A life spent building up hard-won wealth can come to naught if there isn’t a secure safety net to help Maryland residents as they age. Having a secure safety net is good for seniors, it eases the strain on those charged with taking care of them, and it potentially allows families to climb the economic ladder by saving money from one generation to the next.
Much of the social safety net for seniors is constructed at the federal level but we can still do good work on the state level. We will encourage the expansion of collective bargaining rights because unions have a proven track record of making good deals for workers, including retirement benefits. Expanding the negotiating power of organized labor can helps give Maryland residents a secure retirement.
We will sponsor legislation easing the construction of senior centers on any state-owned land. Many of the already existent senior centers provide valuable services and a sense of community in their neighborhoods and while meeting the residents of the 41st we’ve heard many people asking for more centers and more services. Alongside encouraging senior centers the state should expand programs that help seniors stay physically and mentally active as they age. We will promote senior centers, community centers, and other institutions that hold activities and host speakers or events for seniors.
We need affordable housing for everyone, and that includes seniors. The same policies I wish to see enacted at the state level to help the construction of affordable housing can also be used to ensure that our seniors have clean, safe, affordable housing. The state can, and should, make rules that ease the construction of homes for seniors in areas that do not have enough. In addition, Maryland can provide money to help with the upkeep on seniors’ homes, just like I hope Maryland will do with the current stock of affordable homes.
The public transit systems that I envision, either heavy rail, light rail, or BRT, will all be more senior-friendly than the current bus system. Buses on main lines, in accordance with best practices, will be low slung to allow for easy boarding. Any stations that are built for future projects must have elevators to allow for easy access.
We will fight hard to make sure that every Maryland resident has affordable, effective healthcare. People who receive preventive care throughout their lives are more likely to have a positive experience as they age. And for those who may not have access to any healthcare now plan to roll out a Medicaid public option to allow for anyone, no matter how old, to be given the care that they need.[97,98]
Our families can and should be able to live comfortably after a life spent working hard. They should be able to get around just as easily as their children and grandchildren. They should have access to affordable housing and affordable healthcare. And they should be able to retire knowing that they will have money and a home in a safe, prosperous neighborhood to pass on to their families, giving them a leg up they too often don’t receive now.
Expedite construction of senior centers on state-owned land.
Expand programs that help seniors stay physically and mentally active.
Pass laws allowing state to expedite construction of affordable housing for seniors in communities without enough.
Make new transit systems more senior friendly with low-slung vehicles and elevators at stations.
Mandate senior-friendly compliance in public transit replacement vehicles.
Expand healthcare access so that people age they have fewer systemic health issues.
92 Mishel, Lawrence, and Matthew Walters, How Unions Help All Workers. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, August, 2003, p. 1-2, 6-8.
93 The State of Aging and Health in America 2013, Atlanta, GA: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2013, p. 5.
94 Khare, Amy, and Marisa Novara, Two Extremes of Residential Segregation: Chicago’s Separate World’s and Policy Strategies for Integration. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 2017, p. 10-11.
95 Ibid, 11.
96 USDOT, Applicability of Bogotá’s TransMilenio BRT System, 2006, p. viii.
97 Clemans-Cope, Lisa, Teresa A. Coughlin, Sharon K. Long, and Dean Resnick, What Difference Does Medicaid Make? Assessing Cost Effectiveness, Access, and Financial Protection under Medicaid for Low-Income Adults. Menlo Park, CA: The Kaiser Family Foundation, May 2013, p. 1.
98 The State of Aging and Health in America 2013, Atlanta, GA: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2013, p. 5.