California Department of Aging Launches EngAGE CA to expand public engagement in development of Gove
EngageCA.org invites Californians to share their vision for building an age- and disability-friendly California
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Aging (CDA) announced the launch today of an updated engagement campaign, EngageCA.org, that encourages Californians to share their vision for a new Master Plan for Aging that will promote an age friendly California.
With the state’s 65-and-older population projected to grow to 8.6 million people by 2030, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order last summer calling for the development of a Master Plan for Aging by October 2020. The Governor’s newly released proposal for the 2020-21 budget underscores the urgent need for this effort—noting that the state’s demographics are changing rapidly, with the ratio of older adults to younger adults expected to nearly double in the next 10 years. For the first time ever, the Administration is also projecting the state’s population could stop growing in the next forty years.
“The Golden State is getting grayer, and we need to be ready for the major population changes headed our way,” said Governor Newsom last June, directing the state to work with stakeholders and the public to develop a set of strategies and partnerships that will promote healthy aging and prepare the state for the demographic changes ahead: “We need a plan that brings everyone to the table to help us understand what’s coming and guide us toward taking better care of older Californians.”
CDA’s public engagement campaign, Together We EngAGE, first began this work in 2019, hosting a series of public meetings and community roundtables and soliciting more than 1,000 public comments on the Master Plan through December. A diverse group of 34 aging experts formed the Master Plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee in August to guide this effort.
With today’s launch, EngageCA.org will serve as the new platform for this campaign—providing details on the Master Plan and encouraging even more Californians to get involved with its development in 2020. The new site offers a range of ways to engage, including online surveys for stakeholders and the public to submit input and policy recommendations, details on upcoming events, and additional opportunities for interacting directly with aging experts in new weekly webinars on topics ranging from healthy aging to senior housing and transportation for older adults.
“Since the development of the Master Plan for Aging began, we have been listening to consumers, stakeholders, state and local government, private sector partners, Tribal leaders, and more—and we believe EngageCA.org will only expand the number of voices we hear from,” says Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging. “California’s growing numbers of older adults represent a wealth of experience and knowledge, and working together we can all ensure our state has accessible and affordable housing, health care, and services for all—across urban, suburban, and rural communities. We want to hear ideas from every Californian about how we can develop a wholistic Master Plan that meets our state’s diverse needs—and EngageCA.org will help us achieve that goal.”
In addition to ongoing meetings of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, Together We EngAGE will be launching a new “Webinar Wednesday” series this week, where local leaders, partners in the Master Plan process, and aging experts will discuss issues confronting California’s aging and disability communities—and the best ideas for solving them.
For more details and resources on the Master Plan effort, its goals, and upcoming events, please go to: www.EngageCA.org.