Welcome To Our New Team Members – Lisha and Jenny

Welcome to Our New Team Members!
Elders in Action is thrilled to announce two wonderful additions to our team!
Lisha Shrestha, our new Civic Involvement Coordinator, will be coordinating our Commission, and will be starting her position on March 1st.  Jenny Sasser Ph. D.  is joining our team as the Age Friendly Program Coordinator on April 1st. Below are short introductions.


Lisha is a native of Nepal with extensive education and experience in conflict resolution and community engagement with Portland’s immigrant and refugee communities. She holds a Masters in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University and a Masters in Human and Natural Resource Studies from Kathmandu University. She has extensively researched and authored chapters on conflict, peace and dialogue, land conflict, migration, food and human security. She is a trained facilitator on intergroup dialogue, a certified mediator and has developed culturally specific training manual.  Her research based article on “Inclusive Land Policy and Human Security in Post Conflict Situation” was supported by Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research: NCCR North-South. She is also the recipient of PSU President’s Diversity Award, 2015.

Lisha’s professional background includes case management and facilitation at Immigrant Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and commission coordination for the New Portlander Program in Office of Neighborhood Involvement, City of Portland. While at IRCO, she elevated women and elders’ project into entrepreneurial development and into a self-help program for newly arrived folks struggling with self-worth and social isolation. One of her most satisfying moment was when she organized first refugee run mini-farmer’s market at IRCO in 2014.

In her free time, she likes to hike, cook new dishes together with her husband Surya Joshi.


Jennifer (Jenny) Sasser, Ph.D. is an educational gerontologist, transdisciplinary scholar, and community activist.

Jenny has been working in the field of gerontology for more than half her life, beginning as a nursing assistant and senior citizen advocate before focusing on scholarly inquiry and education.  As an undergraduate she attended Willamette University, in Salem, Oregon, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; her interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. Jenny’s dissertation became part of a book published by Routledge in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee–Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society.

For the past twenty years she has focused her inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; aging and embodiment; transdisciplinary curriculum design; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. Jenny served as Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Founding Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University from 1999 to 2015.  She joined the Marylhurst faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and during the subsequent 19 years was involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners.

Jenny is co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody, of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (9th edition) and of the forthcoming book from Routledge, U.K., Gerontology: The basics. Her other ongoing commitments include convening the Gero-Punk Project (www.geropunkproject.org); serving as a conversation facilitator for Oregon Humanities (www.oregonhumanities.org); and offering consulting, workshops and presentations throughout North America.  An award-winning educator, Jenny’s recent citations include the 2012 Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Distinguished Teacher award and a Willamette University Distinguished Alumni award in 2014.

Jenny lives in Portland, Oregon with her dog Happy and near her partner Simeon Dreyfuss. Her daughter Isobel is a Sophomore at Bard College in New York state.


Ask Legislators to restore funding to fight elder abuse
Reinstate Gatekeeper funding.

With a rise in community based abuse of the elderly in Oregon, our vulnerable friends and neighbors need help to stay safe and independent in their homes and communities. Advocates are seeking reinstatement of funding for the Gatekeeper program to help lower the rate of abuse and neglect for seniors.

Take a moment today to talk to Legislators – Help protect seniors in our communities. Reinstate funding for the Gatekeeper program.

If you care about this program, you can let your Legislators know:
  1.  The Gatekeeper program is a research based, proven program to lower abuse and neglect.  O4AD is recommending the reinstatement of funding for a program that was up and running during 2013-15 and is working to remain in a very limited capacity now.
  2.  We are in an age of increasing elder abuse.  A senior who is abused is 3 times more likely to be admitted to  hospital care and 4 times more likely to be admitted to care in a nursing facility. The cost to healthcare systems, to long-term care systems and, to communities is tremendous. Educating our community about how to help makes financial sense.

  3.  The Gatekeeper program is a cost effective, community based, abuse prevention program that maximizes community resources.  This is a small investment to increase our communities overall response to abuse.

