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Resident's Voice Entries 2012

Welcome to the Consumer Voice Residents' Rights Month Resident Voice Entries page.  As stories and entries from our network of residents and providers come in, we will conitnue to post them on this page.  Please check back periodically to find and read some amazing entries submitted from around the nation.



Resident Names: Irene Kozak, Jeanne Taylor, Jean Weisberg, Ian Gilbert, Anita Katz, Norm Wedgle, Elaine Miller and Cleo Sayles

Facility: Shalom Cares, Aurora, CO

"Get Me to the Poll On Time" to the tune of "Get Me to the Church On Time" from My Fair Lady

Get Me To The Poll On time
Lyrics by Norma Tell

I’m gonna vote because it matters.
Push! Pull! My vote is gonna count!
Won’t fret the old age! Will vote my own sage!
Just get me to the poll on time!

We’ve gotta think about our status -
How long we’ve given to each cause.
Don’t want to lose out - We’ve got some age clout!
So get us to the polls on time!

It matters not, if Blue or Red,
and even In-de-pen-dent-ly, They’ve SAID:

Older Americans are Golden, 
Without our vote they might forget -
How we’ve invested (and) How we’ve been tested
So get me to the poll – Yes, get me to the poll,
For Pete’s sake! Get - us – to - the - Polls — on- time!

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Resident Name: Meindert Bosch

Facility: Clermont Park Christian Living Community, Denver, CO

What does it mean to be politically active? The short answer is to cast your intelligent vote in all qualifying elections. In addition, attending and participating in meetings relating to election issues, being appropriately active in political campaigns, and voicing one’s opinion to elected officials and/or candidates directly on appropriate issues are all basic to being politically active in our country. Keep being knowledgeable on on-going Congressional, legislative and local issues. Of special significance is the need to be properly informed and to maintain the highest level of integrity in all interactions.

But Mr. Roosevelt strongly believed in our democracy, our freedoms, and the principles on which our country was founded. His leadership was well-liked and respected. But more than that, our country was strongly united and partisanship was minimized to achieve the common good of peace and freedom world-wide. Political campaigns and the candidates themselves were more civil and respectful of each other. Though there were still differences, ultimately the common goal was made very clear.

Ownership in for-profit corporations is usually reflected by stock-holders holding and owning a specific number of shares of stock which reflects the extent of their ownership. Ownership provides for voting privileges, notice of and opportunity to attend various corporate meetings, receipt of pertinent financial information and the like. Dividends may reflect the return on one’s investment.

In not-for-profit organizations the term stakeholder is often used. Stakeholders are not owners but are supporters of the not-for-profit organization by virtue of their donations, volunteer services, and possibly their giving of time to carry out the organization’s mission. Such services are provided without remuneration but are provided out of love, concern, and a personal interest in a particular cause. Non-profits often provide help for the needy, support research and education, assistance in time of disaster, and the like.

As citizens we also have the opportunity to become stock-holders and/or stakeholders. But it’s much more than that. Please note the following points:

  1. As citizens we acknowledge the founding of our nation, its marvelous history and what we stand for.

  2. As citizens we respect the “freedoms” we have and will support every effort to promote and maintain them.

  3. As citizens we will also seek to maintain a democratic form of government, a form of parliamentary procedure and other ways to maintain our democracy.

Needless to say there is much more we could talk about relating to our nation and its heritage. We could reference the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our three forms of government and much more. But all of that would exceed the limits of this paper. Our nation, the United States of America, is one of the truly great lands of freedom, opportunity and an election process that possibly has no equal compared to all other nations on earth today.

The word “ownership” is not used too often when we talk about citizenship but in effect that is what it is. It is important to exercise our vote in the voting booth so that as citizens we seek to exercise that right in order to affirm our nation’s history, to respect and maintain our freedoms, and to promote democracy. By far, that vote is far more powerful than being a stockholder or a stakeholder even though they too have a significant place in our nation.

We honor our nations past; we respect where we are at today; and may future challenges be anchored in that which has made America the great nation it is through your vote and mine, whether we be seniors or otherwise. God Bless America, Land that I love!

Meindert Bosch was born in Muskegan, Michigan, in 1920. He has been a resident of Colorado since 1930. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942-1946. He served as Administrator/CEO of a private psychiatric hospital and community mental health center from 1950-1986. Meindert and his wife, Evelyn, reside in an Independent Living Community at Clermont Park, part of Christian Living Communities.

