WAVE Members Meeting (Annual Meeting)
Monday, November 23, 2020
Virtual - via Zoom
10:15 – 10:30am Attendees began logging in
Number of attendees: 66
President Leigh Sempeles opened the meeting at 10:37.
Leigh welcomed everyone.
Recording Secretary Report Leigh noted that Cele Garrett distributed the minutes of the September WAVE meeting last week via eBlast and are listed on the WAVE web site. The minutes were approved.
Laurie Pross reported the current balance: $8,856.01. She noted that 44 villages paid their dues in 2020.
Correspondence Secretary’s Report
Leigh recognized Barbara Sullivan with the Village to Village Network to provide a quick report on the VtVN conference in October, which drew more than 600 attendees. One highlight was the AARP panel, which received high marks. Barbara also noted that four villages plan to suspend their operations. She also reported that the interactive Covid resource tool that Pazit has created soon will be added to the VtVN website. Barbara emphasized how important it is for villages to keep their members updated on local services during Covid, including those that involve food and medicine. This spurred informal conversations where several villages reported some recent steps they’ve taken to help their members receive local services.
Leigh recognized Kathy Pointer, who introduced our invited guest, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, as our plenary speaker. AG Racine introduced his colleague Amy Mix, the elder justice prosecutor in his office. Racine described the Consumer Advocacy unit in the AG’s office and its focus on consumer protection. He pointed out the anti-gouging statute that has been invoked to prevent unscrupulous merchant practices. Complaints in this area have tripled since Covid began. He explained the parameters of what is and is not allowed for increasing prices during a time of crisis.
Amy Mix discussed financial exploitation and how cases generally are handled in the AG’s office. The DC office is unique in that it has one of the few stand-alone enforcement offices for elder abuse—with a criminal prosecutor on staff. APS is the first place to file a report and, often, the referral will be taken to the next level.
AG Racine explained that the office made senior protection a priority because the federal prosecutor will not engage unless the case involves a monetary amount over a half million dollars. The AG’s office worked with city council to strengthen the laws to fill this gap in the federal arena. Tech scams, imposter scams, “grandparent” scams are all on the rise—and now Covid-related scam products are cropping up.
Another area of concern for seniors is in housing: Many seniors cannot keep up with rental increases. Unscrupulous landlords will create a plan to “freeze out” tenants, then renovate to seek out higher paying tenants.
The last part of AG Racine’s talk was about the concept of restorative justice. This is where the victim (or their family) has a choice in creating the consequences for the perpetrator. He invited us to look into NVRDC.org (Network for Victim Recovery of DC) to learn more about their comprehensive advocacy and justice program.
For this meeting, there were no breakouts following the plenary session. The meeting adjourned at approximately 12noon.