WORKING WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO TAKE JOINT ACTION ON ISSUES OF MUTUAL CONCERN Compile a list of clubs, organizations, agencies that enlist seniors as members and encourage advocacy in regards to senior concerns and issues. Look for: Branches or chapters of national, state, county and local organizations, in the following places: -Almost every county has an umbrella agency for senior organizations with a title such as "Council On Aging." This agency can supply titles and a addresses for most all of the senior organizations within its political sub-division. They will also have formed coalitions with sister agencies in other political sub- divisions. -Chambers Of Commerce - Senior clubs and organizations will have registered here as part of their public relations effort. - Telephone directory - Some service oriented organizations may be listed in the special services pages. - Libraries have certain shelves in the non-fiction section devot- ed to senior topics. Books found there will often contain appendicies of senior organizations and a summary of their purpose. - Letters to the editor - Very often, officers of senior organizations will use this format for giving opinions on an issue and identify themselves and their organization. Once your list is-compiled: Building bridges to these organizations and working with them in joint action can be done in a number of ways: -Communication (phone, letter, e-mail) calling attention to a serious, easily understood, common concern is direct and effective. A fact sheet with a cover letter introduction can achieve heavy saturation, is immediate and, frankly, is the easiest. - Joining other organizations to improve and broaden your own effectiveness as an advocate is an obvious way to form a coalition. Find members of your own chapter who are also members of other groups. -Get on the mailing list or e-mail net of senior group councils (Council On Aging, etc.) and attend scheduled meetings. Concerns about threatening legislation and issues can be shared at these meetings. - Send copies of your chapter newsletter to other organizations on your list when it contains information about senior/retirement issues that would be of interest to them. Perhaps include certain of these organizations on your regular mailing list. Highlight the portion of the newsletter of interest to them. - Attend town meetings and introduce yourself to other advocates who take the floor to speak on issues common to yours. - Invite officers of organizations on your list to speak at your chapter meetings. Members will pose questions that will highlight areas of common concern and lay groundwork for joint action. - Letters to the editor of your local newspaper to alert others to an issue or to present a viewpoint on an issue can embody an invitation to readers to make contact with your chapter. CAVEAT: Efforts to build inter-group, joint action at times of peril to retirement benefits must be based on possession of thoroughly accurate facts. Attempts to manipulate or "spin" another group will be readily perceived. The senior group is interested in sincere, objective, non-partisan, informed data in a just cause. Modifications to retirement benefits stemming from agendas of heavily financed interest groups, extreme political philosophies or obvious unfairness are issues reasonable persons will join with.