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Resident Name: Phyllis Dye

Facility: Clermont Park Christian Living Community, Denver, CO

My most memorable election was my first. It was 1948 and Harry Truman was running against Thomas Dewey. Truman had inherited the Presidency at the death of FDR and decided to run for election. In my family, one side was Democratic and the other Republican - it made for interesting discussions. However, we were taught to be polite and consider other opinions so no lives were lost.

Truman won, but one newspaper – The Chicago Sun Times, if I remember correctly – printed an early headline saying “Dewey wins.” Even if you had supported Dewey and weren’t pleased with Truman’s win, it was an historical – and hysterical – political moment.

I have been active in politics since that time. I used to live in a small town and county and was a judge at polls in every election from 1952 through 1996. In 1996, we moved out of that area, and it was no longer convenient for me to be involved.

I consider it a privilege as well as a duty to participate in my right to vote. While it’s no longer “easy” for me to be as active as I’d like, I still take advantage of my voice and my vote – because it is my right.

 


Resident Name: Sally and Floyd Swanson

Facility: Rockville Nursing Home, Rockville, MD

Sally and I met, dated and got married in Massachusetts during the late fifties. We got caught up in the political tsunami of our young lives, the presidential election campaign of 1960. It was Jack Kennedy versus Richard Nixon and the senator from Massachusetts, JFK, was our guy. The issues of that era seemed of little importance. Kennedy was a dashing, charismatic politician who also had a beautiful, stylish young wife, Jackie. While we had heretofore never really been involved in politics, this presidential race was the most exciting event of our lives. Even though we each had been brought up in a family that leaned strongly to the Republican Party we found this young man and his wife to be irresistibly attractive, so they had our vote. We helped him win and he won!

So what was next? I had completed my MBA studies with Boston University and Sally was working in a secretarial position at Harvard Business School. Entering the business world had been my goal, but now, it was government service that seemed to be our calling. I applied and got that government job. So we packed up, everything, all our belongings, were stuffed into our ’51 Chevrolet. We headed south in December, 1959, leaving our families behind, never to go back, except for lovely summer vacations. We were working for our government, we had that Boston accent, and we were responding to our new president who said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”

In three short years, JFK was assassinated. At the time Sally was pregnant with our first child, a daughter, who was born in February, 1964. Another daughter came along four years later. Years later we retired from our lifetime jobs with the NIH. Many new elections have gone by. Sally is now a resident in the Rockville Nursing Home where I visit several times a week. As we grow older the primary issues always seem to be health care, rapidly growing costs and how health care dollars should be allocated? Instead of politics it is health care policy that increasingly concerns us. Our current crop of politicians--elected officials--needs to remember the question President Kennedy raised, “ask what can you do for your country” 
 

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Resident Name: Velma Budd

Facility: Harbor House Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center, Hingham, MA

Back in the 1930’s, I became of age to vote. From that time on, I believe I have never missed my visit to the voting booth.

I feel fortunate to live in a country where we have the right to support the party we want to win and to rule. And I plan once again to vote by absentee ballot this year.

My most memorable election was the last one, in 2008, where President Obama ran and was a first for a black man to become our President. The People were ready for a change. I hope I live long enough to see the winner of this election.

I strongly believe that every person should be registered to vote for the person they believe would do the most for them as an individual and our country.


Resident Name: Mary "Ginny" McLore

Facility:  Harbor House Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center, Hingham, MA 

The issues today surrounding Medicare and Medicaid remind me of the days before FDR. When people needed assistance, there wasn’t any social security or Medicare or Medicaid. People were only able to apply for Old Age Assistance, or they could apply for assistance from their local town. Otherwise, there was the poor house and debtors’ prison. Back then, we were in a similar financial crisis as we are today.

My most memorable election was when FDR became president. We didn’t know at the time that he was in a wheelchair, but he seemed strong. He was a great guy and made everyone feel safe.

I also remember the Truman and Adlai Stevenson election. Everyone went to bed thinking that Stevenson had won. The next morning, much to everyone’s surprise, we discovered that Truman had actually won. I wanted Truman to win because he seemed to know the most about what was going on in the world, as he had been FDR’s vice president.