Download our one pager on the Gatekeeper program HERE.

And download our one pager that talks about the cost of abuse and the importance of elder abuse prevention HERE.

Take a moment to contact members of Ways & Means to ask for their support.
Co-Chair for Ways & Means members are:
Senator Richard Devlin, Co Chair, Ways & Means Full Committee
Representative Peter Buckley, Co Chair, Ways & Means Full Committee
O4AD,  Oregon Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities ,is committed to promoting the independence, dignity, choice, quality and safety of Oregon’s seniors and people with disabilities.

Have you ever received a letter, an email or a phone call and thought “hmmm…that’s unusual”?
If you have, then you have taken the first step towards protecting yourself from financial fraud.  Join Elders in Action in partnership with the Oregon Department of Justice and Clackamas County for a fraud prevention panel called “You Have the Power to Protect yourself and your friends”.
This event will be held:                
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 
 1:30 pm -3:00 pm
Milwaukie Public Safety Building
3200 SE Harrison, Milwaukie, OR   97222 
Come join our panel of experts:
  • Ellen Klem, Oregon Department of Justice
  • Tami Black, Clackamas Adult Protective Service
  • Officer Kevin Krebs, Milwaukie Police 
  • Bob Magee, Elders in Action Personal Advocate
Learn how you can avoid the latest scam, what to do if you see something suspicious and how you can stop future abuse in your community. Our panel will discuss current trends and what is being done to pursue the perpetrators. You have the Power to Protect yourself and your loved ones. Come join us and learn from the experts.  For more information call Elders in Action at 503-235-5474 or email info@eldersinaction.org .
Sponsored by: 

Did you know you may not have to pay the Portland Arts Tax?
You can file for an exemption if:
  • Your only taxable income was less than $11,770 in 2015.
  • You are over 70 years old and meet income guidelines.
  • You are permanently disabled and meet income guidelines. (New exemption)
Need help deciding what form to fill out or assistance completing the form?  Contact Elders in Action at 503-235-5474 or email here.

Tickets Are Now Available

Tickets for Silver- Your Night To Shine Are Now Available with Directions and Parking Info

Save the Date rev 1

Friday, April 22nd, 2016 5:00-7:30 p.m.
The World Trade Center, Portland

Tickets: $100 and can purchased by clicking here.

Directions and parking information for the event:

Located under Two World Trade Center off of Taylor Street
Please note: rates are not guaranteed and are subject to change

Monday – Friday $5.00 per hour
$16.00 max daily

$3.00 flat rate between the hours of 4:30pm-midnight

$4.00 flat rate Friday night between the hours of 4:30pm-8:00pm

Friday – Saturday nights
$5.00 flat after 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday
$4.00 flat 6:00am-8:00pm

Contact Info:
Operated by: Parking Management Center
56 SW Taylor St
Portland, OR 97204

121 SW Salmon
Two World Trade Center
Portland Oregon, 97204

Elders in Action’s 2016 Legislative Priorities

The Elders in Action Commission is a group of committed, passionate volunteers who advise and advocate on issues of concerns to older adults. If you care about elder issues give us a call at 503-235-5474 to learn more. The Elders in Action Commission have identified the following bill as their top priorities for advocacy during the 2016 legislative session.
1)  Restore Gatekeeper Funding
The Commission in partnership with the  Campaign for Oregon’s Seniors & People with Disabilities would like to see funding in the amount of $850,000 restored to the Gatekeeper Program for the remainder of the biennium.
The Gatekeeper Program is a crucial community abuse prevention program that trains front line customer service workers who have contact with vulnerable individuals to recognize changes in those people that may indicate abuse, neglect, or a need for service referral. The value provided by this preventive, cost-effective program far exceeds its minimal cost.
 By the Numbers:
 Since the Gatekeeper statewide initiative began in 2014:
  • Over 800 businesses and organizations have hosted trainings.
  • Over 8,600 individuals have participated in Gatekeeper trainings.
  • Over 2,100 Gatekeeper calls have been received by Aging and Disability Resource Centers across the state.
  • Over 400 of those calls were referred to Adult Protective Services for suspected abuse or neglect.
 Organizations and individuals trained as Gatekeepers are critical in lowering the incidences of abuse and neglect for seniors and people with disabilities.

