RTAC Member Workshops and Seminars
Last update 3/30/17
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The Spring 2017 workshops are listed below.
RTAC is pleased to be able to invite you to participate in one of our Spring 2017 seminars.
The programs are provided to our members at no charge. The sessions are held in the Garland Building Conference Room at 111 N. Wabash Avenue.
Unless otherwise listed, all programs listed below begin at 10:00 a.m. and generally conclude before noon. Space is limited to 20  participants per program. Please call (312) 750-1522 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to make a reservation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 (10:30 a.m.) "Strategies to Prevent Outliving Your Resources" Presented by Michael Broadus and Michael Vasilou from the Better Benefits Family Group
Thursday, April 20, 2017 – "Retirees’ Income Choices and Cash Flow" Presented by Bill Blyth & Associates
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – "Windows 10 and PC Security" Presented by Roy Coleman, RTAC Webmaster
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – "The ABCs of New LTCs" Presented by Janice Axelrod
Thursday, June 8, 2017
"Affordable Long Term Care/Life Insurance Hybrid Policies With No Premium Increases" Presented by Ward Powell, Estate Plan Chicago
Thursday, June 15, 2017
  "Men's and Women’s Health" Presented by Dr. Olalawu Fayan. Medical Director, Oak Street Health           

Watch this space for additional Spring 2017 workshops or send a note to the webmaster to be included in our Workshop Alerts
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All programs require advance registration and are open to RTAC Members in good Standing.
Please call (312) 750-1522 to reserve your place.
Due to space limitations, registration is limited to, AT MOST, 20 individuals for each program.
Unless otherwise indicated, all of the workshops take place the conference room of the Garland building at 111 N. Wabash.

Click CTU or CTPF to get information about or to register for their workshops.
Other workshops and seminars are:
TBA

Workshops by the Cook County Elder Justice Center
Aging at Home:  Safety and Support Systems” on Thursday, April 6, 2017
(12:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Courtroom 2005)
Summaries of recent RTAC workshops.
Quick links:
Senior Housing Options  101  by The Clare on Thursday, September 29, 2016  
Closing the Gap to Create Financial Peace by The Ward Powell Group on Tuesday, September 27, 2016  
Healthy Sugars by Oak Street Health on Tuesday, September 20, 2016     
New ABCs of RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) by Ward Powell, Estate Plan Chicago on Wednesday, June 8, 2016
How to Evaluate Financial Products and Services.by Bill Blyth and Associates on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Strategies for Outsmarting the Scammers by Janice Goldman Picker on Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The Other Retirement Issue – Health Insurance by Patricia B. Kubistal on Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Windows 10 and PC Security by Roy Coleman on April 20, 2016
Getting the Most Out of Your Primary Care Physician’s Visit by Oak Street Health
on April 13, 2016
What To Do As Our Loved Ones Age by William J. Blyth, Blyth and Associates on November 17, 2015
Notes to My Family- Beneficiary Issues by Ward Powell, Estate Plan Chicago on October 29, 2015
Newer Options for Funding Long Term Care Expenses by Ron Millar, Metlife Chicago LTC on October 28, 2015
Navigating the Medicare Maze by Oak Street Health on October 20, 2015
Minimizing Your Taxes on Your IRA Distributions by William J. Blyth, Blyth and Associates on July 14, 2015
Reducing Your Taxes by Managing Your Annuity Plan by Ward Powell, June 4, 2015
Computer Security-How to avoid common Scams, Phishing and E-mail exploits by Roy Coleman,  April 14, 2015
Long Term Care Options - Hybrid Policies, Combo Choices, Critical Illness Riders by A. Charles Williams & Associates,
June 25, 2014
Wills and Trusts: What Will You Do? by Zyg Sokolnicki, June 17, 2014
Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself by Lakeside Bank Affiliates, June 10, 2014
Estate Preservation by Ward Powell, May 29, 2014
Advocacy Seminar by Richard Lockhart, August 27, 2013
CTPF presentation with Kevin Huber, August 19, 2013
CTU presentation by Karen Lewis, August 7, 2013


