Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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At His Senior Resources Fair in Antioch, Congressman Garamendi Celebrates 75th Birthday of Social Security and More Recent Accomplishments for Seniors

August 12, 2010
Press Release

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Congressman Garamendi and others cut Social Security’s
75th Birthday Cake at Garamendi’s Senior Resources Fair.

ANTIOCH, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today joined more than 30 government and non-profit service providers, local officials, and almost 100 seniors at a Senior Resources Fair in Antioch hosted by the Congressman. Following the conclusion of Garamendi’s opening remarks, Garamendi joined local officials and advocates for seniors in cutting a birthday cake for Social Security.

"75 years ago, Congress established Social Security, the bedrock institution protecting Americans as we age," Congressman Garamendi said. "Since then, it’s weathered 13 recessions, multiple predictions of doomsday, and repeated attempts to actualize that doomsday through privatization. Yet here we stand today, surrounded by dozens of seniors able to live their golden years more comfortably because their Social Security checks are not going away."

"This Congress has built on the legacy of Social Security. Because of laws passed this year, we’re closing the prescription drug 'donut hole', offering free preventative care in Medicare, bolstering senior nutrition programs, and creating new employment opportunities for seniors," Garamendi added. "This Senior Resources Fair is a continuation of our commitment to you. I hope you take advantage of the many services available to you today."

Following opening remarks by Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover, Antioch Vice Mayor Mary Rocha, Antioch City Councilmember Martha Parsons, and Congressman Garamendi, participants broke out into six different panel sessions, including "Being Brain Fit," "Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud," "Social Networking for Seniors," "Protecting your Largest Asset—Your Home: What to Know Before Hiring a Contractor," "Health Care Reform and Medicare Update: Fact vs. Fiction," and "Senior Driving Safety."

Representatives from more than 30 resource providers attended today’s fair, including AAA of Northern California, AARP, Alzheimer's Association, An Elderly Wish Foundation, Antioch Senior Center, California Contractors State License Board, City of Antioch Housing Programs, Community Violence Solutions, Contra Costa County - Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), Contra Costa County Area Agency on Aging, Contra Costa Senior Legal Services, Contra Costa County Senior Nutrition Program, Contra Costa County Veterans Service Office,  Contra Costa Health Plan, Department of Motor Vehicles, East Bay WORKS Senior Employment Program, East County Senior Coalition, Independent Living Resources, Internal Revenue Service, John Muir Senior Services, Kaiser Permanente, Meals on Wheels by Senior Outreach Services, NARFE Delta Chapter 1718. Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, SCAN Health Plan, Senior Peer Counseling, Social Security Administration, Stroke Support Group of Contra Costa County, Tri Delta Transit, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Democrats in the 111th Congress have fought for improving the lives of our seniors. A sample of accomplishments is below.

The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

  • Created jobs for seniors by investing $120 million in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides part-time jobs in community service for seniors struggling to find employment;
  • Lowered daily expenses for seniors by providing funds to lower the cost of food, energy and housing for America’s seniors, including:
    • $100 million for critical senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels and meals served at senior centers; and
    • $5 billion to help hundreds of thousands of seniors weatherize their homes and reduce their heating bills by an average of 32 percent;
  • Ensured needed funding for long term care by increasing the federal financial commitment for Medicaid, which is the key program helping pay for long-term care for low-income seniors and seniors who have exhausted their retirement savings; and
  • Put cash in the pockets of Social Security recipients by providing an automatic $250 payment to every adult Social Security recipient.

The Credit CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act):

  • Provided tough new protections for consumers, such as banning unfair rate increases and forbidding the abusive fees and penalties that credit card companies have unfairly charged America’s seniors for years; and
  • Cracked down on financial fraud by providing new tools to protect seniors from the kinds of mortgage scams and corporate fraud that contributed to the financial crisis, and that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes or face foreclosure.

The Affordable Care Act:

  • Made Medicare stronger by extending the program’s solvency without cutting guaranteed benefits. It lowers the costs of prescription drugs for seniors by beginning to close the Medicare Part D donut hole (seniors have already started receiving $250 rebate checks to help with their drug costs), eliminates cost-sharing for preventive care, strengthens access to doctors, and improves care coordination.