Elders in Action’s Commission Worked with the City Utilities to get Monthly Statements

 Monthly Statements Arrive for City Utility Customers

 You asked, we listened! The City’s two utility bureaus, Environmental Services and Water, value excellent customer service. In response to customer requests, we are excited to offer an option to pay monthly – rather than quarterly – to the 97% of customers who are eligible.

 To keep administrative costs down, the monthly statement option was initially limited to paperless (e-bill) customers when it launched in October 2013. When we heard from some customers that the e-bill requirement was a barrier, we began working to remove it. We committed to removing that requirement before 2015, and beat our deadline, launching the free and voluntary program in November 2014. As of Jan. 27, 2015, 13,122 customers are already signed up.

Monthly statements can help our customers manage their monthly budgets and better understand how City utility charges fit into their overall monthly expenses. Customers receiving monthly statements still have their meters read quarterly, but will receive a statement each month. Those customers continue to pay the same total over a three-month period as those who choose to continue with a quarterly bill, in three installments rather than one.

“This option will allow older adults who wish to pay on a monthly basis but don’t have access to electronic billing and payment the ability to do so,” said Barbara Bernstein, Interim Executive Director for Elders in Action. “Our clients have asked for this option for years.”

“Paying for sewer, stormwater, and water services monthly can help Portlanders manage their expenses right now,” said Janice Thompson, the Citizens’ Utility Board’s consumer advocate for Portland public utility customers. “This is an important option that CUB has been pushing for.”

“As Commissioner in charge of the City’s two public utilities, good customer service is one of my top priorities,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “By expanding the monthly billing option, we are making it easier for customers to plan and budget for their water, sewer and stormwater services.”

To enroll in monthly statements, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/utilitybill. To discuss whether monthly statements are a good fit for you, call the Customer Service Center at 503-823-7770 or visit the Service Center in person at 1120 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland OR 97204.

Monthly Statements History and Fact Sheet

 History of Monthly Statements

You asked, we listened. City utility customers told us that monthly statements would help them to manage their monthly expenses, and we developed this option to meet that need. To limit administrative costs, the City introduced a monthly statement billing option for paperless (e-bill) customers in October 2013.

When we learned that the e-bill requirement was a barrier to customers who wanted to sign up for monthly statements, we worked with staff from several City departments, as well as with our billing company, to expand eligibility. We committed to making this option available before 2015, and launched the free and voluntary program in November 2014. As of Jan. 27, 2015, 13,122 customers are enrolled.

Monthly Statements vs. Monthly Billing

Monthly statements are a great option, helping households manage their monthly budgets and understand how their sewer/stormwater/water charges fit into their monthly expenses. A monthly statement is different from a monthly bill. When a household chooses monthly statements, their meter continues to be read quarterly, but charges are invoiced monthly. Monthly meter reads, which are not currently available for residential customers, also have their benefits. An automated meter reading system could give hourly data, providing households with more frequent information and allowing them to control their usage and proactively identify household leaks. But upgrading to a new meter system would be expensive – approximately $40 million. In an effort to meet our customers’ desire to pay monthly without incurring this cost, we developed this monthly statement option.

What Will This New Program Cost?

Offering this new program comes with a cost. In its first year, that cost is difficult to predict because we don’t know how many customers will choose it. The cost is associated with reaching out to households 12 times a year, compared to just four. Based on an estimate that 10% of households will choose monthly paper statements, we budgeted an additional $246,300 for printing, paper, envelopes, postage and costs associated with processing and returned mail. One way to keep these program costs down is encouraging households to consider the monthly, paperless, e-bill option.

 Who is the Ideal Candidate for Monthly Statements?

The monthly statement option is ideal for customers who can pay a third of their quarterly bill each month, on time. This is especially convenient for customers who also take advantage of City’s auto-pay feature. Monthly statements may not be the right option for customers who require greater flexibility in their payment schedule. These customers are better served by quarterly billing, which allows customers to make payment arrangements and request alternate due dates that work better for them. Quarterly billing is also a better option for customers who sometimes fall behind on payments. We are happy to help you choose the right billing option to meet your needs.

