Municipal law, which has been largely ignored in the body of elder-rights scholarship, often plays a far more important role in the everyday lives of older persons than the principally aspirational concepts of international law. Accordingly, this article examines how well modern cities have fulfilled their potential role in assuring the civil and human rights of older persons. The author concludes, based on the results of a national study, that local law is not currently fulfilling its potential as a means to expand the rights of older citizens. Few cities across the country appear to have taken more than minor steps in the direction of developing clear, ordinance-based policies that will truly foster age-friendly cities. Finally, the article makes three recommendations: First, that elder-rights advocates should participate in the legislative process at the municipal level; second, that attorneys who represent older clients should better utilize local legislation that exists, and should assist in the proposing, drafting, and implementing of local ordinances pertaining to older persons; and third, that municipal leaders and administrators should be educated on the potential economic benefits of using local law as a vehicle for social change in this field, especially in light of the growing political power of older residents.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/israel_doron/84/