Monika Wnuk, Associate State Director of Communications
Vikki Ortiz, Communications Director
email@example.com (630) 915-3625
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jan. 31, 2023
Ahead of Mayoral Forum, AARP Chicago Calls on Candidates to Address Concerns of Older Adults
Chicago– Ahead of a televised January 31st mayoral forum on WGN, AARP Chicago calls on the nine mayoral candidates running for office to address the concerns of the largest voting bloc in this election – older adults.
Community safety, affordability and availability of essential services top the list of concerns among older adults, according to a new survey commissioned by AARP Illinois, and will no doubt play a role in the upcoming Chicago Mayoral election, in which 86% of registered voters 50+ say they are very likely to vote.
Among the most striking results is that nine in ten (88%) Chicago voters age 50+ have considered leaving the city in the past year to live in a safer community with a lower crime rate.
“Older adults in Chicago are worried for their safety, their financial security amid economic pressures like rising costs and inflation, and their ability to stay in their homes without adequate community supports in place,” said Philippe Largent, State Director for AARP Illinois.
“As the most substantial voting bloc in the upcoming election, older adults are counting on Chicago’s mayoral candidates to hear their concerns, address them tonight and make them priorities long after this election is over,” Largent said.
The survey, conducted from November 2 through November 20,2022, was designed to assess issues that are critical to Chicago voters as they cast their ballots and identify the areas that voters want addressed by the city’s next leader. Among its findings:
- Addressing crime and violence in the city and the economic pressure many are facing amid inflation are top priorities that Chicago voters aged 50-plus want the next mayor to address, with 89% saying addressing crime and violence is ‘very important’ and 72% saying addressing jobs and the economy is ‘very important.’
- Three-fourths (74%) of Chicago voters 50-plus think violence in the city of Chicago is increasing, and nearly half (44%) think Chicago’s economy is weakening.
- One-third (35%) say they are struggling to keep up or falling behind financially, and 23% of retirees say they are somewhat or very concerned about having to return to work.
At least seven in ten survey respondents said their vote would be greatly influenced by a candidate’s position on essential services for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income families, including access to quality health care, access to easy and safe transportation options, and affordable housing.
AARP Illinois, a non-profit, non-partisan organization with 1.7 million members across the state, released its survey as the kick-off to a 12-week campaign aimed at putting Chicago’s mayoral candidates in touch with the priorities of older adults. As part of the campaign, the organization is also scheduled to sponsor two mayoral candidate forums including one tonight on WGN and tomorrow, February 1st with Crain’s Business, has created a Chicago Mayoral and Aldermanic Election Guide with information on how and where to vote, as well as information on the different offices up for election.
“Older adults in Chicago are going to decide who is the next mayor,” said Mary Anderson, AARP Illinois Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Northern Illinois. “It is imperative that they have all the information they need to make their choice.”
To see a copy of the report, visit www.aarp.org/Chicagovotes