About Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues
KCASI is a 501(c)3 organization whose purpose is to advocate as a non-partisan group for the improvement of conditions affecting the lives of older adults and future generations.
History & Background
Formed on August 21, 2001 under the umbrella of the Area Agency on Aging IIIA (AAA) and Kalamazoo County Government, Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues (KCASI) operated out of the Area Agency on Aging office and with support from AAA staff until 2017. Starting in January 2018, KCASI became a stand alone nonprofit, all volunteer organization.
KCASI has educated and advocated for issues pertinent to Kalamazoo County seniors. Historically, KCASI has created a platform of stands on issues, not specific pieces of legislation. This allows for immediate action when legislation on a particular issue comes up.
KCASI incorporated and gained nonprofit status in 2007.
A community that assesses and considers the impact of its decisions on seniors.
To educate and advocate as a non-partisan group on issues affecting the lives of older adults and future generations.
Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues is committed to:
Judy Sivak, President
Laurel Space, President-Elect
Danna Downing, Secretary
Karl Westra, Treasurer
Joyce Stout, Past President
Frank Cody, Chair, Legislative Committee
Janet Jones, Co-Chair, Legislative Committee
Jan Livesay, Member at Large
2020 Advocacy Platform
Issues We’re Following
- Medicare – The 2019 Medicare Trustee’s report states that Part A is projected to be depleted by 2026. Since Medicare is financed by payroll taxes (36%), beneficiary premiums (15%) and general revenues (43%), it is linked to the deficit and is at risk of benefit reductions and/or increased beneficiary costs.
- Social Security – Projections put the social security program bankrupt by 2037, however, reasonable changes made early will put the program on sustainable footing without benefit reductions.
- Direct Care Professionals –Support policies that improve the recruitment/retention of direct care professionals through increased pay, training, and recognition in order to address the crisis of not enough workers to help elders and people with disabilities.
- Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse Prevention – Support legislation to increase penalties for elder/vulnerable adult abuse along with policies that provide better tools for professionals and the public to identify abuse and prosecute perpetrators, especially regarding financial exploitation.
- Kinship Caregiver Support – Grandparents and other relatives who are raising children need coordinated support at the state and local level, which House Bill 5443 and 5444 provide.
- Affordable Housing – Support legislation, policies, and programs that increase the availability of affordable housing for older adults. This includes advocating for a county-wide Home Sharing Program (matching owner with renter who provides an agreed upon financial or chore/household assistance).
Other issues to monitor for possible action include:
- Aging in Community Policies/Funding
- Health & Safety (suicide prevention, healthy living opportunities)
- Increasing Government Transparency