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ICYMI: AARP in Your Community - Philadelphia 2017

Philly Free Streets

On October 28, AARP Pennsylvania sponsored the 2 nd annual Philly Free Streets, an event that closes 10 miles of roads throughout the city to provide a safe environment for pedestrians to interact with their community. AARP Pennsylvania was present at two stations at this event where staff and volunteers connected with over 200 attendees and provided them with an opportunity to take group photos to be used as promotional giveaways.

AARP staff and volunteers took this opportunity talk about important issues involving the 50+ community and promoting Livable Communities.

Philadelphia Film Festival

AARP Pennsylvania sponsored Breathe, a film by Andy Serkis, at the 26 th annual Philadelphia Film Festival in order to continue the ongoing promotion for the AARP initiative Movies for Grownups. Along with a customized AARP Movies for Grownups ad in the program book, staff and volunteers had the opportunity to connect with the over 200 attendees, gathering 140 names and emails.

Chinatown Night Market:

As the prime sponsor of Chinatown’s Ye Shi Night Market, which saw well over 25,000 attendees throughout the night, AARP Pennsylvania had a strong presence on the main stage, as well as at a booth where event-goers could interact with staff and volunteers, enjoy the free photo booth, and have their English name translated into traditional Chinese calligraphy.

This is our 3 rd year to support the Ye Shi Night Market event, which draws foodies from across the region to Chinatown, highlighting this rich and vibrant community, and bring economic development to Philadelphia.

Fraud Watch Presentation

AARP Pennsylvania sponsored an event for over 250 attendees to learn how to protect themselves from fraud. This presentation, which took place in Chinatown, was provided in Chinese to serve the Chinese-American community and provided resources for additional information and resources on fraud prevention. To learn more about fraud prevention, visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network website.

DesignPhiladelphia Conference:

AARP Pennsylvania developed and hosted a “Designing Livable Housing for All Ages” panel comprised of local experts including Michael Johns, Senior Executive VP of Capital Projects & Development for the Philadelphia Housing Authority; Shannon Guzman, a Policy Research Senior Analyst at AARP Public Policy Institute; Beth McConnell, a Policy Director for the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations; Maria D. Quiñonez-Sanchez, a City of Philadelphia Councilmember; Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH, Director of Health Policy & Population Health Programs at Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health; and Jill Roberts, Executive Director at Healthy Rowhouse Projects. During the event, the panelists discussed how affordable housing options can make communities more livable for all ages.

AARP is committed to finding effective and affordable housing options for an aging population. As our country’s demographics begin to change, we will see an increased demand for more livable housing options for a variety of ages. The 65+ demographic currently makes up approximately 13% of the population, but that number is expected to increase to 18% by 2030 as we see increased longevity among the 65+ community, according to the Pew Research Center.

Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs Panel:

At a panel discussion hosted by the Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, topics such as building coalitions, reengaging the community through volunteerism, and engaging and creating impactful missions within the community were touched upon by the panelists. The panel consisted of AARP Pennsylvania’s Associate State Director, Grace Rustia; Councilman David Oh; Philippine Consul General, Tess De Vega; the Filipino highest ranking official in the city, Randy Dque; and Deputy Attorney General, Pearl Kim.

Philly Outfest:

Despite the rain, AARP staff and volunteers were out at Philly Outfest, one of the largest fall events in the city. AARP Pennsylvania engaged with the LGBT community at the 27 th annual celebration to talk about important issues impacting the 50+ and to learn about the successes and challenges faced by the LGBT community.

Asian Chamber of Commerce Panel:

AARP Pennsylvania took part in the conversation around emerging Asian leaders that help empower boomers to follow their dreams and ambitions in the world of entrepreneurship at a panel discussion hosted by the Asian Chamber of Commerce. AARP Pennsylvania was joined by panelists Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast; Susanna Foo, Restaurant Owner, Suga; and Reshma Moorthy, Frontier Technologies, EMSDC.

During this panel discussion, AARP Pennsylvania shared tools with aspiring 50+ entrepreneurs in order to help them understand the risk and reward that accompany small business ownership. For more information on this topic, click here.

PA Conference for Women

AARP Pennsylvania staff and volunteers joined over 12,000 attendees at the PA Conference for Women in early October. In addition to providing free headshots for professionals, AARP Pennsylvania hosted two caregiving seminars where we discussed available resources for caregivers including information about the CARE Act.

Hearing on Senior Housing in Philadelphia:

Large metropolitan cities like Philadelphia face a dilemma.  While housing is becoming increasingly modernized to attract new residents, the cost of housing is becoming a financial burden for many long-time residents of the city.  This problem requires a careful strategy to ensure that older residents are not left behind as Philadelphia moves forward.

AARP Pennsylvania testified before the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Aging at a public hearing on City Bill 170375 which could improve housing affordability and protect access to senior housing. While housing issues are debated in Philadelphia, it is important that this Committee, whose work involves a focus on the needs and concerns for the older members of the community, has a major voice in the conversation. AARP Pennsylvania supports City Bill 170375 and encourages Philadelhpia City Council to approve the bill.

