The Silicon Valley Voice

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Vice Mayor, Sunnyvale Youth Join Forces to Protect and Ensure Funding For At Risk Seniors During COVID-19 Lockdown

In the latest on the battle to fight COVID-19, Youth Public Policy Institute (YPPI), with the mentorship of Sunnyvale Vice Mayor Nancy Smith, have ensured a closer look at Statewide Funding for Senior Care Facilities. During a time where isolation and loneliness are characterized as the silent killers, it has been said that it is crucial to ensure our most-at risk population can be aided with state programs.

YPPI met with a member of the Governor’s California Commission on Aging, which, according to the organization, was a huge success to continue the progress for securing funds for Senior Care Facilities. The youth committee hopes that the state will rethink their proposal to eliminate funding for Community-Based Adult Services in next year’s budget.

 

The COVID-19 Senior Nightmare

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“COVID-19 has been a nightmare for seniors,” said Smith. “Sunnyvale young people are looking beyond how the pandemic affects only them to how it affects at-risk seniors.”

Benjamin Gicqueau, a member of YPPI, recently wrote a letter to State legislators and California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking against cuts to senior adult day care programs.

“Members of the Governor’s Master Plan on Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee have praised the letter for helping reinvigorate their efforts after a concerning news for seniors in the proposed budget,” said Smith. “I hope that Benjamin’s letter persuades state leaders to fund programs vulnerable seniors need.”

On mentoring YPPI and as a founder of Sunnyvale’s YPPI, Smith said, “The many talented young people of Sunnyvale YPPI amaze me with how much impact they have in the lives of both adults and students. These dedicated students enrich our community in countless ways.

“With my coaching, Benjamin Gicqueau, a student at Harker School, has been working with a group of local students to start Bay Area Senior Advocates to speak up for isolated seniors,” continued Smith.

“Being able to take part in changing state policy is empowering,” said the YPPI youth leadership board in a statement on the progress. “In times like these, where there is much uncertainty, we are encouraged by the state’s willingness to listen and learn about how their policy can change the state for the better. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to help Seniors”

In attendance at the meeting were Smith; the YPPI executive youth leadership group; Jan Arbuckle, Grass Valley City Council Member and member of the Governor’s Master Plan on Aging Stakeholder Advisory Group; and the To Life Senior Help Group.

It is an honor for the YPPI to be a participant in state policy initiatives in an effort to make necessary changes to support our senior community, said the organization. Arbucke arranged for Gicqueau to continue work with other members of the Governor’s Advisory group.

“It’s powerful for legislators to hear from students who care about seniors, not just about their own interests,” said Arbucke.

“YPPI leadership invites the community to take part in the discussion by reaching out to Sunnyvale Vice-Mayor Nancy Smith to continue the discussion,” said the organization.

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