Senior Housing Options  101  by The Clare on Thursday, September 29, 2016 

Lynne Lukas, of The Clare provided a session on Senior Housing Options. Ms. Lukas’ presentation included descriptions of the various types of housing which are available to seniors ranging from independent housing options to continuous care retirement communities. One should review the various options in order to make the most informed decision prior to finding oneself in a situation which might make one’s current independent arrangements untenable (i.e. multi-level homes when one’s mobility is challenged). 








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Closing the Gap to Create Financial Peace by The Ward Powell Group on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

In order to narrow or close the gap to achieve financial peace of mind, we must know that a gap exist.

The focus of this workshop was to provide an overview of some of the losses that take place within our financial/retirement plan, which most of us are unaware of. There are five areas where people are losing money unknowingly and unnecessarily. They are as follows: 1) How do you pay your mortgage, 2) How you pay your taxes, 3) Taking distributions on your qualified plan(s), (403b) et al, 4) Educational expenses, and 5) How do you pay for major ticket items, such as, cars, vacations, and weddings. Everyone has holes in their plan, we specialize in finding those holes and creating solutions.

We also covered the hidden fees in most 401k, 403b, Tax-Sheltered Annuity, and other qualified plans that have been in existence, for at least the past ten years. In other words, if you've signed the contract for your current qualified plan ten years ago, there may be reason to check what fees you are paying on this account. It can be costing you tens of thousands of dollars. As a part of the service we offer to our clients, we send a concise letter to the servicing company. It does not provide any wiggle room that will allow them to avoid any of the questions. Once the company receives the letter, they are compelled to come forward with the information, which will help you make an informed decision about your money.

For more information contact The Ward Powell Group at 1 (312) 629-9100 or ward@thewardpowellgroup.com









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Healthy Sugars by Oak Street Health on Tuesday, September 20, 2016    

Tony Tovar of Oak Street Health provided a presentation on Healthy Sugars which focused upon how one can address the issue of pre-diabetes. According to current statistics, a substantial percentage of the U.S. population is presently  pre-diabetic and is unaware of the dangers. Previously, we used to think that large consumers of sugar were most prone to diabetes. Today’s medical professionals have made us aware that consumption of carbohydrate laden dietary staples and lack of exercise are serious factors which lead to the onset of type two diabetes which can seriously impair one’s health and longevity.

(No photos are available)
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New ABCs of RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Ward Powell, Estate Plan Chicago
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In addition to the information received on RMDs, those who attended were taught basic distribution strategies to take with them. The Ward Powell Group will be uploading some of the vignettes used in this session. Please, make it a point to visit our website www.Thewardpowellgroup.com within the following week, for more on this and other important topics of strategic financial interests.

The attendees expressed overwhelming gratitude for the session entitled, "The New ABCs for RMDs." Here are some of the comments, "Any person facing retirement should be given the opportunity to take this seminar early in their exiting process." "This was quite an informative seminar. The information was explained in a way that one could easily apply to their financial circumstances." "I've attended Mr. Powell's sessions several times and I always leave with new information." And finally, "Today's seminar was great. I learned a lot about things I hadn't even thought about."


Ward Powell Presenting

Ward Powell presenting to participants

Ward Powell answering questions

Participants
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How to Evaluate Financial Products and Services on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Bill Blyth and Associates
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Bill Blyth and Carla Nitz offered members an opportunity to examine their tax returns and effectively plan for the coming tax season.

They reviewed complicated concepts related to income taxes and helped the attendees consider how to best prepare for the completion of their 2016 returns.






