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OUR PRIORITIES   |  AGING IN BOSTON

AGING IN BOSTON

John is committed to doing all he can to make Boston the best city in America for older adults. He knows that our seniors built Boston, and we wouldn’t have strong communities without them. 

 

Growing up in a tight-knit community in the Dudley Street Neighborhood, John knows how important our seniors are to building our communities and supporting the next generation. John’s grandmother was one of the most important people in his life, and helped to raise him and his siblings, and support his parents as they worked to build a future for their family. Not only must we create a system for affordable childcare for working parents, but it will also help alleviate the burden on grandparents and older adults so they can enjoy their later years.  

 

Older adults represent the fastest-growing sector of Boston’s population, and we have a sacred obligation to ensure they enjoy a stable, accessible, and comfortable retirement in our high-cost city. John will work with our seniors on all of the issues they are concerned about, from housing to transportation to health care and more.

John’s Record: 
 

  • As the City’s Chief of Economic Development, John’s team worked with the Age Strong Commission to design and host workshops and a job fair for older adults. This initiative provided over 250 older adults in the City with motivation, career guidance, and specific training, and a job fair that featured 17 prominent employers.

  • The Office of Economic Development and the Age Strong Commission worked with MassChallenge’s HealthTech program to connect digital health solutions with City-wide challenges. This led to partnering with GoGoGrandparent, a 24/7 call service between older adults and rideshare providers. 

  • Under the leadership of the Walsh administration, Boston joined the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and became the first large city to join the Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance. Under Mayor Walsh’s leadership, all front-facing City staff and emergency personnel were trained to recognize signs and behaviors of Alzheimer’s Disease. John’s team furthered this work with Age-Friendly Small Businesses, an initiative which certifies Boston businesses that pledge to make their spaces more inclusive for seniors, as well as people struggling with dementia.

  • The Office of Economic Development participated in the cross-departmental team that worked with AARP of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to create a roadmap for the City’s future in supporting older adults. This report reflects the voices of 4,000 older adults from every corner of Boston, and is inclusive of different languages, viewpoints, ages, and cultures.

  • John was part of the team that supported the Walsh administration’s efforts to create nearly 300 new units of low-income senior housing. In addition, he created a new $1.75 million line item in the City’s budget to produce more homes and offset federal funding cuts. Finally, through home renovation and foreclosure prevention - including expanded eligibility for the Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program - the Walsh administration helped more than 500 seniors remain in their homes.

As Mayor, John will:

  • Strengthen the Social Safety Net for Boston Seniors. More than one in five Boston seniors live in poverty, and 28 percent receive public assistance of some kind. John will work to make sure that no Boston senior is retiring into poverty, and will build systems that connect them with all of the benefits to which they are entitled. John will convene a cross-departmental task force to explore all of the ways we can help our seniors age strong in Boston. 

  • Provide Property Tax Relief: Older adults bought their homes long ago when home values within the city were lower. As the value of homes increase, so do taxes owners must pay - regardless if they live on a fixed-income or not. Unfortunately, due to Boston’s high-costs, more than 40 percent of our seniors are housing-cost burdened. John will immediately explore more property tax relief for seniors who need it, including working with the State to increase the senior exemption on property taxes. 

  • Provide Economic Security: John will continue to partner with local employers to create and expand training programs in order to help older adults access fulfilling, good-paying jobs for those who want to continue working.

  • John knows that for seniors who want to stay in their homes, caregiver support is essential. He will work toward solutions that will advance this, like paid leave for family members who are providing these services, and affordable and accessible home health care for those who don’t have family available.

  • John will commit to building more affordable housing for seniors, and continue work to achieve the 5,000 unit goal of Housing Boston 2030. 

  • Nearly 38 percent of seniors in Boston don’t speak English. John will invest more funding for language access. 

  • John commits to supporting the Age Strong Commission’s move from a more deficit-oriented constituent services agency to a department focused on helping seniors capitalize on the things they can offer, as they live meaningful, fulfilling lives. 

  • John will commit to following the 75 action steps and guiding principles of the Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan, which will make Boston the best city in the United States in which to age.