2) Housing funding and policy enhancement bills
A variety of bills will be considered that will support tenants’ rights, expand local governments’ ability to incentivize affordable housing and increase funding for affordable housing development in the state. Major bills include a bill sponsored by Senator Dembrow that would lift the state ban on Inclusionary Zoning and Representative Keny-Geyer’s Housing Relief Act which would, among other things, increase the notice period for no-cause evictions and rent increases, and prohibit rent increases during first year of tenancy. Also in the mix are budget requests of $27.5 million for preserving existing affordable housing and developing additional units.
3)    General Assistance 
This would fund general assistance for the state’s lowest income residents. Financial support would be provided to those waiting for pending Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Income. This has not been funded since 2005.
4)    Basic Health Plan 
This bill would provide a healthcare insurance framework, based on the Oregon Health Plan model, to individuals between 138% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.  It would provide reasonable premiums and co-pays for this lower income population.
5)    Raise the Minimum Wage
This legislation would set dates by which specific minimum wages would be required in various parts of the state. Lower minimums would be likely in the more rural parts of the state. At $9.25, Oregon’s minimum wage is the nation’s second-highest, behind only Washington’s $9.47. Any action by the Legislature would probably make Oregon’s the highest, possibly by a significant margin.

Elder Abuse Prosecutor Funding

Elders in Action also supports Attorney General, Ellen Rosembaum’s request for funding for an Elders Abuse Prosecutor. Reports of elder abuse have risen significantly over the past several years and the capacity to prosecute these cases has been low. These funds would support a resource at the state level that would provide technical, legal and educational support to Legal staff throughout the state.  This bill is a major priority for Elders in Action so you can expect a call to action sometime during the 2016 session.

Join the Elders in Action Commission

Help Give A Voice To Older Adults

in Multnomah County

Join the Elders in Action Commission

Do you:
  • Live in Multnomah County?
  • Have a passion for positive change for older adults?
  • Want to enhance the equity of programs and resources available to older adults in the County?
  • Enjoy meeting people and advocating for policies and programs on a City, County and State level?
Elders in Action welcomes volunteers of all ages from all ethnic, racial, gender, and cultural communities.
Elders in Action Commissioners Make A Difference!
The team meets once a month as a full commission. Members also participate in subcommittees and partners organizations.
Contact us today at 503-235-5474or email here
Check out Elders in Action’s other volunteer opportunities by clicking here.

Join us in honoring the legacy of Dr. King through meaningful service to our community
 “Everybody can be great… 
because anybody can serve.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Help celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Elders in Action and  Friends of Treesto plant native trees and shrubs in the King City Community Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. No experience is necessary!
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016 8:45 AM-1:00 PM
LOCATION: 15300 SW 116th Avenue
King City, OR 97224 – 2693
Friends of Trees and Clean Water Services are continuing their efforts to enhance wetland vegetation in King City Park, which is adjacent to the Tualatin River.
To register call Mark at 503-595-7533 or click here to email.
Only 10 spots remain, call today!
If this project doesn’t work for you?  Don’t give up!
For the ninth year in a row, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and Hands On Greater Portland are teaming up on MLK Day to make it easy for you to take action across Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, and Clark Counties and make a difference through volunteer service. Click here to find many other projects in your neighborhood.