Elders in Action is Seeking an Executive Director

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Executive Director:

 Founded in 1968 as the Portland Multnomah Commission on Aging and incorporated in 1997 as a private nonprofit, Elders in Action, fulfills its mission to assure a vibrant community through the active involvement of older adults through its four unique programs. 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.

We are currently seeking a visionary Executive Director to lead a well-established organization.

 Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Works in conjunction with the Board of Directors to set the vision and goals of this growing organization that advocates for the rights of older adults and serves older adults and people with disabilities through a variety of programs.
  • Serves as the key development officer, including oversight of individual and major donors, as well as corporate, government and foundation support.
  • Responsible for building and maintaining effective relationships with government agencies, community and business partners, and the general public to ensure successful partnerships.
  • Provides overall agency administration including human resource management, direction for internal structures and facilities oversight.
  • Spearheads the annual and strategic planning with staff and Board of Directors.
  • Monitors revenues and expenditures, fiscal controls, financial forecasts, independent audit process of an organizational budget of $540,000.
  • Serves as Development Director to create and implement a development plan that details how the organization solicits donors and identifies funding sources such as grants, in-kind donations, charitable events and marketing opportunities.
  • Develops and articulates organizational updates, results and proposals to the Board of Directors. Assigns and tracks cases and the accompanying administrative duties.
  • Leads grant-writing and fundraising efforts from all sources including government contracts, foundations, corporate and individuals.
  • Executes, manages and monitors contracts and agreements on behalf of Elders in Action.
  • Serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization in media, press and public hearings

Qualifications:

  • 5-7 years of experience in non-profit management.
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Service field and related field that includes extensive work experience with vulnerable populations.
  • Proven track record of established non-profit fundraising experience.
  • Ability to build and maintain collaborative partnership with government officials, community and business leaders.
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in working with Board of Directors, Commissions, Advisory groups and volunteers.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication and management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem solve, to be proactive; and to prioritize and handle a variety of projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to inspire and support a productive, professional and collaborative staff.
  • Experience in special event planning, coordination and implementation.
  • Experience in creating and implementing strategic plans that address the agencies mission and public and private interests.
  • Effective skills using media and computer technology skills, including Microsoft Excel, Word and Webmail.

Compensation and Benefits: Elders in Action offers competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package.

Application Process:

To apply for this position, please submit to edsearch@eldersinaction.org a cover letter, resume and salary requirement and a 500 word response to one of the following questions

  1. What excites you about working on behalf of older adults?
  2. What do you think are key components of an environment attractive to highly skilled volunteers
  3. What would you wish to create to enrich the lives of older adults?

 

 

 

 

Be part of making the Lloyd Center more Age-Friendly!

Microsoft Word - AFC Resident-Volunteer Flyer-Feb 2015.docx

We need your help to make the Lloyd Center more Age-Friendly!

Join us on February 5th and 12th.

WHAT:   Residents of the Lloyd District are invited to join the Lloyd Center Age-Friendly
Business Campaign and help make businesses in our community more Age-Friendly.

WHEN:  Thursday, February 5th 10am – 1pm: Attend a free Elders in Action training
and learn more about great service for customers of all ages. A light lunch will be provided
by Holladay Park Plaza.

Thursday, February 12th 10am – 1:30pm: Visit 2-3 stores in the Lloyd Center and
share your new knowledge by providing in-store evaluations and feedback. All volunteers
will work in teams & be accompanied by an Elders in Action volunteer. After the
evaluations, we will meet back in the Community Room for a brief discussion and lunch,
provided by Holladay Park Plaza.

WHERE: Join us both days at the Lloyd Center Community Room located on the first
floor near Ross Dress for Less and the Children’s Play Zone.

