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For Immediate Release
Monday, April 4, 2005
Contact: Laurie Young or
Elizabeth Runkle
202-628-0444 x 14

Local OWL Chapter Denied Use of FDR Library for Forum on Social Security and Women

Statement of Dr. Laurie Young, Executive Director

For 25 years, OWL, the voice of midlife and older women, founded as the Older Women’s League has represented and spoken out on behalf of midlife and older women. We will continue to do so. In furthering our mission, OWL, with the help of our Hudson Valley Chapter, scheduled a public education forum on the dangers of Social Security privatization for women, April 9th at the Wallace Center of the FDR Presidential Library and Home in Hyde Park, New York. Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Congresswoman Sue Kelly, and Congressman John Sweeney were all invited to participate in the event. Only Congressman Hinchey chose to participate. However, on Friday April 1, officials at the Wallace Center informed OWL that the event must be moved to a new location or changed to include the “merits of privatization proposals.”

While OWL is deeply saddened by this shift away from open and honest discussions of the effects of privatization on women’s Social Security, we will not stop educating women about the value of the program and the risks of privatization. The educational forum has been moved to an alternate location. The event will now be held Saturday, April 9, from 1-4 pm, at the Friends' Meeting House, 249 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY.

Over the years, OWL has consistently maintained that privatizing Social Security would adversely affect women’s already tenuous retirement security. Women truly have the most to lose under risky privatization schemes that cut benefits and increase the national debt. Our forum is designed to educate all generations on Social Security’s value to women and what effects plans to privatize the system would have on them. For OWL, Social Security has never been a political issue, it is a woman’s issue and one we must educate women about to ensure their current and future financial security remains sound.


As the only national grassroots membership organization to focus solely on issues unique to women as they age, OWL strives to improve the status and quality of life for midlife and older women. OWL is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that accomplishes its work through research, education, and advocacy activities conducted through a chapter network. Now in its 25th year, OWL is an effective voice for the more than 58 million women age 40 and over in America