AARP AARP States Virgin Islands Voters

Election 2022: It’s Time Membership Prepares

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Español | As we get ready to propel ourselves into April and the showers of spring, AARP-VI remains committed to showering the U.S. Virgin Islands with assistance in improving the wellbeing and quality of life for older Virgin Islanders, those who care for them and also our community as a whole. While the metaphor is a bit “flowery,” the intent holds. AARP is not just for retired people. It is for real people who have real concerns about the world’s growing population of older adults. This includes the territory’s more than 22,000 AARP members, which is an extraordinary demographic because our members are approximately 25 percent of the population.

As we go to the polls this fall for the gubernatorial primary, we must remember our there is strength in numbers. When Gov. Bryan signed the territory into the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities, it was a pledge on behalf of the Virgin Islands to participate in efforts to support and improve healthier, more active and longer lives of our older population. When members join AARP-VI, it demonstrates their trust in that pledge. We can ensure that all policymakers commit to that pledge through our membership and representation.

When Ethel Percy Andrus found an older woman living in a chicken coop because she could not find affordable housing or healthcare, she initiated an organized movement – AARP. That movement extended to the Virgin Islands and now our members are in the remarkable position to lead the charge in working with organizations and policymakers that support the socioeconomic inclusion of our budding older populace. With the influx of short-term rentals and COVID-19-related work shortages, affordable housing is now a significant concern of AARP-VI. In January 2022, state director Troy de Chabert-Schuster commended Gov. Albert J. Bryan Jr. for stressing the significance of addressing critical challenges that need attention. In addition to housing, this includes caregiving, economic equity, social inclusion, estate planning and probate, access to information and other socioeconomic issues.

But one governor cannot do it alone. It will take a legion of approximately 22,000 – especially during an election year.

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