We need your help. King County council is considering the renewal of the Human Services Levy. The renewal proposal adds Senior Citizens to the levy as programs for seniors have steadily declined causing services like Adult Day Health and Social work hours and Meals on Wheels to be cut or reduced. Here’s what happened at last week’s full Council meeting and why we need your help:
The council voted to reduce the levy to 10 cents…AND the council voted to approve CM Upthegrove’s amendment that will change the distribution from 1/3 for each focus area to 1/3 PLUS the Veterans get half of seniors dollars as well. So 30% human services, 30% vets, 15% vets who are seniors and 15% seniors who are not vets.
This seems like a generous benefit for veterans but, in fact, many veterans and their families use human services that are not targeted to Veterans. For many reasons veterans are unable or unwilling to seek help targeted specifically for veterans. This funding distribution – if approved – would limit access to services for all veterans and that is not what veterans want. It is not expanding access, it is actually adding barriers. Veterans who are also Senior citizens are 15% of the population as the WWII generation dies away and the Vietnam vets are just beginning to enter Senior Centers. Many of these do not self-identify as a veteran.
We have a chance if we can influence councilmember Lambert Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org to vote to increase the levy back to 12 cents and remove the veterans restriction on senior citizen third of the levy.
That 2 cent difference will save the average homeowner $10 per year, and cost King County $10 Million per year!