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Strategies for Outsmarting the Scammers on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Janice Goldman Picker


Protect Yourself against Financial Exploitation

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Presenters and participants
JGP
Presenters and participants
JGP
Participant questions
JGP
Participant questions
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The Other Retirement Issue – Health Insurance on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by Patricia B. Kubistal

This workshop focuses on the other retirement concern -- health insurance. Issues involving the rising cost of health insurance premiums, prescription drugs are reviewed along with changing trends in health care that impact how all Americans receive health care.  A brief review of how and when to apply for Medicare is discussed.


The full presentation is here.


Pat Kubistal illustrating the Health Insurance Issue to participants

Pat Kubistal & Participants

Pat Kubistal answering participants' questions

Pat Kubistal answering participants' questions
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Windows 10 and PC Security on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 by Roy Coleman
You can download the complete PowerPoint presentation (here) and a 'How To' sheet (here).
 
W10 participants
Roy Coleman and Workshop Participants
W10 Workshop
Workshop Participants
W10 Workshop
Roy Coleman showing an example of a REALY long password
W10 workshop
Answering Participant's Questions
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 Getting the Most Out of Your Primary Care Physician’s Visit on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by Oak Street Health
Oak Street Health

Oak Street Health presented on the "Impact of Primary Care". The importance of engaged primary care for seniors. Talked about how a study was conducted to determine if having an engaged PCP makes a difference. They also facilitated a group discussion about how an engaged Primary Care Physician. A patient will have organized and more comprehensive care.

Oak Street
Workshop Participants
Oak Street
Lauren Hasan & Participants
Oak Street
Lauren Hasan & Participants
Oak Street
Tony Tovar (on left) and Lauren Hasan presenting
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What To Do As Our Loved Ones Age on November 17, 2015 by William J. Blyth, Blyth and Associates
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The workshop covered the area of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones as we age.  Some of the topics covered were: 
1)  Planning for getting older;
2) Family and professional caregivers; 
3) Protecting the retiree and the family; 
4) Estate planning consideration; 
5)  tax savings ideas; and
6) Solutions for common mistakes.
Allison Forker and Bill Blyth answered questions and gave examples based on many years of experience.  Included in the discussion was a very moving New Your Times article as an example of what can happen if you and your family are not prepared.  You can find the article at http://nyti.ms/1kcLofc

 

Bill Blyth and Participants 

Bill Blyth and Participants

Bill Blyth Answering Questions

Bill Blyth Answering Questions
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Notes to My Family- Beneficiary Issues on October 29, 2015 by Ward Powell, Estate Plan Chicago 
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The importance of having a living-will prepared, prior to needing it was discussed. Where it specifically fits in the estate planning process and why? It puts the author and their family at ease knowing, it's completed, and following the instructions outlined, makes things more logistically palatable for the family members assigned to those duties. Additionally, we all know how vital it is to take inventory of one's accumulated finances. Well, the same should hold true with whom one would like to have inherit their accounts. Unfortunately, paying close attention to every account detail, relative to beneficiaries; this can be over looked. Over time, things change. It particularly happens with the older accounts and sometimes with the newer ones. Performing a beneficiary audit once every 2-3 years should be implemented as a part of every accounts holder's estate planning duty.
 

Ward Powell with Participants

Ward Powell with Participants
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Newer Options for Funding Long Term Care Expenses on October 28, 2015 by Ron Millar, Metlife Chicago LTC    
Metlife


(Description of workshop pending.)


Presenter with Participants

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Individual Q&A
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Navigating the Medicare Maze on October 20, 2015 by Oak Street Health
Oak Street Health

Lauren Hasan, Soledad Rodriguez, and Tony Tovar of Oak Street Health provided a clarifying seminar on 'Navigating the Medicare Maze' to RTAC members.

