Older adults have undeniable political clout as the age group most likely to vote; thus, they play an important role in politics—especially now with an upcoming presidential election.
Retirees have the luxury of time to be well informed. They read newspapers, watch televised debates and media coverage and discuss the day’s hot topics over hot coffee with friends.
Issues such as healthcare, the economy, gun control, education, immigration and the environment greatly affect the quality and security of seniors’ lives as well as the lives of their children and grandchildren.
Motivated and armed with knowledge, adults age 65 and older historically have the best turnout at the polls. While voting is certainly key to making your voice heard, there are other ways for seniors to get involved in the political process long before election day.
Following are eight sure-fire ways for older adults to put their political clout into action.
Eight Ways to Get Involved in Politics
1. Register to Vote – Make sure you are registered to vote, especially if you’ve recently changed your address.
2. Volunteer – If you find a candidate whose views align with yours, volunteer to support the campaign by knocking on doors and making phone calls on the candidate’s behalf.
3. Join a Group – Whether you are passionate about clean air and water or protecting the rights of people with disabilities, there is a group working on those and hundreds of other issues that you can join to make a difference and meet people with similar viewpoints.
4. Organize a Candidate Forum – Invite local politicians and candidates to speak at a public meeting at your local town hall, library, park district, senior center or senior living community.
5. Attend a Rally – Get informed and energized by attending a candidate rally.
6. Reach Out – Write letters, send e-mails and make phone calls to your representatives to let them know your views or write an editorial to submit to your local newspaper.
7. Stay Informed – Read and watch the news, talk to others and attend meetings, speeches and debates.
8. Vote! – Either vote in person at the correct polling place or cast an early or absentee ballot if you will be traveling or homebound due to health issues.
Making Their Voices Heard
Recently, residents at Pathway to Living’s Victory Centre of Park Forest supportive living community put their political clout into action. They wrote letters to their local senator seeking support of a senate bill to raise the supportive living rate, which successfully passed, thanks, in part, to the seniors’ efforts. Residents say that being involved in the political process made them feel powerful and more in control of their destiny. Plus, they enjoyed working together as a team to get the letters out.
To learn more about how Pathway to Living is changing the way society views aging, please visit pathwaytoliving.com or call 888-342-4111.