City Council President Adrienne Adams and one of her colleagues, Council Member Crystal Hudson, participated in a special webinar with AARP New York and Schneps Media focused on ageism, crime and other issues affecting local seniors.
Elizabeth Aloni of Politics NY and Beth Finkel, state director of AARP New York, co-hosted the meeting with Adams and Hudson, both of whom are vocal advocates of older adults in New York. He talked about the Mayor’s new cabinet for New York’s 50+ aging population, and what the City Council is doing to protect them from ageism and targeted crime, while helping them adapt with housing, connectivity and changing times .
Finkel leads the daily operations of AARP, the state’s most visible and successful organization advocating for New York’s 50+ population. During her tenure, AARP NY’s efforts on behalf of its 2.3 million members have led to historic state reforms, including the passage of the Cares Act, assisted living security, anti-predator lending, paid family leave, and affordable housing in New York City. Accommodation is included.
Speaker Adams was elected this January and leads the most diverse and female-majority council in New York City history as the first African American speaker, as well as the first woman to represent District 28 in Queens . Hudson, the first lesbian black woman elected to the chamber, was previously a Bronx community organizer, and is active in efforts to help New York seniors.
When Finkel asked legislators about combating ageism, Chairman Adams explained that the City Council is dedicated to serving the needs of older New Yorkers.
,[The Council is] addressing food insecurity, funding older adult centers, and supporting geriatric mental health services, and much more,” Adams explained. “In our most recent budget, council earmarked $32 million specifically for senior service initiatives To support a range of programs to help our older adult population, including a new investment of more than $3 million to purchase 44 new vans that deliver meals to homebound New Yorkers.
Hudson said funding is being prioritized for organizations combating ageism. she has also Working on legislation to combat major crime and protect the rights of older New Yorkers. Her bills require bias training and Know Your Rights pamphlets for service providers.
Providing more education to the public is important because many seniors are often victims of abuse and crime, and often have difficulty knowing their rights and getting help.
City Council Also introduced a packet of legislation called the Age in Place NYC package that will be added to over the next few months. According to Council Member Hudson, “We aim to meet the needs of seniors in health care, housing and all other areas… creating a Know Your Rights pamphlet where the Department of Aging would require or give everyone a It will be essential to send pamphlets to people 60 and over to learn and inform them about the resources and services available to them.
These bills, if passed and signed into law by the mayor, would allow seniors to know everything they are entitled to, while promoting greater access to telemedicine and digital literacy.
Hudson’s bill also expands eviction protections and requires developers receiving city financial aid to include universal design in 10% of their units to ensure a comfortable home environment for all New Yorkers, and to increase their Homes should be a place to age with dignity.
The issue of connectivity in a technologically advanced post-pandemic environment was also a major point of discussion during the meeting. The transition has created isolation and lack of access to services among older New Yorkers is growing for reasons ranging from broadband access to technology efficiency.
To combat this, Adams and Hudson explained, the council is creating legislation to break down the barriers older citizens face.
Both Hudson and his Brooklyn/Queens colleague, City Council member Jennifer Gutierrez, are sponsoring a bill that would require the city’s Department of Information Technology (DOITT) and Department for Aging (DFTA) to provide an online digital literacy program for older adults. The program will need to be installed. In an effort to increase connectivity.
“AARP NY is greatly encouraged by NYC Council President Adrienne Adams and Aging Committee Chair Crystal Hudson to focus on the needs of those 50+ in all five boroughs,” Finkel said. “We were grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Council’s plans to combat ageism, increase access to affordable housing, and keep older New Yorkers healthy and connected to vital services. AARP New York looks forward to continuing to work with the NYC Council and Mayor to ensure that older New Yorkers can age in the city they helped build.