To the editor:
I was born and raised in Salem. As co-chair of the Salem Age-Friendly Initiative, I want senior voters in Salem to know that their mayor, Kim Driscoll, is committed to them. One of Kim’s major priorities is to make Salem a city that encourages active aging, inclusion and security.
Under her leadership, Salem was certified by AARP and the World Health Organization as an age-friendly city. Salem was one of 30 communities in the United States, the third in Massachusetts and first on the North Shore to have its five-year action plan approved.
Salem’s action plan was created based on AARP and WHO’s eight essential features necessary for an age-friendly city; housing, transportation, outdoor space and buildings, community health services, communication and information, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic engagement and employment. Salem’s action plan has 24 specific recommendations with numerous action items, potential partners and outcomes under each recommendation.
A 14-person task force is about to complete its first year implementing the five-year plan. To date,Tufts Health Plan Foundation has awarded Salem a $30,000 grant to study the feasibility of a citywide shuttle. A resource guide is being created for all Salem residents over 60 years of age. The feasibility of “aging in place” is being addressed. A volunteer network is being created and a plan and process for safe sidewalks is underway.
This is only the beginning. There are four more years of work until completion. We need a strong mayor knowledgeable about and committed to making sure that this action plan is fully implemented in four years.
Kim’s positive efforts on behalf of senior citizens and her positioning of Salem on the forefront of this fast-growing international movement toward age-friendly cities are just some of the many reasons she deserves re-election. Kim Driscoll wants a Salem for all ages and is a passionate advocate for Salem’s senior citizens. Join me in voting for her on Nov. 7.