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Public policy expert Lara Cole new Associate State Director for Charlotte Region AARP

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CHARLOTTE -- Former Director of Legislative Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Lara J. Cole has joined AARP North Carolina as Associate State Director in the Charlotte Region.

Cole has extensive experience in developing public policy and managing grassroots campaigns in 15 states. In addition, she served as legislative counsel to two members of Congress, Rep. G.K.  Butterfield of Eastern North Carolina, and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

AARP North Carolina Director Doug Dickerson explains, “Lara Cole’s knowledge of the federal and state policy process and her ability to work with communities will be a big benefit to AARP members in Charlotte and across the Piedmont. Older adults will benefit from more momentum on the issues they care most about such as Medicare, Social Security, prescription drugs, caregiving and our financial security.

In addition to some bread and butter concerns, as Charlotte finds ways to become more age-friendly, “Cole’s proven ability in working with diverse groups of stakeholders will help build more momentum and progress in making Mecklenburg County a better place for all ages,” he said.

In 2016, Mecklenburg County joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and is currently working on improving domains of livability including transportation options and walkability, affordable housing, the use of open spaces and more.

In Charlotte, AARP offers regular workshops to help people improve their health and wealth, opportunities to volunteer to give back to the community, and network opportunities to meet others and to simply have fun.

AARP Executive Council Member Janet Mullins Garner of Charlotte is eager to work with Cole. “We are at a time when much is at stake for older adults in the region and across the nation.  We need to take action to strengthen the programs that help provide health and economic security to adults as they age. Cole has the ability to engage with local citizens, politicians and the faith leaders that can help bring about needed progress.”

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