As a proud member of AARP, I write to encourage all readers to vote this November 6. Elections have consequences, and this one will not be any different.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, 14% of its membership will be new. There will be at least three new U.S. Senators. Since 2008 there have been 473 new Congressmen: 76 in the Senate and 397 in the House.

It is important to recognize that Americans 50+ are now the most powerful voting bloc. Given that, there are a number of issues that our national leaders must address.

Medicare is a historical deal that cannot be broken. Affordable quality health care needs to continue with a look at the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Social Security must be kept strong for current and future generations. In the realm of caregiving, some 40 million Americans care for those in need. They are the backbone of America’s care system and face physical, emotional and financial challenges. The caregiving families deserve significant support.

On the state level, the legislature in 2016 enacted the Connecticut Retirement Security Program to be phased in beginning in 2019. It will provide over 600,000 residents without a retirement savings option through the workplace a means to save for their retirement via payroll deduction. It is important for state candidates to continue implementation.

Of particular concern is the assurance from our legislators that as the utility market in Connecticut continues to change, consumer interests will be protected. Finally, apropos of the national need for caregiving support is the need in our state for a family leave law that allows employees paid leave to attend to their caregiving purposes. Plus, there is a need to expand services and supports for seniors to live independent lives in their homes and communities.

As can be gleaned there is so much on the national, state and even local plate for consideration in this election. Elections do in fact matter. Your vote matters! Be the difference. Vote.

Lloyd Stableford