March 20, 2009 Volume 110 Number 6

Oregon retirees alliance elects new officers

Gerald “Jerry” Morris, a retired member of the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, was elected president of the Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans (OARA) March 14 at the organization’s annual convention.

Morris succeeds Verna Porter, who did not seek re-election. Instead, Porter will focus more time as a lobbyist for OARA and other retiree groups.

In other election results, Ron Rogers was re-elected treasurer and Scott Blau was re-elected as a trustee. Porter was tapped first vice president; Jane Netboy, second vice president; Leanna Hakala, secretary; and Roz Giese, Jim Davis, and Jay Thiemeyer, trustees.

Delegates adopted two resolutions — one opposing Medicare Advantage Plans, and one in support of the Employee Free Choice Act.

The convention’s keynote speaker was George Kourpias, recently retired president of the national Alliance for Retired Americans and a retired general president of the International Association of Machinists in Washington, D.C.

Kourpias said that after being completely shut out by the Bush Administration over the last eight years, he and other union leaders have already been invited to the White House several times by the Obama Administration.

“I think Barack Obama will be a great president, but we in labor have to be vigilant. We have to stay focused and be ready to take them on if they try to get Social Security or Medicare,” Kourpias said.

The Alliance meets monthly on the fourth Thursday at 10 a.m. at Westmoreland Union Manor, 6404 SE 23rd Avenue.

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