Lori Parham: AARP Maine State Director
(207) 400-1026 or email@example.com
AARP Maine Voter Engagement Tour Kicks Off in Bangor with Over 100 in Attendance
First of over 20 Non-Partisan Community Conversations Reflects Financial, Health Concerns of Maine’s Most Active Voting Demographic
BANGOR: AARP Maine launched their statewide Voter Engagement Tour today with a kickoff event at Dysart’s. The 2 ½ hour event engaged over 100 local residents who came to share their concerns going into the 2014 elections and receive updates from AARP on where the candidates stand on critical issues such as health and financial security.
“Older Maine residents are clearly worried about how to make ends meet in the long-term,” said Rich Livingston, AARP Maine Volunteer State President. “Their Social Security checks only go so far and with the cost of necessities such as utilities, food and prescription drugs on the rise, a secure retirement can feel more and more out of reach.”
AARP Maine will be hosting many more community conversations and events just like this one in the weeks ahead throughout the state. The tour schedule is posted on www.aarp.org/me and includes stops in Portland, Damariscotta, Madawaska, Fort Kent, Auburn, Rockland, and many other towns. AARP expects to engage with thousands of Mainers over the course of the tour which concludes on Election Night at Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.
“Seeing the number of people who came to meet with us today about the 2014 elections, we know as an organization that this voter engagement tour is one of the best ways for us to listen to older Mainers’ concerns,” said Livingston. “Residents in our state are clearly frustrated and deeply concerned about issues such as caregiving, the future of Social Security and their financial futures, just to name a few. It’s important for us to hear what is on people’s minds.”
According to AARP Maine’s recent survey of Maine’s registered voters 50+, healthcare, Social Security, long-term care, caregiving and financial security are just some of the concerns for older Mainers going into the elections. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents indicated their intention to vote for Maine State and Congressional candidates who are committed to working on these issues.
“The 2014 AARP survey clearly demonstrates a deep concern regarding financial security, particularly for lower income individuals,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “Many have no confidence of ever being able to retire and others report being extremely worried about having health or medical expenses they cannot afford. Mainers will be counting on leadership in both Augusta and in Washington to address these very prevalent concerns and this was reflected in the discussions today.”
It worth noting that, according to the US Census Bureau, Maine boasts some of the highest voting statistics in the country for voters over fifty.
Another issue raised through the 2014 AARP survey that resonated at today’s tour event is long-term care and the desire of Mainers to remain in their own communities as they age.
“Most registered Maine voters age 50 and older have been family caregivers or expect to be in the future,” said Parham. “Given this large proportion of the population that is affected by this issue, it is not surprising that the vast majority also think it should be a top or high priority for elected officials in Maine to fund services that support family caregivers.”
At each stop on the tour, AARP staff and volunteers will be distributing state-specific Voters’ Guides for the Gubernatorial and Congressional races which highlight the candidates’ position on select issues related to health and financial security. AARP is strictly non-partisan and does not endorse candidates.
Information about the AARP Maine Voter Engagement Tour
AARP Maine Voters’ Guides and other election resources: www.aarp.org/yourvote
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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 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. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. 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.