Silver Goes To Bat for Seniors at Major Rally Against Pataki Cuts

April 1, 2003
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (second from left) with (l-r) City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman; Assemblywoman Adele Cohen; and Educational Alliance Executive Director Robin Bernstein at a rally to protest Governor Patakiís proposed cuts to the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) program.
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver led a rally at the Educational Alliance to protest Governor George Patakiís $1.2 million cut to the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) program. Silver was joined by Senator Joseph Lieberman, representatives of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York and the Educational Alliance, and more than 300 seniors at the rally.

NORCs are existing communities and neighborhoods where the elderly have chosen to remain as residents during their retirement years. The state provides funding for preventive screening, medical referral programs and nursing, as well as recreational activities and counseling to ensure that these retirees receive the health-care services and assistance they need.

ďThe elimination of state funding for NORCs is another example of how Governor Patakiís budget is balanced on the backs of the elderly. The NORC program is a very effective way to allow retired New Yorkers to remain in the communities where they have lived throughout their lives and still have access to the health and personal care services they need,Ē said Silver, who was instrumental in the NORC programís creation and continues to fight for its funding in state budget negotiations. Silver received a collage of pictures from grateful seniors at the conclusion of the rally.

The Educational Alliance and the Henry Street Settlement both receive funding under the NORC program that allows them to serve thousands of seniors on the Lower East Side.