Oak Street Health
Presenters Loren Hasan, Tony Tovar and Soledad Rodriguez
oak Street Health
Presenters with participants
Oak Street health
Questions and Answers
Oak Street Health
Questions and Answers
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Minimizing Your Taxes on Your IRA Distributions on July 14, 2015 by William J. Blyth, Blyth and Associates
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If you have an IRA and/or a 403(b) Tax Shelter Annuity you are required to take a distribution once you turn 701/2.  The IRS has set certain rules for the minimum required distribution.  (See these references: IRS RequirementsIRS FAQ and IRS Distribution Worksheet.)  What should you do with the money you are required to take out of your retirement account(s)?  Can you invest it? Yes but today's returns are very low to zero.  You should do something for yourself - take a cruise, buy something you always wanted, give it to your favorite charity - in other words, MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY!  Note that this distribution WILL count as ordinary income and will be taxed as income.
Bill Blyth workshop
Presenters Bill Blyth and Carla Nitz
Bill Blyth Workshop
Bill Blyth and Participants
Bill blyth particioants
Workshop Participants
Bill Blyth workshop
Workshop Participants

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Reducing Your Taxes by Managing Your Annuity Plan  on June 4, 2015 by Ward Powell

The attendees received extremely helpful information on understanding the different types of annuities available. Said one attendee, "I'm much more knowledgeable about annuities than before and that she feels more qualified to move forward with discussing that particular asset class." Another attendee said, "it has encouraged her to review her current annuity plans and using the evaluating procedure she learned after attending the workshop." They were also interested in the impact certain life insurance strategies have on mitigating taxes and creating a tax free income stream. Overall, everyone was happy they came and were motivate to take action.
Ward & Eleanor
Ward Powell with Eleanor
Ward introduction
Ward Powell with his assistant and attendees

Ward Powell and attendees

Ward Powell and attendees
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Computer Security-How to avoid common Scams, Phishing and E-mail exploits on April 14, 2015 by Roy Coleman

Security ideas as simple as covering your camera when it is not in use to using a computer running Linux (a different operating system) were covered.
Hacker access to your computer, phone or even your car was discussed along with some steps that should be taken to prevent an unwanted intrusion.
Sending and receiving e-mail in a safe manner was described.  In particular, the use of BCC (Blind Copy) was encourage to help prevent the spread of e-mail viruses and worms.
You can download the complete PowerPoint (here) along with the script used (here) and a 'How To' sheet (here).

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Long Term Care Options - Hybrid Policies, Combo Choices, Critical Illness Riders workshop on June 25, 2014 by A. Charles Williams & Associates.

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This seminar focused on Long Term Care Options, including descriptions and comparisons of hybrid policies, combo policies, and critical illness riders. Attendees were shown how to analyze long term care policies and how to purchase them. They also learned what types of expenditures can be covered by long term care insurance and how to use life insurance to pay for long term care expenses. An individual’s financial planning strategy should include preparing for one’s long term care needs.

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FeLicia Williams - Presenter
LTC
FeLicia Williams & Participants
LTC Participatns
Participants
LTC
Participants
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Wills and Trusts: What Will You Do? workshop on June 17, 2014 by Zyg Sokolnicki                       Logo

The 2.5 hour long seminar/class concentrated on how property can be held, i.e., joint tenancy, land trusts, etc. How that property can be to transferred at death to others.  What instruments (will, trust, PoD's, etc) can accomplish such transfers.  The necessity of having an estate plan, and what happens to your stuff if you do not.  Finally, is a will sufficient or is a trust necessary, and the factors to consider to reach that decision.
   
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Zyg Sokolnicki
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Zyg Sokolnicki
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Participants
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Participants
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Identity Theft: How to Protect Yourself workshop on June 10, 2014 by Lakeside Bank Affiliates
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On June 10th Lakeside Bank sponsored a free workshop to RTAC members, "Protecting Your Privacy and Security:  Identity Theft in Today's Society."  The workshop featured three expert panelists:  Ana Benitez, Lakeside Bank; Keith Cross, Legalshield; and Eric Salcedo, Office of the IL Attorney General.  Lakeside Bank has produced an informational brochure on ID theft, which can be found here: http://lakesidebank.com/pdf/identity-theft-brochure.pdf

Here are some highlights of the safeguards the panel suggested:
1)  Don't ever give out your SSN or personal information to anyone who initiates the conversation.  If someone calls you and asks, don't give it out.   2)  Opt out of unsolicited pre-approved credit card applications, to cut back on possible junk mail that could be stolen.  Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT to do so.    3)  Be diligent about keeping track of activity/transactions on credit cards, health benefits, bank statements, etc.  Check balances regularly on-line so you know right away if something is fraudulent.    4)  Order your free annual credit report--and do that for the seniors and children in your family as well.  They are the majority of victims nowadays.

