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For Immediate Release
August 11, 2004 
  Contact: Ilana Sabban 
                                Patti Reilly 



Henderson, NV—John Kerry was today formally pledged the political clout of 3 million retirees when he received the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans at a seniors' town hall meeting in Nevada.

Alliance President George J. Kourpias praised Kerry's leadership on behalf of seniors and the issues important to older Americans, and pledged that seniors across the country will work to elect Kerry president "because their lives depend on it."

The Alliance for Retired Americans, which lobbied against passage of the 2003 Medicare law, is a nationwide, grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of seniors. Kerry accepted the Alliance endorsement in Henderson, NV, at a town hall meeting of Alliance members.

"It's time America's seniors have a president who cares about them and fights to protect and preserve programs important to them," said Kourpias, who noted that Kerry received a 100% Lifetime Voting Record from the Alliance. "We need a leader who understands our needs and will protect the rights seniors worked a lifetime to earn.”

"John Kerry stands with seniors and will be a 'people over profits' President.  He has earned our respect and support and we will pull out all the stops to elect him the next President of the United States."

Kourpias said that the Alliance's state chapters are all geared to mobilizing their membership and will be implementing full-court election strategies that include voter registration, member education and GOTV tactics. In key senior battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada, the Alliance has on-the-ground field staff coordinating its education and mobilization plans. Kourpias noted that roughly 7 million Americans over 65 live in these five states; the same states total 83 electoral votes.

"Seniors are a formidable political force and will decide who is the next President of the United States," said Kourpias. "Not only are more seniors registered to vote than any other voting group, but they vote in greater numbers than any other of the voting-age populations.”

"Seniors cast one out of every four votes cast for president in 2000. Alliance members are a powerful voting bloc to reckon with and plan to flex our political muscle come November 2.  George Bush had better watch out."

Kourpias said that Bush's flawed Medicare drug benefit and the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs are energizing Alliance members and seniors throughout the U.S. this election season. He said older Americans believe Bush cares more about the needs and wants of drug companies and special interests than he does about the struggles facing middle class seniors. Older Americans  know they got a raw deal from George Bush and it's their turn to give it back, he said.

"Seniors don't have a lot of time to waste and know that four more years of George Bush would be a disaster for them as well as for the future of their children and their grandchildren," Kourpias said. "We are focused, we are energized and we will put the Kerry-Edwards team in the White House."

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of America’s seniors.

The Alliance for Retired Americans was founded in May 2001; union retirees make up a significant part of its membership.  More on the Alliance for Retired Americans--from the FAQs section of their website:

Is the Alliance an arm of organized labor and the Democratic Party?
We're proud to be allied with the AFL-CIO and other partners. We think the Alliance has much to offer by helping retirees stay connected to their unions and helping to educate all of our members about the issues they care about. We support elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, who support our agenda and the issues we care about.

Can I become a member of the Alliance if I am not with a union?
Yes, we welcome members from outside the labor movement who share our concerns. The dues of retirees of participating unions are paid by their unions; other members pay an annual membership fee of $10.00.