In response to its members and others attending our salons, TheRadicalAgeMovement (RA) has made age discrimination in the workplace a signature issue. We are fortunate to have Bobbie Sackman, former director of public policy at LiveOn NY, as a member of our Steering Committee.  Bobbie has taken the lead for RadicalAge on this vital work.
Over the past few years, it has become obvious that age discrimination in the workplace is a rampant, but hidden crisis. In January and February, 2018, RA held a series of salons on this issue. During the summer, we met with Councilmember Margaret Chin, Chair, City Council Aging Committee and her staff to discuss the possibility of a city council hearing on workplace discrimination. At our June 6th, indoor rally, Councilmember Chin, the only elected official invited, spoke about her strong support for addressing this issue.
September 17, 2018 was a historical day at the New York City Council. The Aging Committee in conjunction with the Human and Civil Rights Committee, held the first ever City Council public hearing on age discrimination in the workplace. Staff from the NYC Department for the Aging and the Human Rights Commission testified. RadicalAge steering committee members, Bobbie Sackman and Steve Burghardt as well as Alice Fisher, RadicalAge’s Director, testified (testimony and policy agenda on website). Other advocates for older adults testified. Importantly, a number of older adults who experienced age discrimination while seeking employment testified. It became obvious it is an issue that deserves the attention of our of City Council – and other political leaders, including the mayor – to address this issue.
Importantly, RadicalAge has brought together a group of advocates for older adults and those who advocate for job training and workplace justice. It is a promising and important step in ensuring that advocates include older workers in their activist work. Raising awareness of this problem and making older workers visible is key to confronting ageism in the workplace. This group met with Aging Chair Councilmember Chin and her staff – the first time such a coalition of organizations came together to meet with a Councilmember. We continue to work to a legislative package to address ageism in the workplace. We are exploring ways the city can ensure that older workers are protected in the workplace and can provide job training/employment services.
RA will continue to work with these allies and City Council as well as build a base of support with others locally and nationally. We will reach out to our members and others for feedback. RA thanks everyone for raising this issue so vociferously and opening the door to ending age discrimination in the workplace. Let us hear from you if you’re interested In joining this effort.
Contact: Bobbie Sackman
RAM Steering Committee Member