair budget that respects California seniors and their contributions to the state.

Nearly nine million California seniors will feel the impact every day, with things like higher healthcare costs and lower SSI/SSP benefits. In the last two decades alone, these benefits have lost one-third of their purchasing power.

Making matters worse, Assemblywoman Conway recently dismissed the impact deep state budget cuts have on real families in Tulare County in a recent Los Angeles Times report. But consider this: one in four residents in the county already lives in poverty, and the Times pointed to Tulare County as among the hardest hit by cuts to services that help families get back on their feet and help poor seniors meet their healthcare needs.

Standing up for California means speaking up for the many elderly in our community who are invisible because budget cuts have taken away their independence. I want Asm. Conway to know that when support services like transportation and adult day health are gone, so is the hope of our seniors. I’m here to ask our leaders to respect our seniors by stopping more cuts that will push them into hunger, poor health, and despair.