Includes top issues and debate schedule below.
[Press Release] Top Issues for City’s Most Powerful Voting Bloc on Agenda for AARP Queens City Council Debate
Queens 50+ Voters Concerned About Retirement, Age Discrimination, Safety, Caregivers, Health Care, AARP Survey Finds; Seek Answers From Candidates
QUEENS, New York – With a new survey showing Queens voters age 50 and above have major concerns about key issues facing older city residents – and with voters 50+ expected to account for more than half the electorate in this fall’s elections – candidates for the open 27th City Council District seat will debate the issues at an AARP-sponsored debate next week.
The debate for the seat currently held by Democrat Leroy G. Comrie Jr. will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 5 at York College, 94-20 Guy R. Blvd., Queens, 11451.
The event is one of five City Council debates AARP is sponsoring next week ahead of the primary elections Sept. 10 and general elections Nov. 5 – and following the successful mayoral town hall forum AARP co-sponsored on August 6.
A recent AARP survey found about three quarters to four fifths of the 50+ Queens voters surveyed said they’re “extremely” or “very” likely to support candidates who’ll work on:
- Cutting health care and health insurance costs (82 percent),
- Supporting New Yorkers who provide care at home for an adult loved one who is ill, frail, elderly or disabled (79 percent),
- Safeguarding New Yorkers against consumer scams, identify theft or fraud (79 percent),
- Helping New Yorkers have enough money for a financially secure retirement (80 percent),
- Ensuring work opportunities for New Yorkers as they age (75 percent),
- Maintaining safe and independent mobility around town for New Yorkers of all ages (73 percent),
- Ensuring New Yorkers can afford to stay in their homes (82 percent)
- Nearly three quarters of Queens respondents (73 percent) expressed concerns about age discrimination at work, while nearly half (48 percent) said they expect to delay their retirement for financial reasons.
The survey also showed big majorities of Queens 50+ voters think city elected officials should make it their “top” or a “high” priority to work on:
- Laws, regulations and policies that support older workers (70 percent),
- Promoting age friendly living in New York City (72 percent).
- Strengthening laws and regulations and funding services that support family caregivers (77 percent). In fact, of the 36 percent of Queens 50+ voters who have provided care to an adult relative, friend or spouse who is ill, frail, elderly or has a disability in the past five years, 58 percent said caregiving put a strain on the quality of life for themselves and their family, including financial hardship, emotional stress and stress at work.
“New Yorkers will get a new mayor next year, but many neighborhoods will also get a new City Council representative who will have an important say in the future of the city,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. “Research shows AARP members will likely make up half the electorate, and our goal through these City Council debates is to ensure the candidates address issues of importance to older New Yorkers – through the campaign and once in office.”
Candidates will answer questions posed by a moderator.
AARP conducted the telephone survey of 1,302 registered city voters age 50 and older, including 309 in Queens, between May 17 and June 30. The total survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent.
Other AARP-sponsored City Council debates will be held in districts:
- 7, seat currently held by Robert Jackson, D-Manhattan (6:30-8:30 Sept. 4 at City College’s Aaron Davis Hall, 138 Convent Ave., Manhattan, 10031),
- 15, seat currently held by Joel Rivera, D-Bronx (10 a.m.-noon Sept. 4 at Fordham University, 441 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, N.Y., 10458),
- 34, seat currently held by Diana Reyna, D-Brooklyn (4:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at United Methodist Parish In Bushwick, 1139 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, 11221), and,
- 35, seat currently held by Letitia James, WFP-Brooklyn (10 a.m.-Noon Sept. 6, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 S. Oxford Street, Brooklyn, 11217).