Dixon Arnett served for thirty years in public office.
His most recent
was as Director of the California Department of Aging, the
largest state unit on aging in the nation. There, through
California's 33 area agencies on aging, he administered the
Older Americans Act and presided over the first major revision
in the Older Californians Act since its inception. During
his tenure he successfully pushed an initiative that resulted
in the first funding increases in Older Californians Act services
in almost a decade.
Previously, Arnett served in local, state and federal offices
in posts that focused on health, social services and education.
He served on the staff of the U.S. Senate, was Deputy Under
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
and was a California State Assemblyman in the 70s.
Wende Dawson Chan has been active in aging programs
in San Francisco spanning
from advocacy for nursing home residents to hospice care.
She has been a caregiver to the end of life in her own home
and for friends.
Chan has served three terms as a member of the federally-mandated
Advisory Council to the San Francisco Commission on Aging
and three years as an Ombudsman -- part of the Older Americans
Act that provides for a highly trained volunteer force to
act as friends and advocates for residents in nursing homes.
Chan recently was elected Convener of the San Francisco Gray
Panthers, an activist advocacy organization whose slogan is,
"Youth and Age in Action." Her credentials include
managing dental offices and serving on the Speakers' Bureau
for the League of Women Voters.
Both Arnett and Chan have been project directors
for "Community Outreach for Independent Living (COIL),"
a California State-funded outreach effort to older and functionally-impaired
adults. COIL reaches out through the use of community InfoVans
and other means so that seniors can make informed choices
about lifestyle and social services.