Statement Of Mark Haverland
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
Iowa City, Iowa
April 15, 2003
Iowa Department of Elder Affairs
I have, perhaps, the best job in the world because it is to deal with older people. I am finding and learning that older people intersect with life in all ways, many of which I didn't imagine. The Governor asked us in the last few months to try to align our departments with his agenda, as much as we could, and, of course, to contribute goals, vision and mission that he wants to establish for his administration. As I looked over that list of ambitious goals, it appeared to me that one having no impact for my department was his goal to clean up the 100 Iowa streams, which are polluted. Very ambitious agenda, and he intends to do that. I thought "well, I can just go on to the next goal." And later, there I am, in Chicago, standing in line and Kathy Sykes is in front of me. I am talking to her and I learn that she is from EPA. I tell her what I do and she says, "Oh, you have to come to this workshop on Saturday afternoon. At EPA we've got an agenda on aging." I thought that I didn't have to deal with the environment. It turns out though that I do. I went to the workshop and learned some wonderful things about how aging Iowans can contribute to the agenda of environmental protection and how seniors are interested in the area of environmental protection, water safety and air purity, all these types of issues, and the importance of being aware of environmental hazards. It has been a wonderful experience to have a door opened for me in my job to this whole topic of the environment and the way in which citizens can both contribute to this effort and how vital it is for all of us to work hard to make the air and water cleaner and safer for everybody. I am pleased to be here and to be part of this. I am very much looking forward to the agenda (for the aging initiative) Thank you.