A group of 40 seniors residing at Cathedral Village Retirement Community in Roxborough, ranging in age from their 70s through 100s, marched in support of the Biden-Harris ticket on Thursday …
A group of 40 seniors residing at Cathedral Village Retirement Community in Roxborough, ranging in age from their 70s through 100s, marched in support of the Biden-Harris ticket on Thursday afternoon.
Some with walkers and some with canes, the group chanted in the parking lot and then proceeded to walk north to Manatawna and Ridge Avenues receiving honks from passing motorists along the way.
Democratic Congressman Dwight Evans, who was on hand, said seniors know what democracy is all about.
“Seniors paid their dues and they earned it. They understand what democracy is all about and they know the importance of voting through past history,” said Evans, who was wearing a VOTE mask.
March Organizer Dennis Brunn is one of about 130 Indivisible Cathedral Village members who talked of the myriad of issues that will affect seniors if Donald Trump retains his seat in the oval office.
“We believe that Biden and Harris will address the Covid 19 pandemic far more effectively than President Trump and that the Democrats will protect and improve Social Security, Medicare and be a champion for social, racial and economic justice,” said Brunn, 76, who lived in Northwest Philadelphia for 40 years. “As seniors concerned about our grandchildren, we support Biden and Harris also because they will listen to the worldwide scientific community’s call to address climate change.”
Brunn said they have a constant stream of alerts to call senators and representatives on an array of issues.
“We are trying to block the Trump agenda but also do some positive things. We had a rally near here around gun violence in which 100 people turned out and a similar rally in the spring around climate change,” said Brunn, noting that all gatherings take place just off of the property.
Resident Sarah West, 83, noted that the group has held weekly outdoor Black Lives Matters vigils over the summer.
“We started after the death of George Floyd and it’s been very gratifying to see the 30 or so residents at the vigils. It means a lot to me to do this,” said West, who is on the Indivisible Steering Committee.
Brunn said there isn’t a lot of sitting around playing pinochle among residents in the independent living area of Cathedral Village.
“The majority of people at Cathedral village live in independent living, but there is also a nursing wing and we are in semi lockdown. Concerns about the virus are very high and people are aware it’s not been responded to as it should have been,” Brunn added.
Marny Walsh, a former 40-year resident of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill is the Committeewoman at Cathedral Village.
“These are terrific voters here and in an ordinary general election we can get 85 percent of people voting, but some aren’t able to physically or mentally able to do that. People are turning out even more in this election,” said Walsh.
Walsh noted that there is a concerted effort to help those who can’t get to Roxborough High School to drop off the ballots.
“A voter must drop off the ballot in person, so we are helping people get to the satellite offices. In the beginning, voters were encouraged to use the mail but the closer we get to the election we are urging voters to use the satellite office. People are very anxious and excited.” said Walsh, 82.
Beth Delaney, who led the march with an American flag, is a committeewoman who lives near Cathedral Village and shared what she is hearing and seeing in the community.
“I’m seeing a big uptick just in our neighborhood. Residents are having a lot more conversations about volunteering, making phone calls, putting up signs and I just know from phone calls with friends there is so much anxiety among Democrats and Republicans about the election,” said Delaney.
Resident Susan Weston, 77, gets energized when she hears the cars honking in support of both the Black Lives Matter movement and the Biden-Harris ticket.
“It feels like a conversation and we go back to our apartments with renewed energy. It also feels wonderful to hear them thank us mostly older white people. It warms my heart,” said Weston.
Emilie Bregy, 100, was using her walker to make the one block march.
“It’s really been quite wonderful. I hope to keep going and keep marching as I’ve not seen anything like this in my voting history so far,” said Bregy.
Correspondent Barbara Sherf can be reached through her website at CommunicationsPro.com.