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Mayor Gray Swears in Members of the Age-Friendly DC Task Force, Saying DC Should Support Residents at All Stages of Life

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mayor Gray Swears in Members of the Age-Friendly DC Task Force, Saying DC Should Support Residents at All Stages of Life

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today swore in the members of the District’s new Age-Friendly DC Task Force, which will develop a strategic plan incorporating resident-driven recommendations to improve security, increase independence, boost health outcomes, and enable more purposeful living for older adults in the District by 2017.

“Older residents of our city love where they live, and they want to stay put. Utilizing our partnerships with residents and organizations in the private sector, including AARP and George Washington University, we will make sure that the District becomes an inviting, exciting and fulfilling place to live regardless of one’s age,” Mayor Gray said. “I am confident that the Age-Friendly DC Task Force will listen carefully and present ideas that, when implemented, will improve the quality of life immeasurably for our senior residents and truly make the District friendly to those at all stages of life.”

In September, the Mayor appointed George Washington University President Steven Knapp and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Beatriz “BB” Otero to co-chair the Task Force. The other task force members are: Mario Acosta-Velez, Verizon Director of State Government Affairs and Chairman of the D.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Terry Bellamy, Director of the District Department of Transportation; David Berns, Director of the DC Department of Human Services; Steve Glaude, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs; Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; Michael Kelly, Director of the District’s Department of Housing and Community Development; Dr. Saul Levin, CEO of the American Psychiatric Association; Lisa Mallory, Director of the DC Department of Employment Services; Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross of the National Capital Region; Mercy Morganfield, President of AARP-DC; Carolyn Nicholas, President of Advocates for Elder Justice; Derek Orr, Director of the District’s Office of Disability Rights; Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice; Stuart Rosenthal, Publisher/Editor of the Senior Beacon Newspaper; Richard Sarles, General Manager/CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority; Abigail Smith, Deputy Mayor for Education; Kathy Sykes, Senior Advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative; Romaine Thomas, Chair of the Legislative Committee of D.C. Retired Educators of America and Chair of the DC Commission on Aging; Dr. John Thompson, Executive Director of the District’s Office on Aging; Harriet Tregoning, Director of the District’s Office of Planning; and Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute.

“I am honored to serve the Mayor in this capacity and proud that my George Washington colleagues are lending their expertise to this important effort, which will enhance still further the quality of life in our great capital city,” said President Knapp.

The DC Office on Aging (DCOA) has been gathering input from older residents for a year. Community consultations will continue through the fall, involving District residents in group discussions about the city they envision. In early 2014, the Age-Friendly DC Task Force will consider the feedback they’ve received and make recommendations to the Mayor about the work that the District’s private and public sectors need to undertake to transform the city. The plan will build on the many improvements the District has made to a number of aspects of community life to ensure that they are friendlier to aging residents.