HOW: Email alison@ecolloyd.org or call (888) 574-5507 to sign up by January 30!

The Lloyd Age-Friendly Business Campaign is brought to you by:  Elders in Action, GoLloyd, LloydEcoDistrict, Lloyd District Community Association, and the Lloyd Center.
Microsoft Word - AFC Resident-Volunteer Flyer-Feb 2015.docx
 

Season’s Greeting from Elders in Action

With your support,  we are strong

and making a difference!

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We have the privilege of being part of an organization that is making a profound and positive impact on the lives of older adults. Here is just one person whose life was touched by the work we do.

"The Personal Advocate helped me realize the situation I was in was not my fault and coached me through solving it."

“The Personal Advocate helped me realize the situation I was in was not my fault and coached me through solving it.”

Rachel, 75, had been given a 30-day notice of a rent increase she could not afford. She was in a crisis situation but not alone, she called Elders in Action.   Together, she and our Personal Advocate, composed a letter to the management that explained her situation. 

 The wonderful outcome of this partnership is that the management of her existing apartment building agreed to extend her lease until she was accepted at a more affordable building. Rachel, assisted by her personal advocate, can now avoid the unexpected increase in living expenses and an uncertain future living situation.

 Older adults can sometimes be overpowered, overlooked and silenced. Elders in Action volunteers amplify the voice of those in need and ensure they are visible in a society that is often moving too fast to pay attention. When you support Elders in Action, you are making the concerns and hopes of older adults visible. With your help, Elders in Action is paying attention. 

 Please make a meaningful contribution towards our end-of-year goal of $10,000, to enable Elders in Action to keep paying attention to those who need it most. 

Encore Action Team makes long-awaited kiosk a reality at Portland Memory Garden

Elders in Action’s Encore Action Teams Making A Difference

One of Elders in Action’s partners, the Portland Memory Garden, had a critical project to build an information kiosk in their special garden that is designed to meet the special needs of those with memory disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and to provide respite for their caregivers.  EiA contacted one of our corporate volunteer partners, Tokyo Electron Ltd., and before you know the kiosk was in place.  Read about this powerful project below.

Elders in Action’s Encore Action Teams utilize a service learning approach which creates meaningful and rewarding  hands-on service experiences for  volunteers. Our Encore Action Teams provide service activities that are completed in a day or in a series which last a few weeks. Participants achieve a greater knowledge of issues affecting older adults and the projects make a real difference in people’s lives. If interested in becoming involved in a Encore Action team give us a call at 503-235-5474.

Memory Garden Kiosk

Remember Elders in Action on #GivingTuesday

Remember Elders in Action on GivingTuesday

December 2nd is GivingTuesday, a day following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, designated to support non-profits and the communities we serve.

This year Elders in Action is trying something new and have teamed up with a Portland-based philanthropically minded start-up called Impact Flow. They match donors to projects that are looking for financial support to get off the ground. Will you support our project?

We invite you to help Elders in Action launch its next Financial Fraud Panel.
Your support will help older adults learn how to protect themselves from the unscrupulous activities targeted directly at them!
To make a donation please click here.  Thank you!

P.S. We will let you know the details of Fraud Panel when it happens and hope to see you there!

Get Ready for the 2015 State Legislative Session!

Get Ready for the 2015 State Legislative Session!

Legislative Advocacy 101 Panel

 

Monday, December 15, 2014
6:00 to 8: 00 p.m.
Portland Building, 2nd floor, Auditorium
1120 SW 5th Ave., Portland

This “Advocacy 101” event will provide community members with tips on how to be an effective advocate for your community or neighborhood during this upcoming 2015 state legislative session and 114th Congress. A panel of elected officials, congressional staff, and professional advocates will share their advice and answer questions about how the community can make an impact on public policy at the state and federal levels.

