For One Active Retiree, Organizing Is Eternal
Presidential election is springboard for building a base of retired activists
WHEN RICH MILLER retired to Nevada five years ago, he became a missionary of sorts. His mission: to persuade other retirees in his new home state to actively engage in the political and legislative issues that affect seniors.
As one of the nation's most popular retirement destinations, Nevada has attracted newcomers from all over the country, including a large number of AFT retirees. Miller-a high school social studies teacher until he retired in 2002 and a vice president of the United Federation of Teachers, the AFT affiliate in New York City-estimates that there are at least 500 AFT members who have settled in the Las Vegas area after retiring. And with the help of the AFT and the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans, he's using his years of organizing experience to energize these folks.
Mobilizing retirees is just like organizing active members, Miller explains. To get members involved, "you must make issues personal and relevant. You have to show people how certain policies will affect them."
The activities surrounding the upcoming presidential election are a perfect example of how Miller is encouraging retirees to get involved. …