As we reported last month, our last REA General Member meeting was held on March 14th. We had a great turnout to hear Scott Lewis, CEO and Editor in Chief, Voice of San Diego. After our March meeting, large gatherings were banned, social distancing, ‘stay at home’ orders, and other mitigation measures were rolled out. These restrictions have been effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19, particularly in San Diego County and the State of California.
Your Board of Directors continues to manage our organization. In March, the Board cancelled the April and May General Member meetings. At our April 14th Board videoconference, the Board also cancelled the June General Member meeting. We are still planning a General Member meeting in July, but this is subject to conditions at that time. We will continue to hold monthly virtual Board meetings. We are looking forward to resuming our meetings and Board Member Joan McNamara is making plans for some interesting REA tour events when conditions permit. See Joan’s report, below.
At the recommendation of our Advocacy Committee, in early April, REA donated $3,000 to the San Diego Foundation’s “SAN DIEGO COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESPONSE FUND.” This amount represents two months of regular dues from our members (March and April) and we have asked that our donation be credited to the membership of REA. This donation is consistent with our 2020 goal of demonstrating that City retirees are contributing members of the community. Additional information on the San Diego Foundation and its COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND can be found at www.sdfoundation.org. Additionally, REA members are urged to donate what you can to some pandemic-related local non-profit during this difficult time.
We installed a couple of links on our website (www.csdrea.org). The first link is to the SD County COVID-19 website. Additionally, Board Member Chris Brewster has created a chart and a link to Daily COVID-19 hospital admissions, intensive care (ICU) admissions, and deaths. We think this is an improvement in what data is provided by the County. As Chris says, “the fluctuations in hospital admissions, intensive care admissions and deaths gives us some sense of the course of the pandemic locally and how our efforts to stem the tide are working.” Great job, Chris.
What about SDCERS?
SDCERS continues to function but has temporarily closed its offices to members. Most of its employees work via telework. Despite that, the April retiree payroll was processed smoothly, and I am confident our pension benefits will continue to be paid on time in the future. We distributed to REA members via eBlast a SDCERS “Message to Retirees” dated April 3rd. This message and updates can also be found at www.sdcers.org.
The SDCERS’ annual Healthcare Open Enrollment will begin on the usual June 1st date. However, this year, SDCERS will NOT hold the in-person open enrollment events in Balboa Park as in past years. The customary healthcare enrollment book and related materials will be mailed to all retirees just like in past years. That packet will contain REA recruitment flyers and membership applications as usual. Unfortunately, we will miss the opportunity to staff our REA recruitment table at the SDCERS’ open enrollment events as they will not happen this year. We typically recruit several dozen new REA members at these events.
We’d like you to help us out this year by recruiting one new REA member. If you are in contact with other City retirees, ask them if they belong to REA. If they say ‘no’ you have an opportunity to suggest that they join. They can use the forms contained in the SDCERS Healthcare enrollment packet or can do so on-line.
Remember: No General Member meetings in May and June.
If you have questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for me at 888-730-4935.
Stay safe. Be well.