Saint Paul Wins Cities of Service National Competition to Engage Adults Aged 50+ in Service

June 5, 2019 

Media Contacts:
Liz Xiong, (651) 357-8448,
Cities of Service, Karen Dahl, (646) 324-8390,
AARP Minnesota, Cathy McLeer, 605-360-3904,

SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Saint Paul was announced as a winner of the Cities of Service Experience Matters competition. With support from AARP, Cities of Service will work with Saint Paul and five other cities to develop volunteering initiatives that address public problems related to the drivers of poverty.

Each city will receive $25,000, technical assistance, and two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members based in city hall who will build capacity and raise awareness for the initiatives. They will focus on engaging residents 50 and older in program implementation.

In Saint Paul, resident volunteers will help their neighbors with minor home and property repairs to address code violations and reduce water use, decreasing fines and housing instability as a result.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Cities of Service and AARP in Saint Paul," said Mayor Melvin Carter. "Through their support, we will be able to further engage our community in service to others." 

In addition to funding and technical assistance throughout the duration of the program, Cities of Service and AARP will provide support in recruitment and selection of AmeriCorps VISTA members, pre-program training to ensure fidelity to Cities of Service’s proven citizen engagement model, project design assistance customized to each city, expert and peer learning opportunities through site visits and convenings, and promotion of projects to encourage replication of best practices.

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with AARP through the launch of this new Experience Matters program,” said Myung J. Lee, Cities of Service Executive Director. “Our expertise helping cities engage volunteers combined with AARP’s experience working with adults age 50 and older will allow Saint Paul to have a significant impact on some of the issues it is facing related to poverty.”

“AARP Minnesota is pleased to work with the City of Saint Paul to help achieve the goals laid out in the Cities of Service Experience Matters program,” said Will Phillips, State Director for AARP Minnesota. “We know how much experience, expertise and commitment 50+ volunteers bring to the table and think this program presents a great opportunity to engage older adults to make an impact in Saint Paul.”

The other winning cities are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Columbia, South Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

About Cities of Service
Cities of Service is a nonprofit organization that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together. We help our coalition cities tap into citizen insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 260 cities, representing more than 73 million people across the Americas and Europe. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.