NYC Mayoral Hopefuls Go Toe-to-Toe Vying for Primary's Most Powerful Votes

Aug 06, 2013, 10:00 ET from AARP New York State

AARP, Asian American Federation, Hispanic Federation, NAACP, NALEO Educational Fund Town Hall Brings Candidates Together to Tackle Key Issues for Voting Blocs

NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the voting blocs that could tip the scales in the race to be New York's next Mayor joined forces for the first time to get the candidates talking about issues that matter most in their communities. In front of a crowd of over 1,000 people, ten Mayoral hopefuls laid out their positions on key issues to the city's 50+, Asian, African American/Black & Hispanic voters as the candidates look for votes and the crucial voting blocs look for answers. 

AARP, Asian American Federation, Hispanic Federation, NAACP and NALEO Educational Fund, set the stage with the tough issues on voters' minds and candidates Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrion, John A. Catsimatidis, Bill de Blasio, Joe Lhota, John Liu, George McDonald, Erick Salgado, Bill Thompson, and Anthony Weiner brought their answers.

The groups teamed up with WXTV Univision 41, WABC-TV7, New York Amsterdam News, and SinoTV/1380 AM for the event.

According to a recent AARP analysis, AARP members will likely account for just over half of all votes cast in contest, while 50+ voters from diverse communities will make up 47 percent.  A new AARP survey conducted by Woelfel Research, Inc. and Universal Survey found the groups overwhelmingly plan to vote (75 percent), and are concerned about age discrimination, affording their housing, crime and street safety:

"One thing is clear, 50+ voters will be voting their kitchen table concerns, like housing and utility costs, and their inability to retire. All too often, we hear our members share their personal anxiety on these most basic of financial security concerns, and they're looking at these Mayoral candidates for clear answers to help inform their decision before they go to the polls," said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. "AARP pulled together these critical multicultural membership groups, in an effort to ensure these issues are on the front of candidates' minds as they head toward the Sept. 10th primaries."

"Asian older adults are showing up in numbers at the forum this morning.  They want their concerns to be heard, and they want to hear what the candidates have to say," said Cao O, Executive Director, Asian American Federation. "The voter turnout on September 10th is expected to be high among Asian American voters, especially the 50+."

"Hispanic Federation is pleased to partner with AARP, Univision and other key partners to hold a mayoral candidates forum focused on issues facing the 50+ Latino and minority community," stated Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation. "Our aging community is facing a growing affordability crisis here in New York City and it's critically important for the next Mayor to prioritize solutions aimed at reducing poverty levels, expanding the social safety net and allowing our seniors to live with dignity and security." 

"We were pleased to see the mayoral candidates address the needs of the Latino 50+ population as well that of elderly immigrants in the city," stated Julissa Gutierrez, NALEO Educational Fund Director of National Programs and Community Relations, Civic Engagement. "With Latinos expected to outpace the total 50+ age demographic in New York City by 2016 and currently comprising 21 percent of New York City's 50+ population, their success will play a pivotal role in the future of our city."

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

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 Espanol, 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

SOURCE AARP New York State