"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, former President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, former President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, former Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
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Richard Fiesta Named Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans
November 20, 2013
For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – Richard J. Fiesta has been named the Alliance for Retired Americans’ new Executive Director, succeeding Edward F. Coyle, who has managed and grown the four million member grassroots advocacy organization since its 2001 founding. The Alliance’s Executive Board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Fiesta, effective December 1, 2013.
Mr. Fiesta, the Director of the Department of Government and Political Affairs for the Alliance since 2001, pledged that the organization will aggressively educate retirees, the public, and lawmakers on ways to preserve and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, make prescription drugs affordable for future generations and ensure that all retirees can expect a dignified retirement after a lifetime of work.
“Ed Coyle launched the Alliance for Retired Americans and built it into a national voice for seniors,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “It is gratifying to see Ed enjoy his own retirement after improving the retirement circumstances of so many others. I know that Rich will continue the Alliance for Retired Americans’ tradition of standing up for seniors.”
“I would not retire if I didn't believe that the Alliance is in good hands,” said Mr. Coyle. “Rich Fiesta has made a career of fighting for social and economic justice for retirees and the middle class. He believes deeply in the power of grassroots organizing and collective action. He will be a great Executive Director.”
“I am honored to become the Alliance Executive Director, given our proven track record of advocacy and action,” said Fiesta. “Older Americans face many challenges. I look forward to building on our work to guarantee that the needs of retirees remain at the forefront of the nation’s agenda.”
“Rich Fiesta knows what action and legislation is crucial for retirees, and he knows the intricacies of the Social Security and Medicare programs,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “There is no one I would rather have leading retirees, community activists, and staff.”
Prior to 2001, Mr. Fiesta, a native of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, served in the Clinton Administration in congressional and public affairs positions at the Departments of Labor and the Interior. He worked in Congress as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor Standards and in senior positions in the offices of Senators Harris Wofford (D-PA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). He practiced law concentrating on labor and retirement issues. He will also chair the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations for 2013-2014. He received his bachelors, masters, and law degrees from Georgetown University and studied in the legal history program at the University of Virginia.
“I look forward to working with Rich as we head into the critical election season of 2014,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Retirees feel safe knowing that Rich will be channeling the energy of the Alliance’s four million members as they act to preserve and protect seniors’ earned benefits.”
Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or firstname.lastname@example.org