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How Older Women And Minorities Can Play An Integral Part In Healing Divided Country

Karen E. Wagner (l) and Erica Baird of Lustre.net. Photo: screenshot from video, LUSTRE TALKS with Luke Swanson.

Now that America has voted in Joe Biden, who will be the oldest president ever in the U.S., and Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman—and of color—as vice president, what message is Biden’s team sending by nominating 74-year-old Janet Yellin for U.S. treasury secretary and 68-year-old Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the United Nations?

With a clear stand on age and gender, Erica Baird and Karen E. Wagner, two successful lawyers (now retired) and co-founders created Lustre.net, an online community aimed at redefining the stereotypes of retirement for modern career women.

Baird and Wagner share six tips each for Biden and Harris as they further shape their cabinet for the country:

For President-Elect Biden:
1. Deploy the advantages of your age. You have many decades of political and personal experience that allow you to think big.
2. Listen to our cohort when an issue affects people 65 and over.
3. Listen to our cohort when an issue affects people 65 and under.
4. Apply your problem-solving skills to give the people what they need. Most Americans, whoever they voted for, want the same things: an end to covid, a good job, an excellent education for their children, a secure home and three meals a day, not necessarily in that order.
5. Use your diplomatic approach to bring us together. Older people remember a “United States,” and our hope is that our country can still be a nation undivided.
6. Call on older women. We shouldn’t be dismissed. We’re an untapped demographic with huge intellectual and buying power that we typically don’t flaunt. We are here to enhance. 

For Vice President-Elect Harris:
1. Diversity brings strength. Remember that diversity includes age.
2. Pay heed to those politicians who learned to be effective by listening to their adversaries.
3. Keep employing style to convey how a woman exercises power. 
4. Channel the power of women to bring about a stronger America.
5. Break the stereotype that assertive women are “bitchy.”
6. Encourage Biden to bring younger and older Americans together to serve the country.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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