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Housing Costs, Age Discrimination, Jobs Weigh Heavy as 50+ Set to Dominate Voting; Half of all Votes to Come from AARP Members
NEW YORK, New York – The polls are open for New York City’s primaries and the city’s dominant voting group – the 50+ – are carrying some serious concerns with them into the voting booth, according to a recent AARP survey – and those concerns may just determine who wins and who doesn’t.
Being able to afford soaring housing costs, facing age discrimination in the workforce, and ensuring their communities are up to par for an aging population are just a few of the issues the voting group has looked to candidates to address over the last several months.
Just how powerful is the voting group? AARP alone has 743,463 members in New York City, 68% (or nearly 506,000) hit the polls in the last Mayoral election. 80% (or 587,366) vote in higher magnitude races, such open Mayoral and City Council seats – meaning AARP members could make up half of all ballots cast in the elections. The groups’ voting muscle doesn’t let up much for primaries and AARP is predicting its members will serve as a crucial force at the polls tomorrow.
The issues (based on AARP survey of 50+ voters in New York City):
Housing: While 58% of NYC’s 50+ voters worry about whether they’ll be able to pay their rent in the coming years and 54% say lack of affordable housing is a major problem, 80% stated they are likely to vote for the candidate who ensures they will be able to afford to stay in their homes.
Age Discrimination: 46% of 50+ voters say they are concerned about age discrimination. With nearly 25% saying they or a family members have been passed over for a raise or promotion because of age since turning 50, 23% said they or family member have been subjected to unwelcome comments about their age in the workplace. 75% report they are likely to vote for the candidate who’ll help ensure work opportunities for older New Yorkers.
Safe Streets (and sidewalks): 40% cite streets in need of repair as a major problem; over one-third say the same of crime and personal safety, while 40% also reported cars not yielding to pedestrians as a major issue for them. 26% reported sidewalks that were too narrow, poorly lit or needed repair as a major problem. 74% said they are more likely to vote for the candidate who’ll tackle those issues.
Taking care of older relatives: Nearly 40% of New York’s 50+ voters say they’ve provided care for a relative, friend or spouse in the last few years – an increasing concern for Baby Boomers. 59% say providing the care causes financial hardship, emotional stress and stress at work. 78% say they’ll likely vote for the candidates who support New Yorker caregivers.
Other big issues on NYC’s 50+ voters’ minds:
- 50% say they’ll have to delay retirement due to financial reasons.
- 64% have encountered a fraud or scam in the last few years.
- Half worry about paying their utility bills.
- Among those who own their own homes, 48% say they worry about their ability to pay their property taxes.
AARP has also broken the survey results down by diverse communities and NYC boroughs.
Over the last few months, AARP has been working to bring the issues front and center for the NYC Mayoral and City Council candidates, holding a Mayoral Town Hall in early August and several City Council candidate debates across the city last week.
While AARP does not endorse candidates, have a PAC, or give money to campaigns or political parties, the non-partisan membership organization does provide straight-forward information on the issues to 50-plus voters, the media and the general public.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.