CLOSED/Age Friendly Program Coordinator Opening

Job Description: Age Friendly Program Coordinator
Status: Part Time (24 hours week) Exempt
Supervisor: Deputy Director
Elders in Action is seeking an innovative and enthusiastic individual to coordinate and develop the nationally recognized Age Friendly program of the agency. The two main goals of the position are to 1) represent Elders in Action in the community and be a thought leader in the Age Friendly movement and, 2) develop and grow the Age Friendly Business program in keeping with the mission of the organization. Candidate must have extensive knowledge of the community, public speaking and training experience and embrace the mission of our agency. Person must have ability to create positive and long term relationships with the business community and agency partners.
As Elders in Action approaches its 50th Anniversary, we are embarking on an organizational review of our vision, mission and goals to ensure that Elders in Action maintains its relevance to a growing and increasingly diverse older adult population in the Portland Metro area. The ideal candidate will be interested participating in this effort to ensure Elders in Action is inclusive and representative of the diversity of our community elders.
Scope of Position:
Serves as coordinator of the Age Friendly Business program, working closely with the Executive Director and the Deputy Director in program development and improvement. Responsible for evaluating, developing and expanding the Age Friendly program.
? Working with the Executive Director and agency staff to develop a long range, comprehensive, strategic Age Friendly Business (AFB) plan for Elders in Action.
? Sets program goals, including developing educational opportunities and carrying out strategies to attract new businesses locally.
? Recruits, trains and supports Age Friendly program volunteers.
? Works closely with Elders in Action staff to identify and deliver opportunities for raising awareness of Age Friendly practices in the community.
? Works with Executive director to develop corporate sponsorships.
? Develops, organizes, and oversees Age Friendly Customer Service workshops for area businesses to help them better serve the older customer and increase their positive impact on their customer base.
? Oversees operation of internal systems to support program development and expansion.
? Participates in community-wide Age Friendly activities with partners.
? Other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
? Degree in business, marketing, public relations or relevant field.
? Demonstrated success in public speaking.
? Ability to motivate others is a key for success.
? Demonstrated success in designing and implementing program curriculum and developing training workshops.
? Knowledge of the current trends, issues and challenges facing baby boomers and the 65 plus age group.
? Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with people in diverse situations and of varied backgrounds.
? Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects required.
? Experience with Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and social media sites required.
? Valid Oregon Driver’s License required for travel in the Metro area.
To Apply

Qualified and interested candidates should submit the following items listed below (PDF format preferred) to info@eldersinaction.org with the subject line “Age Friendly Program Coordinator.” Position open until filled.
? One-page cover letter which includes your interest and qualifications for this position
? Resume
? Three professional references
Elders in Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants from various ages, bilingual and bicultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
Salary starts at $40,000 (pro-rated to part-time)

Your financial support does make a difference!

Greetings from Steven R. Clark, Elders in Actions Board President:stevenclark

All of us need help in our lives at one time or another. As we age, we may lose our support structure that allows us to remain independent – family may live in another state, we may out live our friends, and we live on a fixed income. Your financial support of Elders in Action ensures there is always someone to turn to for help, as Ginny did.

Ginny, who is 81 years old, called Elders in Action recently to ask for help sorting out her medical bills. She had set up a payment plan with her provider, but was uncertain about what it was for. When Elders in Action Personal Advocate, Mary S., arrived at Ginny’s home to assist her, she discovered there were issues of more pressing concern.

Ginny’s checking account was overdrawn. She had some confusion about how her bills were paid –some were auto withdrawal from her bank, some by credit card, others by check, making it all hard to track. Ginny was chronically late paying her bills and was spending her limited income on subscriptions and donations she couldn’t afford.

With Mary’s assistance and encouragement, Ginny was able to qualify for a payment assistance program for her medical bills and resolve her late payments and overdraft fees. Together, they were able to find $2,400 in yearly savings by reviewing Ginny’s budget and cancelling unaffordable donations and subscriptions. This savings will allow Ginny to retain her independence and feel secure in her housing.

Our volunteers like to call a situation like Ginny’s “peeling the onion”. Through careful listening and attention, Personal Advocates may find and assist with a deeper problem than initially presented to help the older adult back onto the road of well-being and security.

Each of the last three years we have seen a yearly increase of 20% in requests for support from our personal advocate program –approximately 500 more seniors are calling us each year. Last year your support enabled us to add a part-time position. That was a start but we want to do more. Your support will help us to move closer to our goal of making this position full time.

