Tres Boomers, photographed by Raymond Speer, associate publisher of 50 Plus Marketplace News, became the cover photo of a recent issue of the newspaper.
You may not be familiar with this governor and mayor yet, but you will soon get to know them better as the world’s media focus next August on Denver, host of the Democratic National Convention.
Three Boomers have a message for you: Our state is going to beat your state.
What I mean by this is simply a promise that Colorado will be doggedly persistent in transforming the aging of the Boomer generation into a strategic focus and an economic opportunity. Many states are talking about it; few are taking substantive action.
I was honored to be one of twelve delegates who represented Colorado at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. Delegates, reflecting over 150,000 contributors from across the nation, brought their passion and ideas together around a unifying theme: The Booming Dynamics of Aging.
But without active engagement by the current president and Congress, the possibilities for high-impact implementation policies and funding became doubtful. The aging of the nation is simply not at the top of the list of political priorities, not yet.
However, after the Colorado delegation returned home, we decided not to disband but rather to keep meeting and discussing how we can transform lofty resolutions adopted in Washington into local policies and action.
After two years of planning and generous contributions of time, resources and energy, Colorado introduced last November its strategic vision called Silverprint Colorado. Our goal is straightforward:
Colorado will establish a culture for positive aging addressing the needs, contributions and opportunities for all its older residents.
Certainly this vision addresses our intentions to provide quality care and assistance to older Coloradoans late in life. But it’s also a revelation about economic opportunities.
As I discussed in my keynote address, Colorado has exceptional prospects to capitalize on aging in the areas of tourism, housing, spirituality, healthcare, biotechnology, the arts, the green movement, and education, to name a few.
In some business areas such as tourism, Colorado is already a national leader. (In various surveys, Colorado ranks among the top five travel destinations preferred by Boomers.) In lesser developed business areas, such as education, new public and private collaborative programs are creating the infrastructure and underpinnings for future success.
Our kick-off event attracted an overflow crowd and participation by political, civic and business leaders throughout the state. Special guests included Dorcas Hardy, chair of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, and Robert Blancato, chair of the 1995 White House Conference.
In their remarks, both Dorcas and Bob generously acknowledged Colorado as a state that is setting the standards by which other municipalities will judge successful adoption of a “positive culture of aging.”
Colorado has a mile-high vision for aging; we have broad-based support; and we have an entrepreneurial drive that’s endemic of the new west.