AARP volunteers will be out evaluating the safety of streets and sidewalks this month in communities across the state.
The effort is part of the Complete Streets initiative, which aims to make streets accessible and safe for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and people with disabilities. AARP has pushed for complete streets policy and legislation since 2009. While the state is considered to have one of the strongest such policies in the nation, it also ranked third most dangerous in the nation in a report on pedestrian safety from the nonprofit Transportation for America.
To get involved, email Jason Tudor, AARP associate state director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To download the Street and Sidewalk Survey, go to createthegood.org and click on "how-to guides."
Dollars and Sense
As part of a coalition called Better Choices for a Better Louisiana, AARP is urging lawmakers to combine responsible revenue measures and increased transparency with common sense savings to mitigate a $1.6 billion deficit.
The coalition, which includes such groups as the Children's Defense Fund and Louisiana Primary Care Association, is fighting to keep critical state services off the chopping block. Previous cuts to health care programs have contributed to state rankings at or near the bottom for obesity and diabetes, says Nancy McPherson, AARP state director.
To learn more, go to betterchoicesla.org. To join AARP Louisiana's advocacy team, call 1-866-448-3620 toll-free.
As the tough economy continues to put a squeeze on household budgets, AARP is pressing for a consumer advocate to represent residential ratepayers before the Public Service Commission.
In a recent survey, more than half of AARP members in Louisiana said they are concerned about the rising costs of heating and cooling their homes. Moreover, 65 percent said they do not believe the interests of residential utility customers like themselves are represented and taken into consideration when utility rate hikes are proposed and approved. Almost all of the respondents said they would support a law to establish a consumer advocate office to represent their interests at PSC hearings.
To learn more, go to aarp.org/la. To get involved in a coalition working to make a consumer advocate a reality, call 1-866-448-3620 toll-free.
More than 80 AARP members in New Orleans have joined the Soul Steppers and are walking their neighborhoods to boost fitness — a first for many of them.
Organizers hope spring is a great time to expand these walking clubs, which help people take charge of their health while building relationships with neighbors. For people age 50-plus, a brisk half-hour walk five days a week drives down the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis and some cancers.
The Soul Steppers groups were organized using a Create the Good toolkit at createthegood.org/how-to-guides. Join a walking club today by calling 1-866-448-3620 toll-free.