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NYC Elections Could Hinge on Stress of Major Voting Group: 58% of 50+ Voters Worry About Paying the Rent, Half Say They’ll Have to Delay Retirement

Contact: David Irwin

New AARP Survey Details Concerns & Worries of NYC’s 50+ Voters, City’s Diverse Communities & What it All Means for How They’ll Vote


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New York, New York – All politics is local, and for New York City’s 50+ voters, it’s as local as their kitchen table concerns. Worried that they won’t be able retire, the group are also increasingly concerned about age discrimination on the job, being able to pay the rent and soaring utility bills – just over 40% say it’s likely they’ll leave NYC in their retirement. A new survey released by AARP today details the concerns of NYC’s 50+ voters - the voting bloc that will determine the next Mayor and City Council members - and what the issues mean to how they’ll vote.  The survey also dives down into how the issues play out in the city’s diverse communities.

Why should all this matter to the candidates? The 50+ vote - and they vote big.  AARP’s analysis predicts its members will account for one out of every two votes cast in NYC elections this year, and if 2009 turnout numbers hold, 47% of all votes will come from a non-white 50+ voter. According to the AARP survey, 75% of total 50+ voters plan to hit the polls, including 75% of African American/Black/Caribbean 50+ voters, 65% of 50+ Asian voters and 62% of Hispanic 50+ voters.

The AARP NYC 50+ voters survey results with diverse population breakdown:

Ability to Retire: Of 50+ voters in the workforce in New York City, over 50% said they’ll have to delay retirement for financial reasons. 50+ Asians reported the highest percentage of this harsh reality at 51%, followed by African American/Black/Caribbean at 47% and Hispanics at 41%.  78% said they’ll likely back the candidate who makes this issue a priority. 41% of 50+ in NYC say they are at least somewhat likely to leave the city once they retire - this sentiment is shared across all groups.

Paying the Rent: 61% of New York City’s 50+ voters rent, and of them, 58% worry about their ability to pay that rent in the coming years. Break that down by diverse populations, and the concern is a constant one – 61% for African American/Black/Caribbean voters, 65% for Hispanic & 59% for Asian.

Affording their Utility bills: 54% of NYC’s 50+ say lack of affordable housing is a major problem and about half worry about being able to pay their utility bills. 80% said they’ll likely vote for the candidate who addresses these issues.

Facing Age discrimination in the workforce: 46% of 50+ voters are concerned about age discrimination at work. Out of all the groups, 50+ Hispanics are most worried about the issue, with 61% saying they are extremely or very concerned about the issue, 53% for 50+ African American/Black/Caribbean and 42% for Asians in NYC.  More than a quarter of survey respondents say they or a family member haven’t been hired for a job due to their age (37% among Asians), with 23% reporting they’ve been laid off, fired or forced out of a job due to their age. 75% said they’re more likely to vote for the candidate who tackles the issue.

Sandy: An issue very much on voters’ minds: Superstorm Sandy and the fallout and disaster left in its wake. 78% of NYC 50+ voters said they’d likely support the candidate who will commit to working on making the city prepared for an emergency or disaster.

Unsafe in the City: This one is high on Hispanic voters’ minds. While 40% of NYC’s 50+ voters cite street repair as a major issue for them, 45% of Hispanic 50+ voters cite it as a major concern, compared to 42% of African American/Black/Caribbean voters and 33% of Asians voters. Crime and personal safety is also a higher concern with Hispanics, with 48% saying it’s a major concern, compared to 38% of African American/Black/Caribbean voters and 43% of Asians. Cars not yielding to pedestrians is another huge issue among Hispanic 50+ voters with 53% citing it as a major concern compared to while 40% of total 50+ voters. For both African American/Black/Caribbean and Asian voters less than 40% agree.  Across all groups, roughly 75% said they’d vote for the candidate who will work on the issue.

Caregiving at a cost: Nearly 40% of 50+ voters in NYC say over the last few years, they’ve had to provide care for a relative, friend or spouse who is ill, frail, elderly or has a disability. 26% reported overwhelming strain in providing that care, a number consistent across the board. In the Hispanic community 36% cited overwhelming strain. 15% of total working caregivers 50+ said they felt they were treated unfairly because of their caregiver responsibilities, a particular issue in Asian communities with 22% saying they were treated unfairly by employers. 78% of 50+ voters said they’d likely vote for the candidate who supports New Yorkers providing this type of care.

To bring these issues front and center for the NYC Mayoral candidates, AARP is teaming up with some of the leading organizations representing these communities to hold a Mayoral Town Hall, Aug. 6 th from 10 a.m.-noon at Hunter College.  AARP will join forces with the Hispanic Federation, Asian American Federation, NAACP, and NALEO.

Confirmed candidates to date: Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrion, John A. Catsimatidis, Bill de Blasio, Joe Lhota, John Liu, George McDonald, Erick Salgado and Bill Thompson.

The full annotated survey can be found online:

While AARP does not endorse candidates, have a PAC, or give money to campaigns or political parties, the non-partisan membership organization does provide straight-forward information on the issues to 50-plus voters, the media and the general public.


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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 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; ; 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. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at .



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