New AARP Poll: Philadelphia’s 50+ Black Community Says Crime Prevention, Jobs, Health Services, Will Influence 2023 Mayoral Vote


Philadelphia’s 50+ Black Community Says Crime Prevention, Jobs, and Health Services Will Influence Mayoral Vote

PHILADELPHIA, March 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Black voters age 50 and older in Philadelphia are prepared to vote on reducing crime and increased access to jobs and health care services, according to a new survey commissioned by AARP Pennsylvania.

The survey also found that Black voters over 50, 84% of whom are likely to vote, are worried about inflation, pedestrian and street safety and making housing affordable for all income levels.

“This poll shows just how much Black voters 50+ are watching the key issues their communities have spent decades fighting for,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. “They have worked a long time to own their homes and lift their neighborhoods, and they deserve to age with dignity. But with inflation and the rising costs of living squeezing all Philadelphia Black voters, 50+ are clearly looking for new leadership with a plan to bring down gun violence and keep people 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 ballots and identify the areas they want to be addressed by the city’s next leader. Key findings include:

  • Black Voters 50+ in Philadelphia are the most likely demographic to vote in the 2023 mayoral race. AARP Pennsylvania’s poll found 84% of Black voters 50 and older are “very likely” to vote, compared to 81% of voters overall.
  • Almost half (47%) of Older Black Voters said they have thought about moving out of their neighborhood over the past year. Of them, 85% cited “personal safety or security concerns,” 71% cited needing “a home that will help you live independently as you age,” and 69% cited a “lower cost of living.”
  • Older Black Voters cited transportation needs and safety as crucial for mayoral candidates on which to take a position. Ninety percent said “access to transportation to get around the city safely and easily” was important; 93% cited “pedestrian safety and reducing the number of fatalities” as important.
  • Philadelphia voters 50-plus get around their community in a variety of ways. Though many drive themselves (63%) or have family/friends drive them (29%), others are reliant on public transportation (35%), walking (34%) or biking (6%) around the city, or paying for taxis or rideshare services like Uber (21%). African American/Black voters 50-plus are much more likely to rely on public transportation than white voters (40% versus 28%, respectively).
  • Livable community issues are highly important to Philadelphia voters 50-plus. At least seven in ten Philadelphia voters 50-plus say it is ‘very important’ that the next mayor work to bring the community well-lit and accessible streets, sidewalks, and intersections; transportation that is safe, convenient, affordable, and well-maintained; accessible and affordable health and supportive services for older adults; and special transportation services for people with disabilities and older adults.

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 report in full, visit

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.

Contact: Randy LoBasso, Associate State Director of Communications [email protected], 267-964-8001

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania

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