— AARP New York is doing their part to help communities across the state make positive improvements in their neighborhoods. The group kicked off its Community Challenge Grant Program, which awards funding to groups and governments across New York State working to implement tangible community improvement projects. The program, which falls under AARP’s Livable Communities initiative, is open to 501(C) 3 and 510(C) 4 non-profits and government entities. Project submissions can range from simple improvements that cost in the hundreds, to …

— By James Odato Ron Rehner had a busy day of volunteering recently. He helped tape segments for Senior Notebook, the weekly volunteer interview program on a local television station. He set up a church hall for the monthly AARP chapter meeting, to which he chauffeured three members and gave a report. Throughout the day, Rehner, 80, tapped into a network of older people in Elmira doing things together. They are on his social calendar largely because of Chemung County’s certification …

— Key to Efforts to Make NY First ‘Age-Friendly’ State ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement today about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to establish the Empire State Trail, which would create the largest multi-use trail network in the nation: “Creating accessible trails throughout the state boosts New York’s attractiveness for people of all ages. The Governor’s proposal to create bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly on-road enhancements and connections would enable millions of New Yorkers – …

— Mayor de Blasio has proposed making an already age-friendly New York City even friendlier by increasing funding for the Vision Zero initiative as part of his preliminary city budget. This is great news. Our roadways and alternative transportation options must keep pace with the rapid aging of our city and nation. Improving the safety of our pedestrians is key to this goal. Vision Zero aims to reduce traffic fatalities across the city, and last year was the safest on record …

— Governor’s Instruction to State Agencies to Align with World Health Organization-AARP Guidelines Would Help NYers of All Ages ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo is aiming to make New York the first Age-Friendly state in the nation, and AARP today praised the Governor for his leadership on this issue of importance to New Yorkers of all ages. The Governor outlined the groundbreaking goal as part of a health initiative in his 2017 State of the State agenda. “As an initial …

— ALBANY, New York – AARP New York today praised State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for appointing Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Binghamton as the new Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging. Following is a statement by Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York, home to 2.6 million AARP members: “Assemblywoman Lupardo has been supportive of older New Yorkers during her career in the legislature, working with AARP to enact a law that helps prepare family caregivers to care …

— By Ann Levin When Kitty Ruderman was homebound last year, recovering from surgery, she phoned in her grocery orders to a supermarket across the street. Not only did the store deliver, but the manager offered to pick up anything else she needed in the neighborhood. Ruderman, who turns 70 in June, loves where she lives in the Forest Hills section of Queens—it’s friendly, familiar, a block from the subway and close to all the shops and services she needs. But …

— Martins, Golden, Bonacic, Murphy, Funke Ask Senate Leader Flanagan to Support Funding in New State Budget ALBANY, N.Y. – AARP and other advocates today praised five Majority Senators for urging Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to support $20 million per year over the next five years in the new state budget dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements. Senators Jack Martins (R-Nassau) and Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) have joined Senators Rich Funke (R- Monroe), Terrence Murphy (R-Westchester) and John Bonacic (R-Orange) …

— 200,000 seniors are currently on waiting lists for affordable housing in NYC. And right now, the NYC Council has the opportunity to pass a commonsense measure that will give aging adults the chance to access affordable housing, by supporting Mayor de Blasio’s Affordable Housing plan which will create at least 10,000 new affordable units for seniors and 200,000 total affordable units throughout the city over the next decade. Senior housing is too vital — we can’t allow the status quo, antiquated …

— Statement by AARP NYS Director Beth Finkel: “AARP urges Governor Cuomo to ensure his robust transportation investment proposal includes design standards that safely and adequately accommodate all users of roads, including pedestrians. “The recently approved FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act includes a first-ever provision in federal law urging states to adopt such standards. And the Complete Streets law the Governor signed in 2011 requires state and local agencies to consider the convenience and mobility of all users when developing …