If you have found that you are a victim of ID Theft, contact the ID Theft Hotline at the Illinois Attorney General's Office at 1-866-999-5630.  They also have a resource brochure here:  http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/brochure_idtheft.pdf.

If you choose to hire a company for monitoring and helping to resolve ID theft issues,  it is important to ask some important questions of the company:
1) What are they monitoring (your name, Social Security #, financial activity, DMV ( ID or license), medical, IRS) and how will they alert you?    2) How long has the company been in business & doing security investigation?   3) What kind of systems do they have in place to monitor, alert & restore your breach of Identity theft?   4) What is done if legal advice is needed?  Does the company have attorneys or a system in place to work to resolve your issue?

IDT Presenters
Presenters (L-R):
Eric Salcedo-Illinois Attorney General's Office
Ana Benitez-Senior V.P. Lakeside Bank
Keith Cross-Legal Shield Independent Associate
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Participants
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Participants
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Door prize winners
Louella         Dianna          Judy

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Estate Preservation workshop on May 29, 2014 presented by Ward Powell

We had yet another successful presentation at the RTAC headquarters on the 29th of May.  The topic of discussion was "Estate Preservation". This time we sprinkled it with a little planning that has to do with purchasing big ticket items i.e. Long Term Care Insurance, Reverse Mortgages, and Automobiles.  We touched on purchasing automobiles in this session. The participants found it exciting, eye-opening, and requested more of the same for future sessions. Normally we're out before or at noon. However, the attendees had so many questions and interests we were there an additional hour fielding their questions and concerns.

Estate Preservation is key to our fiscal survival. We strongly suggest you make our next informative workshop with Ward Powell.

Ward Powell with Arlene Crandall

Ward Powell

Ward Powell and  Presentation Attendees

Ward Powell and  Presentation Attendees
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CTU presentation on August 7, 2013 with Karen Lewis, President
CTUlogo
Chicago Teachers Union
Pension Stabilization and Member Protection Proposal


CTU developed and presented a pension proposal that protected members’ benefits while also stabilizing both the CTPF funding level and the CPS budget. Our proposal famously became known as the “three-legged stool.”

Leg 1: Revenue
Additional pension fund revenue takes two forms:
  1. A pension obligation bond in the amount of $2.2 billion to immediately bring the fund to 65% funded ratio. Half the bond proceeds would go to the fund and half would be used to establish a separate healthcare trust (explained in Leg 2).
  2. A reinstitution of the dedicated property tax levy for the CTPF as existed before 1995. We proposed that CPS’ entire pension obligation be separated out from the operating fund and placed into the levy. The initial levy amount would be $350 million and increase annually to cover increased payments to the pension fund and debt service on the bonds.
To be clear, any pension “solution” that does not include any significant new revenue is a solution that can only be achieved through major benefit cuts. As such, revenue is the first and most important leg of our proposal.

