AAPI Weekly Highlights: Time to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform

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AAPI Highlights, June 10, 2013

 

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the President’s weekly address on commonsense immigration reform, the National Conference on Mental Health at the White House, a hepatitis B awareness campaign launch event, an upcoming webinar on careers in the public sector, and more agency announcements.

 

Time to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform

 

On June 8, 2013, in his weekly address, President Obama stated that the United States Senate will soon take action to fix our broken immigration system with a commonsense bill, and urged lawmakers to act quickly to pass this bill so that we can continue to live up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and also a nation of immigrants. Watch the full weekly address here.

 

President Obama Applauds Commitments to Raise Awareness and Increase Understanding of Mental Health at White House Conference

 

On June 3, 2013, at the National Conference on Mental Health, the President applauded the dozens of commitments made by organizations representing media, educators, health care providers, faith communities, and foundations to increase understanding and awareness of mental health. The Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to raise awareness and improve care for Americans experiencing mental health issues, including expanding mental health coverage for millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act, improving access to mental health services for veterans and supporting initiatives to help educators recognize and refer students who show signs of mental illness. Read more here.

 

Here's How the Affordable Care Act Is Helping Californians

 

On June 7, 2013, President Obama was in California to talk about how the Affordable Care Act benefits people in the state, and across the country. First, for those who already have health insurance, President Obama explained that the law has already provided a wide array of new benefits, better protections and stronger cost controls they didn’t have before. Second, for the tens of millions of Americans – including 6 million Californians - who don’t currently have health insurance, “you’ll soon be able to buy quality, affordable care just like everybody else.” Read more here.

 

Presidential Proclamation -- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2013

 

For more than two centuries, our Nation has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies have been hard at work on the next great chapter of that history -- from the patrons of The Stonewall Inn who sparked a movement to service members who can finally be honest about who they love to brave young people who come out and speak out every day. Read the full Presidential Proclamation here.

 

WHIAAPI Announcements

 

Hepatitis B Awareness Campaign Launch Event – June 12, 2013

 

On June 12, WHIAAPI, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Hep B United, will host an event to celebrate successes around the prevention, care, and treatment of hepatitis B and to launch a new nationwide campaign to continue to promote awareness about this disease. The event will be held at the Department of Health and Human Services from 9:00 am to 12 Noon. To attend please RSVP to iweerasinghe@aapcho.org.

 

AAPI Faith-Based and Community Leaders Forum – June 15, 2013

WHIAAPI invites you to an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Faith-Based and Community Leaders Forum on Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM EST, at Wilbur Wright College Events Theater and Atrium, 4300 N. Narragansett, Chicago, IL 60634.  The forum will provide both faith-based and community leaders an opportunity to learn about federal resources and programs, share innovative practices, and inform the federal government about issues affecting the AAPI community.  This forum kicks off a series of engagements with AAPI faith-based and community leaders across the country including New York and San Francisco.

The forum will include panel discussions with federal officials on economic growth, immigration, civil rights and education, an open-dialogue session, and an opportunity to network with faith-based and community leaders in the Chicago region. See more information on the event here and register here.

 

 Professional Development Webinar: Careers in the Public Sector Webinar – June 18, 2013

 

WHIAAPI and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) will be hosting a webinar on careers in the public sector on June 18 at 2:00 EDT with speakers from the Department of Education, Peace Corps, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Office of Personnel Management.  Recent graduates and young professionals interested in careers in the federal government are encouraged to participate. Click here to RSVP by June 17. Learn more here.

 

Agency Spotlight: U.S. Department of the Interior - Recruiting and Retaining AAPIs in the Federal Workforce

 

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has been working to recruit, hire, and retain AAPI employees across the agency.  Recently, DOI collaborated with the Asian American Government Executives Network (AAGEN) to provide mentoring sessions and leadership and executive core qualifications workshops for AAPI employees looking to advance into grades GS-14, GS-15, and the senior executive service. DOI is seeking to examine and remove barriers to equal participation at all levels.  For instance, DOI organized barrier analysis project teams that focused on workforce planning, recruitment, retention, and employee development.  Finally, the agency’s Office of Human Resources implemented a recruitment strategy targeted at minority communities in six cities in an effort to increase the diversity of applicant pools for mission critical positions. Read more about DOI’s work on behalf of AAPIs here.