Ice Cream Socials

AARP Pennsylvania hosted five listening sessions in frozen yogurt joints throughout the Greater Philadelphia area this summer, engaging with over 300 attendees during these brief sessions. AARP took the opportunity to connect with the community in these settings and answer questions about volunteer opportunities, as well as give people a better understanding of what AARP does for the community. With the insights gained from these listening sessions, staff and volunteers can more effectively serve the 50+ community in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia City Council Hosts Hearing on AARP-Endorsed Bill Improving Pedestrian Safety

Back in April, AARP Pennsylvania was pleased to join Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gym for a public hearing on City Bill 161108 that would improve access to the city’s sidewalks and protected walkways–particularly when normal access is disrupted due to construction activity.

During the hearing, AARP volunteers testified that a more walkable community allows Philadelphians of all ages to safely access services they need to live independently in their homes and communities. To help pedestrians navigate the sidewalks of the City more safely, AARP supports development of site plans and redevelopment work that enhance pedestrian access.

AARP Pennsylvania and its 175,000 Philadelphia members strongly support City Bill 161108 and encourage City Council to approve the bill.

Odunde Festival

AARP is committed to celebrating the mosaic of cultures in Philadelphia. That includes our presence at the city’s ODUNDE festival in June—the nation’s largest African-American street festival which covered 12-city blocks and attracted 500,000 attendees.

The AARP presence included an African pottery session where guests learned about African artistic culture and created their own keepsake for the evening. While guests were discovering their artistic side, AARP staff discussed local volunteer opportunities and the wide range of legislative and community outreach work currently underway in the city.

Operation: Stop Scams

On April 30, AARP Pennsylvania hosted a free shredding event at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge of Pennsylvania, located on North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Nearly 400 cars lined up to shred over 16,000 pounds of documents containing sensitive information that could be used by identity thieves. Individuals were invited to bring unwanted documents containing sensitive or personal information and watch them be shredded. This free event drew a tremendous crowd and kept the shred trucks grinding for four straight hours. AARP staff and volunteers were hard at work helping with boxes of documents, and encouraging people to  sign up for  AARP Fraud Watch Network  to learn more about how to be protected from fraudsters. This event was hosted by AARP in collaboration with the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, the Philadelphia Controller's Office, the Spanish American Law Enforcement Association (SALEA), City Council-At-Large David Oh, Al Taubenberger and Derek Green, and City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.

Philadelphia Flower Show

AARP Pennsylvania was proud to sponsor the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show from Saturday, March 11, 2017, to Sunday, March 19, 2017. AARP members and guests were invited to join AARP staff and volunteers, and were provided with a promo code to purchase discounted admission tickets to the Flower Show. In addition, AARP members were invited to an exclusive reception at the Flower Show. AARP engaged over 16,000 flower show visitors who had fun with us at the special 'Block Party' showcase where everyone was welcome to experience Virtual Reality, take home a free Virtual Reality viewer, ride bicycles that created spin art, snap a few pictures at our floral-themed photo booth, and share their thoughts on how we can make our communities a better place for all ages.

At the Philadelphia Flower Show, AARP Pennsylvania also awarded nearly $10,000 to three local organizations for their work to make Philadelphia a more livable community. AARP and its Livable Communities Network presented awards to Congreso, The Ralston Center, and The People's Emergency Center for their best practices and programming that focused on community impact, a multigenerational approach to inclusion, aging in place, and workforce/civic engagement.

Vision Zero Conference

On March 1, AARP Pennsylvania sponsored the Second Annual Vision Zero Conference. The event, presented by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Uber, focused on creating roadways that respect human dignity. Sessions focused on various subjects including an insight from trauma centers, safety initiatives across Philadelphia, designing safer streets for all road users, and how to Vision Zero could play a role in making Philadelphia a more livable community for all ages.

Lunar New Year

On January 28, AARP Pennsylvania joined the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) for the annual banquet to celebrate Lunar New Year with over 600 community leaders and stakeholders. AARP Pennsylvania staff and volunteers, along with AARP Regional Vice President Rawle Andrews and AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets Daphne Kwok, were pleased to celebrate the Year of the Rooster in Chinatown. A great emphasis was placed on the collaboration between PCDC and AARP Pennsylvania, and the impact AARP is having on the Asian-American community in Philadelphia, particularly on the issues of caregiving and fraud prevention.

Movies for Grown Ups

Over the past couple of months, AARP Pennsylvania has offered several Movies for Grown Ups showings in the Philadelphia area. On February 16, members and volunteers enjoyed a free screening of Maya Angelou: And I Rise as documentary about the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House). Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.

Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film weaves her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.

Senior Sweetheart Dance

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, AARP Pennsylvania joined Representative Jordan Harris to educate the 50+ community during his annual Senior Sweetheart Dance. The dance offered more than just an excuse to bust a move; AARP was present to talk to the attendees about the impact on physical and mental health as we age.

Congressional Visits

During the February Congressional Recess, AARP Pennsylvania staff and volunteers met with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Representative Dwight Evans to discuss important issues impact the 50+ community, including Medicare.


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