Leg 2: Healthcare Trust
CTU proposed the creation of a healthcare trust that would ensure a continued subsidy for retiree health insurance. The trust would have the following characteristics:
  • The trust would be governed by the current CTPF Board of Trustees.
  • The trust would guarantee a 50% subsidy for retiree healthcare. The current flat $65 million contribution will fund a consistently lower subsidy as healthcare costs rise and more people retire.
  • Future cost increases could be covered with additional Board contributions, future employee contributions, investment returns, or other revenue.
Leg 3: Benefit Changes
Our negotiating position was that we would discuss no changes to benefits. We believe that we have taken our cuts at the office with regard to layoffs.
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CTPF presentation on August 19, 2013 with Kevin Huber, CTPF Executive Director and John Carr, RTAC Legislative Advocates

Kevin Huber (CTPF)CTPFlogo

  •   Some benefit reform for retirees is needed
  •  RTAC needs to fight for itself
  •  RTAC should stay ‘neutral’ on benefit reform
  •  Loss of pension contributions from CPS from 1995-2005
  •  One billion is owed per year, 640 million is owed on 8 billion
  •  Revenue Reform Must Precede Benefit Reform; plus there must be Full Funding
  •  Pension benefit is guaranteed but health insurance is not guaranteed
  •  VEBA (Voluntary Employee Benefit Annuity) Trust can work if correctly funded and defined at the outset; if not it will fail as UAW’s did
  •  If a VEBA is legislatively instituted then health care becomes a guaranteed benefit
  •  To initiate a viable VEBA $1.2 billion is needed to seed it plus active employees would have to contribute an additional 3%, and possibly more going forward
Kevin Huber’s view of CTU’s proposal
  • Supports issuance of bonds and the reinstatement of the tax levy
  • Stresses that VEBA needs to be properly established if it is to be viable - see above
  • There is no proposed legislation based upon CTU’s concepts; three years have passed
  • Based upon current data CPS owes 50 billion between now and 2059

Read Kevin Huber's presentation to RTAC here.

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SElogo


John Carr
  (Social Engineering Associates, Inc.)

  • The AAI (aka COLA) is the major source of the funding problem
  • Health insurance issue also needs to be addressed/solved to avoid the same outcome as is currently occurring with Chicago City College’s health insurance program which is in bankruptcy.
John Carr's view –
  • goal is to preserve pensions for the future
  • focus on CTU’s proposal – section by section
What RTAC can do
  • stay neutral on benefit reform
  • oppose underfunding

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Kevin Huber
KH&JC
Kevin Huber (Left) & John Carr (Right)
Audiance
Presentation Attendees
KH&MM
Kevin Huber & Marcella Morrison
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Legislative Advocacy Seminar by Richard Lockhart, RTAC Advocate, on August 27, 2013SElogo

RTAC’s Richard Lockhart presented a legislative advocacy seminar on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 to 18 RTAC attendees. Richard’s objectives were to:
  • Provide information and insight to volunteer legislative advocates
  • Encourage effective participation in legislative decision-making
  • Prepare attendees to train other RTAC members to become legislative advocates
Specific topics related to the Illinois Legislative Process and Political Elements included:
Elections, Legislative Sessions; Mathematics Related to passage of Legislation in the House and Senate, Legislators’ Imperatives, Committees and their Roles in the Legislative Process; Protocols in the District Offices and Springfield Offices, Volume of Proposed Legislation; Fundamental Expectations and Understandings Needed to serve as an Effective Legislative Advocate; Do’s and Don’ts for Effective Interaction/Persuasion of One’s Legislative Representatives, Contacting and Visiting with a Legislator; and Importance/Power of Constituent Advocacy.

The presentation will be honed so that the attendees can proceed to serve as trainers of individuals who have indicated that they are interested in serving as legislative advocates. Our goal is to have the training be conducted so that those RTAC members who have expressed a desire to serve as legislative advocates will be prepared to do so when the legislature reconvenes in January 2014. The training will be conducted at various sites throughout the greater metropolitan Chicago area.


Read Mr. Lockhart's 'Lockhart Logic' or 'Great (legislative) Thoughts From Speaker Lockhart' (Third House, 1981) here.

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Richard Lockhart
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Richard Lockhart
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Seminar Participants
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L->R -- A. Crandall; J. Ward; W. Pilditch; R. Lockhart;
M. S. Reilly; M. Morrison
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