Supporting Public Policy Initiatives
That Impact Older Adults

The Tri-County Office on Aging’s (TCOA) mission is to “Promote and Preserve the Independence and dignity of the Aging Population”. We advocate for seniors and persons with disabilities to help assure they can live as independently as possible. We advocate for adequate resources and sound public policy.

Advocacy efforts are made on the national, state and local levels.  TCOA’s membership in the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan (AAAAM) and USAging provide timely information on important issues and bills being discussed and voted on in the National and State Legislatures. Through the AAAAM, TCOA participates in efforts to advocate for seniors and persons with disabilities in the Tri-County area. The Tri-County Aging Consortium Advisory Council and Administrative Board are kept informed of national and state issues and also expresses their concern or support on issues. Because the Board members are all elected officials or their appointees, these individuals are advocates at their respective unit of government in support of older adults.

Older Michiganians Day & Senior Action Week

Each year, sponsored by the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan and Michigan’s sixteen Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Action Week and Older Michiganians Day are designed to focus attention on public policy issues of importance to older adults, their families, and caregivers, including more than 1,300 service providers that directly deliver an array of supports and services to more than 250,000 seniors and persons with disabilities annually.

The Aging Network has prioritized four platform issues for 2024: Support and Strengthen the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Expand Access to MI Choice, Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services, and Support Family and Informal Caregivers.

Join the livestream event on May 1: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/85725469136?pwd=4j8HjaV4UaHGD6CPGbWi1oNdNI0oaz.1

Michigan Senior Advocates Council (MSAC)

The TCOA Advisory Council appoints representatives to serve as delegates to the Michigan Senior Advocates Council (MSAC), an advocacy group through the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan dedicated to maintaining contact with the state’s legislature on key issues of importance to older adults and their caregivers. The MSAC representatives report to the TCOA Advisory Council at their monthly meetings on proposed legislation and issues being addressed. Typical concerns of this group are health care coverage (Medicare & Medicaid), income (Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and pension security), state funding for senior programs, accessible and affordable transportation, elder abuse and public utility costs and regulation. TCOA’s region does not currently have any vacancies for MSAC delegates. Please contact Casey Cooper at [email protected] or 517-887-1468 for more information.

State Advisory Council (SAC)

The State Advisory Council on Aging is a 40-member advisory body to the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging. Appointed by the commission, members of the advisory council study aging issues and recommend policy to the commission. TCOA is allocated three seats on the council.  The local SAC members attend the State Advisory Council meetings and report back to the TCOA Advisory Council. Members of the TCOA Advisory Council regularly meet with their local legislative representatives and staff members either in downtown Lansing or at special constituent events within the legislative districts.

TCOA’s region currently has two vacancies for a SAC representative. Please contact Casey Cooper at [email protected] or 517-887-1468 for more information.

An elected official can be contacted in person (call to set up a meeting), by letter, by fax, by phone, or by email.

Tips When Contacting an Elected Official

  1. Introduce yourself and tell where you are from and if you are associated with a group or organization. If it is a letter, fax, or e-mail include your last name and address.
  2. Know what you are talking about but you do not have to be an expert to have an opinion.
  3. If it is a specific bill read it first and any background information you may have.
  4. Be constructive, tell why you feel the way you do, keep it brief, and use your own words. Often a written letter is best.
  5. Prioritize; contact your elected official on issues that concern you the most rather than on every issue.
  6. The legislator may disagree with you and you need to listen to their side of the argument without interruption. Make notes of their reasons.
  7. Don’t demand a commitment, the legislator needs time to look at all sides of the issue.
  8. Time your communication. It is better to provide information when a bill is in committee and changes can be made.
  9. Thank a legislator when you feel they have done a good job. This is important because elected officials may not hear ‘job well done’ very often.
  10. Your view is important; just a few letters concerning an issue can make a big difference. Use your own words.

Letter Writing and Email Composing

Address elected officials properly – Know your legislator’s full name and correct spelling.

U.S. Senator
The Honorable (full name)
United States Senator
Address

Dear Senator (last name):

U.S. Representative
The Honorable (full name)
United State Representative
Address

Dear Congressman/woman (last name):

State Senator
The Honorable (full name)
State Senator
State Capitol
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Dear Senator (last name):

State Representative
The Honorable (full name)
State Representative
State Capitol
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Dear Representative (last name):

Sample Letter

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Name
Address

Date

The Honorable
Address

Dear Representative or Senator;

I would like to share my concern/support (state the issue very clearly).

