The Milwaukee County Department on Aging launched its annual training program recently by hosting residents over 60 from districts around the county to discuss advocacy, policy and issues of importance to seniors.

The 2019 Senior Statesman program offers mature members of the public exposure to the Milwaukee County’s decision making process. Through the program, participants and legislators discuss issues of importance to senior residents, and how best to advocate and advise policy-makers on those matters.

“As we kick off the annual Senior Statesman training program, we are reminded of the commitment the men and women of this generation have made to build new opportunities for themselves and for our future generations,” said Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive.

Through the program, seniors will meet with local elected officials including: the County Executive, the County Board Chairman, the Milwaukee County Clerk and the Executive Director of the Election Commission. Seniors will also attend a Milwaukee County board meeting, and tour the Transit Center and discuss the future of transit in Milwaukee County.

“Engaged citizens are the backbone of our democracy, and it’s a privilege to work with the Senior Statesman Program,” said Theodore Lipscomb, Chairman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. “When citizens effectively advocate for their issues and their interests and connect with their elected officials it helps to ensure that government is responsive to the people.”

The Senior Statesman program is free and open to all residents of Milwaukee county age 60 and over. The 25 program participants for year are senior members of local groups and organizations, and retired residents who are interested in advising current leaders in unofficial capacities. Participants were self-nominated, and selected by the Milwaukee County Department of Aging.

At the end of the program, the Milwaukee County Department on Aging will facilitate continued conversations with federal, state and local representatives in the coming months. Senior Statesman participants are asked to continue playing a part in the community upon graduating from the program.

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Lee Matz