WATSONVILLE—The City of Watsonville is searching for residents 50 years of age or older to serve on its new Senior Action Committee (SAC).
Members of this volunteer committee will advise the city and other local jurisdictions by representing the perspectives, concerns and needs of Watsonville’s older adults.
Katie Nuñez, Older Adult Services Supervisor for Parks & Community Services, said that creating SAC comes after the City was accepted into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in August. The initiative aims to help improve communities by adopting features such as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and social opportunities.
“In order to accomplish becoming [Age-Friendly], we needed to form a group of forward-thinking individuals who can evaluate and make recommendations for a better quality of life for our older adults,” Nuñez said.
SAC members will meet monthly to discuss citywide issues, and will play a crucial role in supporting the five-year Age-Friendly initiative. They will also help the City promote its ongoing community survey, which it is working on with the County of Santa Cruz and other local jurisdictions.
Other commitments may include planning events and fundraising.
Nuñez emphasized how SAC will work on a much broader scale than just within the Watsonville Senior Center.
“I am hoping we find members of the community who want to make a difference for seniors now and even 10 to 20 years in the future,” she said.
Watsonville Mayor Ari Parker said that organizing such a committee is a long time coming. Nuñez had originally been hired in 2020 to create a more robust network of programs for seniors, with their input. But things changed when the pandemic hit, Parker said.
“Katie’s position changed dramatically in the past two years,” she said. “She did a tremendous job in a very difficult time. But this, what we’re starting now, was always the original vision—finding new ways to directly involve seniors in our community. I can’t think of anyone better suited to do this than her.”
Parker oversees Watsonville’s District 7, which includes Watsonville’s Senior Village. She said she suspects there will be a lot of interest in the new committee.
“We have more seniors than any other community in the tri-county area,” she said. “I think this will be pretty competitive. Our seniors here are very active, and involved already. I’m very excited about how this committee could go.”
The SAC application deadline is Jan. 13. Interested residents can apply online or obtain a physical application at the Watsonville Senior Center, 114 E. Fifth St.
For information about SAC, contact Nuñez at 768.3277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.