By Emilie St. John
CARSON — U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragán held her fifth annual Senior Briefing and Luncheon Aug. 23 at the Carson Community Center.
After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, Carson’s annual seniors lunch and briefing returned with the event drawing nearly 1,000 people.
“It was wonderful to be back in person,” Barragan said. “The community members who attended kept coming up to me and telling me how much they missed this event the last two years and how happy they were to be back in person.
“Our elder Americans in California’s 44th District enjoy being able to walk around and interact with the vendors, my team and I, and their neighbors.”
The event brought together service providers and vendors who offered eye exams, blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings and free COVID testing and booster shots.
“It’s important to have this back in person because of the various screenings and the COVID vaccines that were being administered,” Barragán said. “You can only do those in-person. COVID of course is still prevalent, so we took precautions and had plenty of hand sanitizer available and my team wore masks throughout the event, and I did as well.”
The event began with attendees arriving and visiting display booths of service providers including the YWCA, which was founded in 1858 with a mission of eliminating racism by empowering women to promote peace and dignity in their respective communities.
The Los Angeles County Public Library was also on hand to promote the many benefits the library offers including the New Americans Initiative which helps immigrants complete paperwork to begin their pathway to U.S. citizenship.
“This event is an annual tradition in Carson and is something that older Americans in the communities throughout our district look forward to every year and it’s important that we continue the tradition to ensure older Americans know about and can access resources for their health and well-being and get updates on my work in Congress and how it impacts them,” Barragán said. “This year we hosted over 50 vendors who specialize in health care, housing and transportation to help seniors access resources they use every day.”
The event also had a photo booth where attendees could take fun photos for free.
Barragan provided highlights of her work in Washington, D.C. and its impact on residents, particularly seniors.
During lunch, a representative from Barragán’s office greeted a room filled with hundreds of attendees at tables ready to eat. From their seats, they were able to hear the latest news about the work done by Barragn in Washington on behalf of the areas she represents.
She explained that under a recent law signed by President Joe Biden, prescription drug prices would have a cap on how much a patient has to pay out of pocket.
“Before, you had to pay up to $7,000 out of your own pocket, now the limit is $2,000,” Barragan said.
Those in attendance also learned there will be no co-payment required which is around $30 for getting vaccines such as flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition, her representative indicated that insulin would cost no more than $35 to prevent the costs from being untenable for those who rely on it.
Barragan explained that with last year’s redistricting, her office would no longer represent cities like Compton and Watts, but would expand to Harbor City and parts of Long Beach.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at email@example.com.