Alaska Alliance for Retired Americans, a valuable resource for seniors

The Alaska Alliance for Retired Americans (AKARA) was organized by a group of retired Alaskan workers in the fall of 2017. The group is affiliated with the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nationwide grassroots organization, launched in 2001. ARA now has more than 4.4 million members working together to make their voices heard in the laws, policies, politics and institutions that shape American life.

For 20 years, ARA has mobilized retired union members, seniors and community activists into a movement advocating a political and social agenda that respects work and strengthens families. The Alaska Alliance has more than 9,600 members, including retirees and active members of affiliated unions.

Our retiree activists come from all walks of life. We are former teachers, auto workers, state and federal government workers, transportation and construction workers and community leaders united in the belief that every American deserves a secure and dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work.

We use the power of our membership and our Congressional Voting Record to educate and mobilize seniors to elect leaders committed to improving the lives of retirees and older Americans.

The coronavirus pandemic shaped the work of the Alliance during the past year. That is because seniors have been the hardest hit: as of December, 80% of those who died from COVID-19, both nationally and in Alaska, were over the age of 65. We called on Congress to include the needs of older Americans in all coronavirus stimulus and relief packages. We worked to streamline the delivery of stimulus checks to seniors and people with disabilities.

The members of AKARA look forward to working with our congressional delegation and the Biden administration, fighting for policies that will strengthen and expand earned Social Security benefits, protect pensions, lower the cost of prescription drugs and strengthen Medicare.

Here in Alaska, AKARA members are working for the repeal of the WEP and GPO, two programs that reduce the Social Security benefits of retirees and retiree survivors who have government pensions. The Windfall Elimination Program and Government Pension offset combined affect over 15,000 retirees in Alaska, directly impacting the economic well-being of our state’s fastest-growing demographic.

We also continue to work in our communities and the Legislature to protect and expand voting rights and accessibility for all Alaskans.

I invite members of the community to join us in our efforts. Please go to or contact me at if you have any questions.

Susan Reilly is the president of Alaska Alliance for Retired Americans.

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