Being politically involved to me means reading, staying educated, and talking and learning about the issues.

Someone (I can’t remember who), once said that “Democracy is a terrible form of government, except for all the others.” I’m grateful to be able to have the opportunity to cast my vote for the person that I believe in. And whether they win or lose, at least I’ve exercised my right to vote. I look forward to participating in this next eventful presidential election of 2012.

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Resident Name: Alice Mawson

Facility: Bergen Regional Medical Center Long Term Care, Paramus, NJ

I think the most memorable election I voted in is my first election right after I turned eighteen. I remember rushing my father to go with me when I got home from school. I was very anxious; my mother had already left very early that day because she was a poll worker and had to be there at 5am. The first time I voted, the machines were enormous and complicated to use, not like today. The sign in books looked like books from ancient times of wizards and warlocks like in the movies. I think it was so important to me because this meant that I had grown into being an active part of making decisions not only in my community, but in the state, federal government, regulations, laws and leadership.

I think to be politically active is not only to vote, but politically active is to know what is going on in your community, state and federal government. Although you’re voting is very important, you also need to read about or attend community meetings, rallies, debates and forums on issues that affect you, your family, community and friends. I have, and you can also write letters or sign petitions to your community, state and federal leaders. If you happen to be computer-literate you can email, text, twitter and some even have a Facebook page. It has become so easy not only for you to contact/connect to your leaders, it is so easy for them to let you know their opinions and where they stand on issues.

I have been a resident here at Bergen Regional Medical Center L.T.C. for several years. Every year at Residents’ Rights Week, they have a table set up if you need any assistance or for new residents if they want to fill out an application for a mail-in ballot. They try to encourage you to realize you are still part of the community as a whole. They also have people that can explain the different devices and usage for hearing/seeing impaired. It makes me feel that I am still a part of my community and the decision-making process. Also, I may leave the facility someday and move back into the community. I will now be aware of the things that have happened in my community and who are my leaders. It is an honor, privilege and my right to vote. God Bless America!

Let your voice be your vote; it’s your right!


Resident Name: Darius Brncic
Facility Name: LGAR Health & Rehabilitation Center, Turtle Creek, PA

My father came to America from Croatia and worked for six years to gain citizenship.  My mother and I joined my father in 1929 in America.  I don’t recall if my father voted in elections but I do know the Depression had a very big impact on him.  It also made me aware of what was going on politically and an important reason why I feel voting is so important.    

My most memorable election was my first one.  It was 1940 and Franklin D. Roosevelt was running against Wendell Willkie.  I was supporting FDR because he was for the working man.

Being politically active is supporting your candidate by spreading the word.  You can go door-to-door, make phone calls, work at the polls, and vote on Election Day. 

It is important to have the right and ability to vote because as an American that is how you have a voice.  I believe the Republicans are not for the middle class and the poor.  The Democrats need to stay in power because they support the working man.

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Various Residents

Pasco and North Pinellas District-Wide Resident Council (DWRC), Florida

Members of DWRC met on July 12, 2012. They created this poster and discussed voting rights and political participation.

Question: What was the most memorable election you voted in and why?

Answers:

  • The last presidential election - every time, it is important to vote.
  • When Roosevelt was elected, I voted against my party because we were nearly starving to death on the farm, and I believed he was the best candidate.
  • John F. Kennedy because he was running at the time our country needed a certain person and I believed he was it.
  • The good-looking guy - Kennedy because I voted for him and he won!

Question: What does it mean to be politically active?

Answers:

  • Having the right to vote - voting for the right person.
  • To exercise your vote, to pick the person you want.
  • To work with your party - I worked on the polls years back.
  • I was a union official and became very politically involved through that.
  • The last election, I came out of the voting area, and everyone was wearing an Obama t-shirt. I was wearing an Obama t-shirt, too.  There was a sense of unification.

Question: Why is it important for you to have the right and ability to vote?

Answers:

  • It's God-given. You can pick anyone you want, not like communist countries.
  • I think voting is important because you have a small say in what you want to have done.
  • Because it's supposed to be a free world!
  • It's free country. We don't have anybody over us with guns saying you have to vote for this or that.
  • It is important for me to vote because I am an American citizen.
  • Since people gave their lives in the service of the country, we should vote.

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