AARP Eye Center
In my last message, I highlighted the impact of our incredible volunteers, and just a few weeks ago, for the first time since the pandemic, AARP Florida staff welcomed 30+ passionate and dedicated advocacy volunteers and staff back to our state capitol. Some of them even drove more than six hours to join us! It was a lively and informative couple of days of training and discussion of AARP Florida’s 2023 legislative focus areas, such as enhancing the quality and oversight of Florida’s long-term care system, increasing funding for home and community-based services, and housing options for older Floridians.
The real highlight of the week was taking the volunteers on a tour of the State Capitol, sitting in on a special session of the Senate, meeting and speaking to various public officials, including Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-28, Naples), Senators Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-40, Doral), Victor Torres (D-25, Kissimmee), Lori Berman (D-26, Boynton Beach), Shevrin Jones (D-34, Miami Gardens) and Representatives Anna V. Eskamani (D-42, Orlando) and Tom Leek (R-28, Daytona Beach). Additionally, several law students from The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic of Florida State University joined us. They are well on their way to supporting older adults in the Sunshine State.
As volunteer advocates, these active older adults represent AARP Florida by communicating with local, state, and federal elected officials and their staff to discuss AARP positions on specific policies and legislation. They attend town halls or public events where elected representatives are present; build relationships with legislative staff and help elected officials understand how their lawmaking directly affects older Floridians.
Their voices are truly the key to our success in collaborating with legislative members and committee staff. If you would like to join us in making a difference for Floridians 50+, become an advocacy volunteer by applying HERE.
Jeff Johnson, 54, is a proud lifelong Floridian. He was raised in Jacksonville, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wake Forest University, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Jeff joined AARP Florida in 2000 after working in public relations, marketing, and sales, most recently with the Tampa Bay (then) Devil Rays and has been AARP Florida State Director since 2010. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife April and daughter Betsy. Johnson is widely known on social media in Florida policy, political and leadership circles by his Twitter handle @Name_U_Know .