The Advisory Council serves as the principal advocacy body for the elderly by participating in public and media discussions of relevant issues. Mandated by the Older Americans Act, it is a critical link between the Area Agency on Aging and the senior community of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. The Advisory Council is responsible for advising the AAA on senior issues and Older Americans Act programs, providing the following key advocacy roles:
- Serve as the “eyes and ears” of local seniors and their caregivers
- Review and comment on policies, programs, and actions that affect seniors
- Communicate with local, state and federallyelected officials, make community presentations, and provide testimony at public hearings
The governance of the Advisory Council includes an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee includes the elected officers (Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary), four other elected persons and the Immediate Past Chair.
The Advisory Council is supported by the Area Agency on Aging through Older Americans Act funds.
The Advisory Council is comprised of thirty (30) persons who are primarily 60 years or older. Its structure consists of an Executive Committee and task forces (Health, Nutrition and Legislation/Advocacy) and ad hoc committees. Criteria for membership include at least one the following:
- Age 60 or over
- Provider of services to older adults
- Need for individual candidate’s specific talents
- Low income, disabled or ethnic minority persons
- Veteran Health Care representative
Advisory Council members have the opportunity to review service provision; provide community education on senior issues; conduct forums and workshops; and evaluate and advocate for senior concerns and issues on local, state, and national levels.
Joining the Advisory Council
The Advisory Council has written Guidelines which present specific roles and responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to the following:
✓ Attend monthly Advisory Council meetings. Meetings are held the second Friday of each month beginning at 9:30 a.m. in a public location in Santa Maria.
✓ Serve on at least one task force. Council members may also participate in special task forces and joint committees with the Board of Directors.
✓ Draft an Area Plan to outline the AAA priorities and goals.
✓ Be called upon to represent the Agency at public forums and local government meetings.
Persons interested in joining the Advisory Council can contact the Area Agency on Aging (CLICK HERE) for more information and to recieve a nomination form.