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AARP AARP States Illinois Voters


Hand with marker writing the word Your Vote Counts
Hand with marker writing the word Your Vote Counts
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Older adults consistently show up at the polls in higher numbers than other age groups, and this week’s Chicago Mayoral election was a prime example, according to AARP-Illinois, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to improve the lives of those 50+ and their families.

In February, AARP representatives sat down with 8 of the 14 mayoral candidates to emphasize that 89 percent of AARP’s 250,000 members in Chicago planned to vote. That prediction came true Tuesday night, when 52 percent of the voters recorded by the Chicago Board of Elections in the mayoral election were 55 and older.

“We told the candidates that older adults are a voting bloc that cannot be ignored,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois’ state director. “On Tuesday, the mayoral candidates got the message loud and clear when people 55 and older decided who would make the run-off for the city’s next leader.”

AARP-Chicago thanks Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, Gery Chico, Bill Daley, Amara Enyia, Susana Mendoza, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson for making it a priority during their campaigning to meet with AARP and learn about what concerned older voters most about Chicago.

During the meetings, the candidates heard that voters 50+ want a mayor who will address affordability, crime and violence, and other factors that keep Chicago from being the city where they can live with their families for years to come.  Older voters want a safe, secure city with a reasonable cost of living and they want supportive essential services that allow people to stay in their homes, according to a recent survey commissioned by AARP Illinois.

AARP congratulates Lightfoot and Preckwinkle for advancing to the run-off election, and looks forward to continued conversations about how the organization – with 1.7 million members statewide and 38 million members across the U.S. – can lend its expertise, proven practice examples and resources to implementing policy and finding solutions that address the concerns of older adults.

“Older voters wanted their voices to be heard. We brought their voices to the candidates and we will continue to do so through the April 2 election and beyond,” said Rosanna Marquez, volunteer president for AARP-Illinois.

To do this, AARP Chicago is partnering with the Chicago Sun-Times to hold two community forums. The March forums will allow well-known columnists and commentators from the Sun-Times, WVON radio and the Chicago Reporter to discuss Chicago’s challenges before the microphone is turned over to participants so they can demand the changes they want in the city.

Both Lightfoot and Preckwinkle have been invited.

The first forum will be Wednesday March 13, 7 to 9 p.m.

Panelists: Chicago Sun-Times columnists Mary Mitchell and Mark Brown, Editor-in-Chief Chris Fusco, WVON special guest, AARP State Volunteer President Rosanna Marquez and other esteemed Chicago experts.

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th, Chicago, IL. 60615

RSVP to  or call (877) 926-8300


The second forum will be Monday March 18, 7 to 9 p.m.

Panelist: Sun-Times Columnist Mark Brown, reporter Carlos Ballesteros, Editor-In-Chief, Chris Fusco, AARP Volunteer State President Rosanna Marquez and other esteemed Chicago experts.

Arturo Velasquez West Side Technical Institute, 2800 South Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60608

Call 1-877-926-8300 or RSVP at



AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities.


About AARP Illinois
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