Editor's Note

Editor’s note: I want to be an Age Disruptor and inspire others

Here’s how New York power players 50 and over are defying stereotypes, age discrimination and encouraging new generations.

City & State’s 50 Over 50 event honored the Age Disruptors making New York a better place.

City & State’s 50 Over 50 event honored the Age Disruptors making New York a better place. Rita Thompson

I’m 56 years old and find myself increasingly inspired by many of the people I know who are around the same age and older. I’m referring to those of us who reach that half-century milestone without showing any sign of slowing down, like the honorees at City & State’s 50 Over 50 celebration on Jan. 29. The event at the Manhattan Penthouse was abuzz with these Age Disruptors.

New York City Council Member Gale Brewer, an honoree who chose not to bask in the limelight during remarks at the event, instead addressed her concerns for migrants who have arrived in the city from the southern border, demonstrating why she was an Age Disruptor. Brewer later told me she was thrilled by the celebration. “I knew everybody in the room accomplished so much for New York City. It was an honor and fun,” she said.

Beth Finkel, the state director of AARP New York, which sponsored the event, noted how these maturing rockstars are defying stereotypes and age-based discrimination. “I’m asking you today to continue to disrupt that conversation about aging, all of you,” she told attendees. Days later, she wanted to show how impactful older adults are by sharing an AARP New York-sponsored poll conducted by Gotham Government Relations that found female Democrats 50 and over were the largest subgroup of voters in the closely watched special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District to replace former Rep. George Santos. Those older adults might prove to be “a force to be reckoned with,” as an email she sent suggested. I’ll argue that she’s right, and that’s coming from me, an Age Disruptor in the making!