Paul’s Plan to Help Chicago Seniors Age in Place
Paul Vallas understands the important role the aging community plays in the vitality of our city, and knows that the needs of seniors cannot be ignored. By delivering clear direction and supporting the needs of the community today, Vallas will provide for the needs of future Chicagoans as they seek to “age in place” in our wonderful city.
The Vallas administration seeks to establish this as a priority for our city with the immediate development of a Chicago Department of Aging that will focus specifically on this community and take care of the following priorities that are pertinent to the continued strength and growth of those aging in Chicago.
Paul understands the aging community is concerned about their future in our city and has identified public safety, housing and affordability, access to safe and secure transportation and home care support as their priorities.
The Vallas administration along with the Department of Aging will address these priorities by:
Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of older Chicagoans in their community across Chicago In order to “age in place” the aging community needs to feel safe walking through their own neighborhood. A Vallas administration as part of Paul’s Public Safety Plan is going to restore “beat integrity” and bring back true community policing. The aging community under a Vallas administration will know their local officers, feel confident walking out their door and doing errands around their own neighborhood and city. Each of those communities must also be supported by a holistic infrastructure of well-being rooted in non-profit, community-based social services. These include mental health, family counseling, drug addiction and displaced persons services.
Ensuring those on a fixed income can afford to stay in the city The Vallas administration understands a large portion of the aging community is living on a fixed income much like other Chicagoans and is aware that actions must be taken to protect all Chicagoans from being priced out of their homes due to gentrification. Paul will put a moratorium on evictions and expand the elderly and people with disabilities property tax abatement program. A Vallas administration will remove obstacles for owners of multi-family units to convert unused space to garden units and provide abatements for units that house seniors. Paul understands the way to control rent is to cap individual property taxes on residences as well as businesses, protecting both homeowners and tenants from gentrification.
Ensuring employment opportunities for the elderly and aging in Chicago Having an affordable city means people need the opportunity to work and supplement their income; a Vallas administration will work to ensure there are employment opportunities available to all Chicagoans regardless of age or ability. Paul’s administration will lead by example by utilizing city agencies to engage in hiring the elderly and retirees in specialized areas; for example retired detectives will be brought on to consult the current department as well bringing retired teachers in to work as tutors in the CPS. The administration will also provide incentives to private business owners to support hiring individuals of the aging community. A Vallas administration will also provide occupational and computer literacy training to help the aging community take on the jobs that are growing in the 21st century.
Providing a central directory for qualified and quality caregivers in the city A Vallas administration will work to create a centralized directory of experienced caregivers in the city.. The Vallas administration understands there is a growing need for home health care support staff and will work to expand the pool of professionally certified caregivers options. The Vallas administration will give priority to local community providers.
Ensuring safe passage on all public transit and access across the city The Vallas administration understands that safety on public transit is key to the aging community as they navigate our great city everyday. Paul has made it clear in his Public Safety Plan he will expand the current CTA Division in the CPD to provide coverage to every CTA Platform and train everyday by both uniformed and undercover officers to deliver safe and orderly commute for all Chicagoans. Paul will end the privatized security and with these savings his administration will bolster the CTA Division to almost 500. This growth of this department will allow all Chicagoans regardless of age or ability to navigate across our great city with confidence that they will be safe, boosting the economic vitality of the city as well.
Creating a Safe, Accessible Streetscape for our aging population The Vallas administration understands the key priorities of the “Safe Streets for all Chicago” and the “Vision Zero Network” and will work to integrate their goals into the goals of the administration. Vallas and his administration will work to ensure that the city works to better their infrastructure and create policy that provides all Chicagoans with access to safe streets, eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users, increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility. The Department of Aging will act as a catalyst in this and ensure compliance. All Chicagoans need to know that they can navigate the city and utilize pedestrian spaces with no fear of being harmed by traffic.
Creating a community expert advisory committee for the aging community’s needs and priorities The Vallas administration will ensure that the city is invested in supporting the aging community by creating a committee composed of community members and stakeholders that will advocate for what is needed in the aging community. Paul will bring to the table groups like the AARP and programs like the Center for Life and Learning to work collaboratively to serve the needs of the aging community. Paul has always been a believer that the way to give power to members of the community is to empower them to play an active role in the systems that govern. As mayor Paul will work closely with community advocacy committees as he operates the city.