CALA News & Views - Summer 2016 - page 6

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their day. Residents have seen some incredible changes during
their lives—advances in technology, evolving women’s rights,
and the nation’s first black president—and enjoy discussions that
focus on those topics as well.
Janet Feely, Executive Director of Nazareth House of Los
Angeles
, shared her community’s philosophy on being a polling
place and on the importance of civic engagement. Utilizing
their community as a polling place allows their residents the
opportunity to cast their ballots in person rather than voting
absentee. As Feely puts it, “There is still a great thrill to being
part of the process as it happens, especially for this generation.”
Her father used to say that “he fought a war so we could all
go out and vote.”Voting is seen as a patriotic duty among her
residents, as many of them fought in the same war and share the
same sentiment as her father. Opening Nazareth House to the
general public as a polling place is appreciated by residents as a
way of providing excellent customer service, and they enjoy the
interaction and having people outside of their community come
see the community.
Assisted Living communities such as NazarethHouse are part of the
broader communities that they are located within. Feely remarked
that they strive to be good neighbors to those around them. Being
a good neighbor includes supporting the local economy, and
they try to do as much business as possible with local businesses
to demonstrate that philosophy. Being a polling place provides
an unassuming way to market the Assisted Living community
to those that come to cast their votes, but as Feely states, “it also
speaks to our commitment to residents and families to continue to
keep their loved ones engaged in meaningful activities.”
These are just some of the ways that CALA’s member
communities are working to keep their residents actively
engaged in current events and in the broader community.
Many other CALA member communities are also doing things
to actively engage their residents in civic-minded activities,
including being polling places, providing transportation to
polling places when located outside of the Assisted Living
community, hosting local and state elected officials and
candidates for tours and discussions, bringing in county registrars
to give residents the opportunity to register to vote, and holding
politically-focused talks, just to name a few.
Are you interested in getting your community involved in civic-
minded activities? Visit the Secretary of State’s website for voter
registration information. Check out the
Honor Veterans. Vote.
program, which allows individuals to honor a military service
member by dedicating their vote to them. Invite the League of
Women Voters of California to visit your residents, or download
their fair and balanced non-partisan voter education materials.
You can also invite your assemblymember or state senator to
visit your community using CALA’s Advocates in Action tools at
. And if you want to follow the progress
of current legislation, the California Channel allows interested
individuals to watch live and pre-recorded committee hearings
and floor sessions taking place in the state capitol.
The fight for the right to vote sparked the beginning of what would
one day become the United States of America. We are proud of our
members who help residents speak up, get informed, get to their
polling places, and make their voices heard.
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The California Channel:
election year
web resources:
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