This cut/decision will (state your view simply on the subject).

I feel strongly that (what would you like to see done about the issue/concern).

Thanks you for your time and consideration of this issue.

Sincerely,

(sign your name)

President Joseph R. Biden

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comment Line: 202.456.1111
TTY/TTD Comment Line: 202.456.6213

The White House website indicates that the fastest way to get your message to the President is to email using this link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/#page

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
221 W. Lake Lansing Road, Suite 100
East Lansing, MI 48923
Phone: 517.203.1760
Democrat

The Honorable Gary Peters
124 W. Allegan, Suite 1400
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517.377.1508
Fax: 517.377.1506
Democrat

2nd District (Eaton County)
The Honorable John Moolenaar
431 North McEwan St.
Clare, MI 48617
Phone: 1.989.802.6040
Republican

7th District (Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties)
The Honorable Elissa Slotkin
1100 W. Saginaw St., Ste 3A
Lansing, MI 48915
Phone: 1.517.993.0510
Democrat

Governor
The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517.373.3400
Fax: 517.335.6863
Democrat

Elizabeth Hertel, Director (appointed position)
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
333 S. Grand Ave
P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Phone: 517.373.3740

House of Representatives
75th
District

The Honorable Penelope Tsernoglou
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.2668

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving areas of Clinton County including St. Johns, Ovid,
Shepardsville, Price, Westchester Heights, and Bath.

77th District 
The Honorable Emily Dievendorf
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.2277

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Clinton County including Westphalia, Riley,
Wacousta, and DeWitt.

93rd District
The Honorable Graham Filler
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.1778

Email: [email protected]
Republican serving portions of Clinton County including Maple Rapids, Eureka,
Elsie, Duplain, and Fowler.

Senate
District 28
The Honorable Sam Singh
P.O.
Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.3447

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Clinton County including all of Bath Township,
Bengal Township, Bingham Township, Dewitt, Dewitt Township, Eagle Township,
Laingsburg, Ovid, Ovid Township, St. Johns, Watertown Township, Ovid, Ovid
Township, Perry, Perry Township, Westphalia.

House
of Representatives

43
rd District
The Honorable Rachelle M. Smit
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.0615

Email: [email protected]
Republican serving the portions of Eaton County including Bellevue.

76th District
The Honorable Angela Witwer
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.0822

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Eaton County including Eaton Rapids, Charlotte,
Delta Township, Dimondale, Vermontville, Olivet, Chester, and Brookfield.

77th District
The Honorable Emily Dievendorf
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.2277

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Eaton County including Grand Ledge.

78th District
The Honorable Gina Johnsen
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.0853
Email: [email protected]
Republican serving portions of Eaton County including Kalamo.

Senate
District 21
The Honorable Sarah Anthony
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.6960

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving Eaton County.

District 28
The Honorable Sam Singh
P.O.
Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.3447

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Eaton County including Grand Ledge.

House
of Representatives

73rd
District 

The Honorable Julie Brixie
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.0218

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Ingham County including East Lansing, Okemos,
Williamston, Webberville, Mason, Leslie, Onondaga, Stockbridge, and Dansville.

74th District 
The Honorable Kara Hope
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.8900

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Ingham County including South Lansing and Holt.

75th District 
The Honorable Penelope Tsernoglou
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.2668

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving areas of Ingham County including East Lansing, Haslett,
Okemos, Williamston, and Williamstown Township.

77th District 
The Honorable Emily Dievendorf
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Phone: 517.373.2277

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Ingham County including Central Lansing.

Senate
District 21
The Honorable Sarah Anthony
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.6960

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Ingham County including Lansing, Holt, Mason,
Leslie, and Onondaga.

District 22
The Honorable Lana Theis
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.2764

Email: [email protected]
Republican serving portions of Ingham County including Webberville, White
Oak, and Stockbridge.

District 28
The Honorable Sam Singh
P.O.
Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517.373.3447

Email: [email protected]
Democrat serving portions of Ingham County including Lansing, Lansing Township,
East Lansing, Meridian Township, Williamston, Williamston Township, Wheatfield
Township.