Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the September 11th Observance Ceremony, the five year anniversary of the Financial Crisis, prioritizing Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Engagement in the Pacific, and more agency announcements.
As a reminder, you can read about our work at www.whitehouse.gov/aapi and you can follow us on Twitter: @WhiteHouseAAPI for the Initiative, @KiranAhujaAAPI for Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the Initiative, and @Inouye44 for Shin Inouye, White House Director of Specialty Media.
President Obama, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and General Dempsey attend the September 11th Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, Sept. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Last week, the White House honored those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. On September 11th at 8:46 AM, the time that the first plane struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center, President Obama was joined by the Vice President, the First Lady, Dr. Biden, and White House staff on the South Lawn to observe a moment of silence. Later that morning, the President, Defense Secretary Hagel, and other military officials attended the September 11th Observance ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington. The President laid a wreath at the Zero Age Line and observed a moment of silence at 9:37 to honor the victims of the attack at the Pentagon. President Obama then delivered remarks to families of the victims, also honoring the four Americans who lost their lives a year ago today in Benghazi. Read about the September 11th observance ceremony .
Five years ago this week, a financial crisis unlike any in generations rocked Wall Street, turning a recession that was already hammering Main Street into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In the months before President Obama took office, the economy was shrinking at a rate of over 8%, businesses were shedding 800,000 jobs a month, lending to families and small businesses dried up, and the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse.
Upon taking office, Obama acted with unprecedented speed to respond to the crisis and its impact on American families – taking actions to stabilize the financial system, rescue the auto industry, and boost the economy by providing tax relief to working families and keeping teachers and first responders on the job. Within six months, he had signed the Recovery Act into law, announced a framework for a new financial stability plan and implemented its key elements, and taken action to support GM and Chrysler while requiring the companies to retool. Now, on the five-year anniversary of the crisis, the Administration has prepared a report that describes 15 key elements of the response to the financial crisis and where we find ourselves today. Read about the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis.
Yesterday, before delivering remarks on the economy, President Obama gave a brief statement about the tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard. “We still don’t know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot, and some have been killed,” he said. “So we are confronting yet another mass shooting -- and today, it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital.” President Obama also called Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to express his condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims of the mass shooting and ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on September 20. Read more of President Obamas statement on the Washington Navy Yard Shooting.
Last Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As the original author and champion of VAWA, Vice President Biden brought national attention to what had too-long been a hidden problem. Then-Senator Biden held the first hearing on violence against women in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1990 and introduced the first version of the Act that same year. After five years of hearings exposing the extent of rape, battering and stalking, the Act finally passed Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton on September 13, 1994. Read about the 19 years of progress marked by the Violence Against Women Act.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget at the U.S. Department of the Interior recently engaged with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander leaders at events in Hawaii and the Pacific. Assistant Secretary Suh writes of the events, “In partnership with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we met with a diverse group of leaders and public officials on a range of issues impacting Native Hawaiians, including education, health, preservation of cultural and native historic sites, fish and wildlife, Hawaiian homelands, and federal recognition.” Read about Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh’s trip to Hawaii and the Pacific.
On September 21st, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will convene federal officials and faith-based and community leaders in a day-long forum to share key Administration policies on economic growth, immigration, education, and civil rights. The forum will provide leaders and the broader AAPI community critical information and a better understanding of federal resources and services. Read more about the forum.
A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that 6.8 million consumers saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012, due to the “rate review” provision of the Affordable Care Act, which brought unprecedented accountability to slow the growth of health insurance premiums. The Affordable Care Act, along with state efforts, continues to bring scrutiny to proposed health insurance rate increases and is saving consumers real money as a result. Read the new report on savings for consumers created by the Affordable Care Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration will host a two-day compliance assistance webcast on Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT each day. "The Affordable Care Act Compliance Assistance Webcast" will provide employers, brokers, third-party administrators and others with practical information, helpful tips and clarification on the new law. EBSA staff will be joined on the webcast by representatives from the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services. Read about the ACA compliance webcast.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites states, navigators, partners & stakeholders to a teleconference to learn about best practices from Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Minnesota in reaching consumers about the Health Insurance Marketplace. Various grassroots outreach and engagement strategies will be explored that have worked well in these states to help consumers learn about the new way they have to get coverage that meets their needs. Read more about the September 19th conference call.
Twenty-two veteran suicides a day. The bad news assaults us on TV and in newspaper headlines. Each death represents so much pain, suffering and loss. Lily Casura believes a helping hand, reached out in a time of desperate need, can help keep a veteran suicide from happening. She has been involved informally with veterans and post-traumatic stress for the past eight years, starting the first website on the subject. Read Lily’s post on making combat-based post-traumatic stress a public health issue.
In the FY 2014 AmeriCorps competition, CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and the Governor and Mayor Initiative. CNCS will continue to focus on national service programs that improve academic outcomes for children, youth, and young adults. This focus reflects the extensive experience and past success of national service programs in education, and aligns with the efforts of the Department of Education. Submission of a Notice of Intent to Apply is required to be eligible for this competition and is due Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Read more about CNCS’ State and National Grants.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages NIH Research Project Grants (R01) to test practical, sustainable, and cost efficient adaptations of efficacious strategies or approaches to prevent and treat diabetes and/or obesity. Research focused on the prevention or reversal of obesity, prevention of type 2 diabetes, improved care of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, or the prevention or delay of the complications of these conditions is encouraged. The approaches tested should have the potential for wide dissemination and implementation outside of an academic setting such as in routine clinical practice or communities at risk. Read more about this opportunity.