Home / page 21

We Need to Help Our Seniors and Disabled Adults out of Poverty

Cheryl Brown

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown

By Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino)

How many times have we heard the phrase that “our budget is a reflection of our values; or a society is judged by how it treats its elderly, sick and disabled members?”  Well, it’s high time to reflect on our values and to be judged.  Until we restore the cuts to our seniors and disabled, we are guilty of abandoning our ethical principles to care for those who are helpless.

 

On May 7, 2015, AB 474, a bill that would restore recession-era cuts made to the SSI/SSP program to balance the State’s budget, which helps seniors and disabled adults, was the victim of the California Legislature’s latest budget procedure.  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation placed the bill on its suspense file.  This procedure of a bill being placed on an Assembly Budget Subcommittee’s suspense file was unusual to me because normally fiscal bills go to the Appropriations’ suspense file.

By placing AB 474 on a suspense file, relief for seniors and disabled adults being forced to live below the federal poverty level will not happen this year.  I have a problem with that; especially, when the state has continuously taken $1.4 billion from the seniors beginning in 2008.  For me, this is unacceptable, and I will not be silent and allow this injustice to continue.

The Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) helps 1.3 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities in California pay for housing, food, and other basic living expenses.    It is funded with both federal (SSI) and state (SSP) dollars.  SSI/SSP provides modest income support to the most impoverished seniors and disabled adults.  At a minimum, this allows many to avoid total destitution and homelessness.

In 2007, the Legislature took those funds by cutting the state’s SSP portion for both individuals and couples to the minimum levels allowed by federal law to help close budget shortfalls that emerged as a result of the Great Recession.  In addition, we suspended the state cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for SSI/SSP several times prior to 2010-11 and then we totally eliminated it.  You would think there would be some urgency to restore those funds; however, due to these cuts, state spending for SSI/SSP dropped from $3.9 billion in 2007-08 to $2.5 billion and has not changed despite the fact that the recession ended several years ago.  These devastating cuts to seniors and our disabled should be moved to the top of the California Legislature’s agenda; especially with an anticipated surplus in this years’ budget.  We do it for other constituencies but for some reason we have abandon these senior citizens.

AB 474 is the first step to restoring our moral responsibility to care for our most vulnerable citizens and prioritize our seniors and disabled constituents.  I for one cannot in good conscience accept a raise we have just been awarded while our seniors and disabled are left without a solution because it will cost too much.  I will accept the raise and donate it to those in my district who are helping seniors and disabled adults eat nutritiously; because if I don’t, it’ll be used to fund other state priorities.  I will be lobbying my colleagues to do the same in their districts.

Art Institute of California-Inland Empire just wants one thing: AspIre

20140616-105212-39132616RIVERSIDE, CA- Art Institute of California- Inland Empire is launching “Aspire” an alluring fashion show event for a wide range audience on Saturday, June 13. Aspire will be held at the Downtown Riverside Main Street mall. The event starts at 7 p.m., followed by the start of the Fashion Show at 8 p.m. Student Designers will be showcasing their collections that correlate with the “Then, Now and Always” theme.

The Aspire Fashion Show “Then, Now and Always” is an inclusive theme that incorporates a wide range of designs inspired by different fashion eras. Art Institute students have developed their collections using their knowledge of fashion history and blending them with the most current trends. Their collections are not just for show, but to influence future fashion fads. In addition to the fashion show a unique opportunity will be given to local high schools to show off their talents as well. Local high school participants can win scholarship grants provided by The Art Institute.

The Art Institute Inland Empire campus provides an Associates and Bachelor’s degrees Fashion Marketing and Fashion Design Founded in 2006, The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is part of The Art Institutes, a system of over 40 educational institutions located throughout North America, providing students with career- oriented curricula in areas of culinary arts, and various programs in design and media arts.

For more information please contact aspiretheshow@gmail.com, or call (909) 915-2189.

Obituary: Bertha Mae Chatman

Bertha Chatman

Bertha Chatman

Bertha Mae Chatman was born on March 30, 1930 and was called to rest on May 2, 2015. She was preceded in death by her Father George Johnson, her Mother Mittie Lee Jones, her Husbands (Limmie Poole’, Lee Carter, Willie Fort, Lee Nettles and Joshua Chatman), her Sister Mary Lee Luckey and her Son Lonnie Poole’.

Bertha leaves to cherish her memory with her sister Queen Esther Jackson, her Children Freda Samuel, (Robert Samuel), Jacqueline Banks (Dwight Banks Sr.), and Andre’ Poole’, her Daughter-in-law Alesia James-Poole’ (Late Lonnie Poole’), 33 Grandchildren, 61 Great-Grandchildren, a host of Family, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends.

The wake for Mrs. Chatman will be held on Thursday, May 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Colton Funeral Home located at 1275 N. La Cadena Drive in Colton. The Home Going celebration will be held on Friday, May 22 promptly at 10 a.m. at Life Changing Ministries Church located at 5395 North “F” Street in San Bernardino. The Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park located at 21300 Via Verde Drive in Covina.