When I joined the National Committee in 1990, Congressman James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, was the Chairman of the Board. He had recently installed Martha McSteen, a highly respected former SSA Acting Commissioner, as the new President and CEO. He tasked her with the National Committee’s expansion which she handily accomplished and led the organization until her retirement in 2002. Former Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly become the next President and CEO and she continued to grow and strengthen the National Committee’s influence until 2011. Since then I have had the honor of being the fourth leader of the National Committee.
In our 35 year history, the leadership, staff and Board of Directors have changed, but two things have remained consistent:
Our commitment to protecting the Roosevelt legacy by preserving seniors’ access to health and retirement security programs, and
Our status as a membership organization, fueled by the unwavering support and activism of millions of individuals over the past over 35 years.
We've fought and won many battles like stopping President Bush's Social Security privatization plan. We've also helped to advance many forward-thinking proposals such as the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act and Social Security expansion legislation. Our focus has widened to include advocacy work on Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and economic justice.
Offering a diverse program of education and information, we seek to encourage our members and the public to learn about the legislative and regulatory proposals which will affect their working and retirement life. In turn, we take their concerns directly to the White House and the Congress with our staff of professional lobbyists.
The clear voice of our members and supporters is the National Committee’s most powerful asset. Their views – expressed through petitions, phone calls and personal letters – has long made a crucial difference in the outcome of legislation in the Congress. Lawmakers know that our members and like-minded citizens are a potent political force with the time, concern and dedication for getting things done in Washington.
I invite you to join the National Committee and take a stand for a secure retirement for all Americans.
Max Richtman, J.D.