In addition, your support will allow us to develop strategies to serve older adults from diverse communities more effectively and will ensure we can continue our advocacy for an age friendly community. It is my privilege to lead an organization that exists to advocate for and help older adults. We all need help at various points in our lives and because of you; older adults like Ginny, will always have Elders in Action to reach out to.

Today I ask that you please give generously. Please join me and the Board members of Elders in Action, with a donation to help us meet our goal of raising $15,000 during our year-end campaign.  Your financial support does make a difference!


P.S. I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to Save the Date! The date of our Annual Gala is April 22, 2016. Join us to hear in person about the impact your donation makes in the lives of older adults. I hope to see you there!

Closed/ Civic Involvement Coordinator Opening

Position: Civic Involvement Coordinator

Supervisor: Deputy Director

Employment Status: Regular, Full-time and Exempt


Elders in Action is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit dedicated to ensuring the quality of life for older adults never depends on their age. Founded in 1968 as the Portland Multnomah Commission on Aging and incorporated in 1997 as a private nonprofit, our mission is to ensure a vibrant community through the active involvement of older adults. We are a small staff of eight and are powered by the experience and talent of over 150 volunteers.

Located in Portland, OR, we serve the aging population 60+ throughout the tri-county area by offering personal support, educational programs, advocacy and volunteer engagement. Our vision is to create a community that promotes opportunities for all older adults to be active and engaged and to contribute in meaningful ways to the health and vitality of our community.

Elders in Action is embarking on an organizational review of our vision, mission and goals to ensure that Elders in Action maintains its relevance to a growing and increasingly diverse older adult population in the Portland Metro area. The ideal candidate will be actively engaged in this effort to ensure Elders in Action is inclusive and representative of the diversity of our community elders.


Reporting to the Deputy Director, the Civic Involvement Coordinator will have responsibilities ranging from advocacy effort leadership to creating and sustaining robust relationships with public officials, coalition partners, advocates, community organizations and the public. The Civic Involvement Coordinator is the main conduit for the agency’s advocacy efforts in partnership with city, county and nonprofit partners.  This position also facilitates the work and engagement of the Advisory Council, federally mandated under the Older Americans Act, in its advisory role with the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services and the City of Portland.


  • Coordinates recruitment, screening and mentoring of Council volunteers.
  • Facilitates work plan development, advocacy coordination and project activities for the 31-member volunteer Council.
  • Assists with prioritization of the Agency’s advisory and advocacy efforts.
  • Coordinates advocacy initiatives and activities with government partners and other community partner advisory groups.
  • Develops materials, reports and statistical information as needed to support the work of the Agency’s programs.
  • Coordinates advocacy efforts such as testimony at public hearings, meetings with elected officials and participation in partner organization advisory groups.
  • Supports and integrates issues and trends from the organization’s Personal Advocate program into the Agency and Council’s advocacy efforts.
  • Train, develop and engage volunteer advocates. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Human Services or related field OR a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience.
  • Experience coordinating and managing volunteer advisory groups and coordinating culturally appropriate meetings.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize and respond to issues in a time sensitive manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly collect, analyze and convey information about complex regulations, policy and proposals to a variety of audiences.
  • Experience working with volunteers and a commitment to Elders in Action mission.
  • Ability to work with efficiency, flexibility and professionalism.
  • Must be willing to work in a small office environment and work collaboratively with staff and volunteers.
  • Commitment to building a diverse group of volunteers.
  • Positive, proactive, solution oriented.
  • Valid driver’s license required and access to reliable motorized vehicle to travel locally.

To Apply

Qualified and interested candidates should submit the following items listed below (PDF format preferred) to JoAnn Herrigel, Deputy Director, at info@eldersinaction.org  with the subject line “Civic Involvement Coordinator Position” by 5pm on Tuesday, December 29, 2015.

  • One-page cover letter which includes your interest and qualifications for this position
  • Resume
  • Three professional references

Elders in Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants from various ages, bilingual and bicultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary starts at $36,000