Philadelphia’s Older Adults Want Candidates Who are Focused on Crime, Safety and Essential Services 

Posted on 03/08/23 by Randy Lobasso

Contact: Randy LoBasso, Associate State Director of Communications, 267-964-8001


Philadelphia’s Older Adults Want Candidates Who are Focused on Crime, Safety and Essential Services 

Philadelphia – Unsatisfied with the current mayor and city council, Philadelphia voters age 50 and older are motivated to usher in new city leadership, according to a new survey commissioned by AARP Pennsylvania. The survey found that the top issues for this voting bloc are reducing crime, drugs and gun violence and fostering affordable and safe neighborhoods as they vote for Philadelphia’s next mayor. 

Philadelphia voters 50+ are a historically large voting bloc in the city’s elections. During the open mayoral primary election in 2015, they made up 63.38% of all Philadelphia voters and 61.23% of voters in the 2019 mayoral primary, according to data from the Philadelphia City Commissioners Office. Eighty-one percent of registered voters 50+ say they are very likely to vote.

“As the most substantial voting bloc in the upcoming primary election, older adults are counting on Philadelphia’s mayoral candidates to hear their concerns, address them as part of their campaign, and make them priorities long after this election is over,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, State Director for AARP Pennsylvania. “They deserve a leader dedicated to cutting the crime rate, protecting them from harm, and working to ensure they can stay in their homes.”

The survey was conducted from February 8-20, 2023 and included 826 registered voters age 50 and older. It was designed to assess issues critical to Philadelphia voters as they prepare to cast their ballots and identify the areas they would like to see addressed by the city’s next leader. Key findings include:

  • Half (52%) of Philadelphia voters 50+ have considered leaving their Philadelphia neighborhood in the past year, with personal safety and security concerns (84%) topping the list by a wide margin, followed by the cost of living (63%) and wanting a home that will help them live independently as they age (61%).
  • More than 90% of survey respondents said it was “very important” or “somewhat important” that the mayoral candidates focus on making housing more affordable for all income levels, increasing pedestrian safety, and focusing on jobs and the economy.
  • Many 50+ Philadelphians (40%) are struggling to keep up or falling behind financially, and one-third of workers (38%) are not confident they will be able to retire at some point.
  • Advocacy for safe neighborhoods and economic issues like lower utility costs and property tax relief for those who need it most will likely influence Philadelphia voters 50+ at the polls. In addition to accessible and affordable health and supportive services for older adults (95%), voters want walkable neighborhoods (96%) with improved transportation options (96%) and assistance with home modifications and repairs (87%).

AARP Pennsylvania released the survey as part of its Philadelphia voter engagement campaign aimed at putting the city’s mayoral candidates in touch with the priorities of older adults. This multifaceted campaign also includes sponsoring several mayoral candidate forums and engaging in a variety of opportunities to discuss key elements of AARP Philadelphia’s Livable Communities Platform, which prioritizes affordable housing, transportation and green spaces among eight domains of livability.  It also consists of a Philadelphia Election Guide that contains information on how, when, and where to vote in the May 16 primary election. 

To read the detailed findings, visit

To visit our 2023 Philadelphia Mayoral Election Voter Guide, go to:


About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit, or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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