Urgency came through in the voices of those who spoke at the May 9 Board of Supervisors hearing on employment. Seniors and adults with disabilities both spoke of the economic need in this increasingly expensive City. But more than that, they shared how they were seeking respect, purpose, and the ability to contribute their lifetime of experience to improve their communities.
Rebecca Shotwell, pictured left, shared that finding a job “saved her life.” A graphic artist in the days before Photoshop, Rebecca retired two years before the 2008 financial crisis. Two years ago, after she and her husband had almost depleted their savings, Rebecca started looking for a job, “but who was going to hire an old lady?” Through CLC’s SF ReServe program. Rebecca began working at Aquatic Park Senior Center. They were so thrilled with her skills and contribution, that when a position opened up, they hired her directly.
Increasing Focus on Senior and Disability Employment Challenges
Supervisor Norman Yee, who called for the hearing following CLC’s recent Work Matters! event, recruited Supervisor Sheehy, Rohan, Fewer and Kim as co-sponsors.
A presentation by SF City Departments introduced the set the stage for the testimony that followed, with data, program overviews and recommendations – linked here.
The hearing was broadcast on SFGov TV – if you missed, you can view the Employment Hearing there (the Employment Opportunities for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities section starts at 1:23). Thanks to everyone who came and who spoke. We are hopeful that this will lead to more scrutiny and more funding to address this pressing issue.