Panelists:

  • Sen. Michael Dembrow (HD 23)
  • Rep. Jennifer Williamson (HD 36)
  • Grace Neal, Field Director for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
  • Felisa Hagins, SEIU Local 49

Information you will gain from the panel:

  • How to work effectively with legislators and their staff
  • Strategies for mobilizing your base of membership or coalitions to maximize advocacy impact
  • Lobbying do’s and don’ts

For more information or to address accessibility needs:

The City of Portland will make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities and people needing assistance with language interpretation and translation. Please notify us by Tuesday, December 9 if you need assistance.

PHONE: (503) 823-3093

EMAIL: victor.salinas@portlandoregon.gov

TTY: (503) 823-6868

Oregon Relay Service at (800) 735-2900

Transportation:

The event is located on the downtown transit mall next to Yellow and Green MAX lines. www.trimet.org

Questions about specific legislative items? How to reach the Mayor and City Commissioners

If you have questions about specific legislative issues please contact City Council offices using this link, which has contact information for City Council offices (see photos of Mayor and Commissioners on right side of page): http://www.portlandoregon.gov

Co-Sponsored by:

City of Portland, Office of Mayor Hales, Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Office of Government Relations

Fond Farewell to our Executive Director Leslie Foren


Fond Farewell to Leslie Foren
It is with a heavy heart but with much thanks that we say farewell to our Executive Director, Leslie Foren. Leslie is leaving Elders in Action after 13 years to explore new opportunities. One of our staff members really captured our feelings.
“Sure, she’s articulate, organized, a great manager and fun to work with. But, ultimately, what makes her so very special – is that she’s real and she cares and you can feel that whenever she’s in the same room. There’s a humility and calm that comes with true integrity.”
 
Please join Elders in Action board, staff, volunteers and partners for an informal send-off on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm at the Elders in Action office (1411 SW Morrison St., Suite 290, Portland, OR).  There will be special tribute at 3:30 pm.
RSVPs are appreciated but not required.
Call 503-235-5474 or by email.

Elders in Action’s Position on City of Portland Street Fees

              From the west hills to the eastern border of the City of Portland we have gaps in our sidewalk system, dangerous crosswalks along major arterials and inaccessible transit stations making travel difficult and dangerous for a large portion of our population. Older adults and people with disabilities using canes, walkers or mobility devices require safe sidewalks, ADA access ramps and well-timed and maintained crosswalks to access the services provided by retail, medical and entertainment establishments in the City.

In the tri-county area, between 2010 and 2030, Metro projects a growth of 106% in the number of those aged 65 and older compared to an increase of 34.6% in the region’s population overall. Both the City and Multnomah County have adopted the Age Friendly Action Plan focusing on future development and activities that foster physical, social, and service environments that make Portland and the County attractive and accessible to all ages and abilities. An important recommendation of this plan is to “dedicate appropriate funding to create an accessible and integrated transportation system that meets the needs of a rapidly aging population”.
Since May of 2014, two city work groups and an advisory committee, formed by the Mayor and Commissioner Novick, have worked with Portland Bureau of Transportation staff and City Council to revise the proposed Transportation User Fee. Some workgroup members have strongly advocated for the majority of funds generated by such a fee or tax to be used from “curb to curb” for maintenance of pavement. Only 25% of the funds, they suggest, should be allocated to safety improvements. It is important to note that while this allocation scheme benefits automobiles it does not address the needs of pedestrians and alternately-abled individuals in the City.
All parties involved in the revision of the proposed Transportation Fee agree that any new transportation funding should allocate revenue to both maintenance and safety improvements to our city’s transportation system. City Council will ultimately decide how best to proportion the dedication of these funds. It is our hope that the final distribution scheme weighs equally the needs of those travelling by foot or using mobility devices with those travelling by car. We strongly encourage Council to establish a 50-50 funding distribution between maintenance and safety projects as part of any new transportation funding scheme.

Leslie Foren
Executive Director
Elders in Action
503-235-5474