 

Blog Post: White House Closes Out AAPI Heritage Month with Youth Forum

 

On May 31, 2013, WHIAAPI and the White House Office of Public Engagement closed out AAPI Heritage Month 2013 by hosting a Youth Forum with the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU), featuring more than 150 young AAPI leaders from throughout the country.  The goals of the Youth Forum were to educate participants about important issues facing the AAPI community, engage them around the work of the White House and the White House Initiative on AAPIs, and empower them to take action in their respective communities and campuses.  Read more here.

 

Agency Announcements

 

Mentalhealth.Gov Launched

Launched by the Department of Health and Human Services, Mentalhealth.gov is an online resource for people looking for information about mental health. In conjunction with the release, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration released “Community Conversations About Mental Health: Information Brief” available for download to support communities interested in holding discussions about mental health.

 

Secure Health Data Helping Patients, Doctors Improve Care and Health

 

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of new data and new opportunities for researchers and developers at the beginning of Health Datapalooza IV. This is the fourth annual national conference on health data transparency, which brings together government, non-profit, and private sector organizations to look at the potential for open data from HHS and other sources to help improve health and health care. Read more about the data sets released here.

 

Medicare Urges Seniors to Join Fight Against Fraud with Redesigned Claim Statements

 

In mailboxes across the country, people with Medicare will soon see a redesigned statement of their claims for services and benefits that will help them better spot potential fraud, waste and abuse. These newly redesigned Medicare Summary Notices are just one more way the Obama Administration is making the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse in health care a top priority. Because of actions like these and new tools under the Affordable Care Act, the number of suspect providers and suppliers thrown out of the Medicare program has more than doubled in 35 states. Read more here.

 

Social Security Board of Trustees: No Change in Projected Year of Trust Fund Reserve Depletion

 

The Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.  The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2033, unchanged from last year, with 77 percent of benefits still payable at that time.  The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, also unchanged from last year’s estimate, with 80 percent of benefits still payable. Read the full announcement here.

 

Department of Labor Launches Online Retirement Toolkit in Cooperation with Social Security Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

 

The Department of Labor announced the launch of an online toolkit to help workers identify key issues related to retirement planning and to help workers understand important decisions related to employment-based plans, Social Security and Medicare. Read more here.

 

Justice Department Announces Plan for Advancing Crime Victims’ Rights and Services in the Twenty-first Century

 

The Justice Department unveiled a plan calling for sweeping changes to advance crime victims’ rights and services in the 21st century. Developed by the Office of Justice Programs and Office for Victims of Crime, Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report, is the first collective examination in 15 years of current U.S. practices, funding and outreach in the crime victims’ field. Read more here.

 

Square Co-Founder Jack Dorsey to Talk Business and Technology with SBA Administrator Karen Mills at National Small Business Week

 

Jack Dorsey, Square and Twitter Co-Founder, will join Small Business Administrator Karen Mills in Washington, D.C., June 20, for a discussion with small business owners on best practices, technology, and resources for building and growing their business. The discussion will take place during an evening reception with National Small Business Week award winners. National Small Business Week events are happening across the country, see the entire list of events here.

 

VA Hires Over 1600 Mental Health Professionals to Meet Goal, Expands Access to Care and Outreach Efforts, Directs Nationwide Community Mental Health Summits

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has met the goal to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals outlined in President Obama’s Aug. 31, 2012, Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families.  Read more here.

 

 Grant Opportunities

 

National Institute of Mental Health Seeks 24 Outreach Partners to Conduct Outreach on Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outreach Partnership Program has posted an early announcement for an upcoming Solicitation for Proposals. NIMH will invite applicants to submit proposals for consideration as an NIMH Outreach Partner from non-profit organizations that conduct outreach on mental health in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the following 22 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Learn more here.

 

HUD Makes $109 Million Available to Revitalize Housing and Communities

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it is making available $109 million in grants to revitalize public and HUD-assisted housing and transform communities. These grants are offered through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Program, a redevelopment approach that provides communities with tools to revitalize hard-hit communities into vibrant, opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Read HUD’s Notice of Funding Availability. Read more here.