— We are delighted to announce that we have hired Jina Ragland as Associate State Director for Advocacy and Outreach with AARP Nebraska. Jina was the Vice President of Advocacy and Regulation with the Nebraska Medical Association for the past 9 years. While there she was involved in the management and oversight of the physician specialty society organizations and was promoted to direct and implement the NMA’s legislative agenda; advocating on behalf of over 3,000 physicians in the state, working closely …

— New Hampshire is one of the oldest states in the country and there’s a lot of work to do to serve AARP members, their families, and the general public.  That’s why AARP New Hampshire is recruiting volunteer activists from across the state to work on a variety of legislative issues – throughout 2018 and beyond – and become a member of our Capital City Task Force. The Capital City Task Force is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers interested …

— By Beth Levine Nine years ago, Malinda Polite, of Stamford, attended an AARP Connecticut event and signed up immediately to be a volunteer. “I have a passion for helping other people,” said Polite, 69, an intellectual property assistant at a legal firm. “It helps me to age gracefully because it gives me an opportunity to meet diverse people and expand my awareness.” She volunteers for AARP events, outreach and advocacy efforts. Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut state director, is grateful. “We …

— When state lawmakers return to Topeka in January for the 2018 legislative session, AARP Kansas staff and volunteers will be on hand to advocate for issues important to Kansans 50 and older. The AARP state office’s legislative agenda will focus on long-term care, utilities and elder abuse. Financial abuse, for example, costs older Americans more than $2.9 billion per year. AARP Kansas is recruiting volunteers to get involved in these issues. Advocacy volunteers will contact state legislators and members of …

— AARP Montana helped score a major victory for consumers in the 2017 legislative session. A new state law repeals a rule that allowed NorthWestern Energy to pass electricity supply costs on to consumers, with no limits on such things as consulting fees and travel expenses. The change gives the Montana Public Service Commission the authority to control these costs. The AARP state office worked throughout the session to drive grassroots messages from advocacy volunteers to elected officials, urging them to …

— By Lisa Bertagnoli During the past year, Sami Al Ahmadi has improved his Spanish, polished his people skills, attended engaging events and met interesting people—all as an AARP Illinois volunteer. Al Ahmadi, 21, from Hickory Hills, felt the need to volunteer earlier this year, and a Google search led him to AARP. After a brief orientation, he started devoting five to 10 hours a month to volunteer efforts in Chicago, including working the AARP table at Movies for Grownups and …

— The North Dakota Legislative Assembly only meets every other year. However, during the “interim,” legislative committees will study a wide array of important issues. AARP will be closely watching issues related to health care access and affordability, home- and community-based services, retirement security, property taxes, and other issues important to 50+ North Dakotans. To keep our members current on these interim studies, AARP North Dakota is hosting a monthly webinar/conference call. During these calls, expect to hear what the interim …

— Cheyenne’s Julie Tucker was first bit by the advocacy bug when she was elected vice president of her unit in Laramie County School District 1. Her time in that role lasted just six months until a resignation led her to take over the presidency of the unit. A member of the Wyoming Education Association Board of Directors, she has spent 25 years advocating for educators. This year Tucker became a strong member of the AARP advocacy team as she updated the …

— Jeremy Barewin joined AARP Iowa as associate state director of communications and outreach in late September. A Drake University graduate, Barewin brings more than 15 years of experience in communications and marketing to AARP Iowa, having spent the last decade working for healthcare organizations in the Chicago area. “Jeremy is a welcome addition to the AARP Iowa professional staff,” said Kent Sovern, AARP Iowa State Director. “He is a much respected and highly skilled communications professional with unique expertise in …

— By Ann Levin Twice in her life, Nicole Cerullo has taken unpaid family leave. The first time, 11 years ago, she took three months off to care for her then 2-year-old seriously ill daughter; the second time, for her dying father. So Cerullo, 44, an elementary school teacher in Commack on Long Island, couldn’t be more pleased that as of Jan. 1, New York will join four other states in offering workers job-protected paid family leave. “It’s a huge relief …