By Laura Newland, Director, Laura Newland, Director, DC Department of Aging and Community Living
The DC Commission on Aging recently held their annual retreat where they planned for the upcoming year. The Commission on Aging is a 15-member citizens advisory group appointed by the Mayor “to advise the Mayor, the DC Council, the DC Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL), and the public concerning the views and needs of the aged in the District of Columbia” (DC Law § 7-504.01). Commissioners represent all eight wards of the city and serve as your voice in the community, advising DC government on aging issues and concerns.
In addition to meeting monthly, your commissioners are out in the community, working with residents, listening to concerns, and bringing information back to help us as we work to make DC a city where you want to be—at every age. They also work with mini-commissions in each ward. Mini-commissions are made up of residents and advocates who serve as the eyes and ears in your community and advise the Commission on Aging on senior concerns in your neighborhood.
Since starting in my role, I’ve looked to the Commission on Aging for guidance on how DACL can truly represent the needs of the community. They’ve counseled me on a range of issues—from health and wellness, elder abuse and fraud protection, and to what the agency’s relationship should be to the community. I’m so grateful for their guidance and support. They helped me navigate my transition as a new director, and today, they continue to advise me on the role of DACL as a department and how we can work together to best serve the community.
They also advise the Mayor and Council and help to ensure that when the big decisions are made for the city, the concerns and the needs of our older Washingtonians are included.
I encourage all of you to get to know the Commissioners representing your Ward. DACL is committed to listening to the community — whether we’re engaging with you in your neighborhood, chatting with you on the phone, or working with our Commissioners — we are constantly looking for more opportunities and better ways to meet you wherever you’re at.
To apply to become a member, visit the Mayor’s Office of Talents and Appointments website http://motaboards.theresumator.com/apply/Ut1kD1/Commission-On-Aging.