Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 22, 2017 


Haitian communities vow to fight Trump moves to terminate legal status; also on the rundown; an update on the trial of an activist who shut down a pipeline; a new poll shows Americans want to talk turkey not politics, on Thanksgiving; and just ahead of Black Friday - cyber security an emerging toy-safety concern.

Daily Newscasts

Proposition 1 Called "Critical" for Seniors in King County

Voters in King County have until November 7 to vote on Proposition 1, which approves a levy to support services for seniors and veterans. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Voters in King County have until November 7 to vote on Proposition 1, which approves a levy to support services for seniors and veterans. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
October 26, 2017

SEATTLE -- Advocates for senior services are rallying behind Proposition 1 in King County, which renews a levy that supports veterans and human services, and expands it to include older Washingtonians.

The measure asks voters to approve a 10 cent property tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value - double the current levy, set to expire at the end of 2017. For the average King County homeowner, that's about $28 extra each year.

Hollianne Monson, program manager for volunteer services with Catholic Community Services, works mainly with low-income seniors who live on their own and don't have family or friends in the area. She said they often call her because they don't have food or with questions about medical issues.

She said without her organization, many local seniors could be left in dire situations.

"There would probably be a surge in 911 calls,” Monson said. “But my worry is that there also would probably be some really isolated adults not getting the resources that they need and it's a risk to their health and their safety."

Senior programs in the area took a hit last year when United Way decided to shift its focus and funding to poverty and homelessness. Currently about 1-in-5 King County residents is 60 or older. The levy offers rebates to qualified low-income seniors and veterans.

AARP Washington is supporting the proposition as well. Cathy MacCaul, advocacy director with the group, said this is a critical time as economic prosperity floods the area.

"With the housing prices skyrocketing and the expansion of Amazon and new businesses coming into the region. And yet, we know for a fact that there are seniors that are struggling in some of the more affluent areas of the county,” MacCaul said.

She said her organization also is impressed with accountability measures in the levy. The county monitors funds closely and makes sure service organizations are meeting their goals. If not, the county reaches to them to find a fix.

Monson said as disparities build up in the region, it could mean crisis for the senior population if they don't receive support.

"You can visibly see the signs of homelessness and the increase in the homeless population in Seattle,” she said. "I think that similarly, there is an increase in the need for older adults who may currently be housed but have some really critical needs.”

Voters have until November 7 to drop off or mail in their ballots.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA