AARP is working to make the cities of the Lehigh Valley the best place to live for people of all ages. On June 7, AARP hosted Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, and Easton Mayor Sal Panto for a unique conversation focused on improving the livability of their communities. Dr. Rodney Harrell, the Director of the Office of Livability Thought Leadership in AARP’s Public Policy Institute, moderated the event, which was attended by 75 community leaders from the Lehigh Valley and live-streamed by AARP.
The Mayors spoke of ongoing initiatives in their cities to reduce crime, improve transportation, and increase services for residents. Pedestrian safety was an important goal cited by all three Mayors, who noted the difficulty of enforcing traffic safety laws. The Mayors also discussed efforts to bring retail shopping into their cities, particularly grocery stores offering fresh produce. Finally, the Mayors warned of the impact on cities about the proposed elimination of federal Community Development Block Grants and urged attendees to contact their federal representatives to maintain funding for this important program.
The Allentown Morning Call featured extensive coverage of the Mayoral Roundtable, which can be viewed by clicking here:
For the past several years, AARP Pennsylvania’s Associate State Director for Community Outreach John Vargo has partnered with Lehigh Valley volunteers to bring AARP activities and information to their communities. John retired from AARP in June, and local volunteers hosted a farewell reception to honor his contributions and dedication to making the Lehigh Valley a better place to live for residents of all ages.
John’s efforts helped establish a strong volunteer group that will continue promoting AARP throughout Lehigh Valley communities. An active search for a new staff partner for the AARP Lehigh Valley volunteer team has begun, but it will difficult to replace the enthusiasm and dedication John brought to the position. Everyone at AARP wishes John the best in his “what’s next.”
Sunshine Box Packing
On the first Tuesday of each month, local AARP volunteers pack more than 2,000 boxes of nutritious food to help less fortunate older adults in the community. Help fight hunger among Lehigh Valley seniors and join us at the Second Harvest Warehouse in Nazareth. If you’re interested in learning more about this rewarding community service project, contact AARP PA.