Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about today’s White House Diwali celebration, stories of why we passed the Affordable Care Act in the first place, WHIAAPI’s Vietnamese-language Google+ Hangout on the Health Insurance Marketplace, 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 Barack Obama watches as First Lady Michelle Obama dances with students during a Diwali candle lighting and performance at Holy Name High School in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today, the White House will celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, for the fifth time since President Obama took office. This year, First Lady Michelle Obama will provide remarks and light the diya, or lamp. Watch the First Lady’s remarks live at WhiteHouse.gov/Live at 4:00 p.m. EST. And check out this statement from President Obama on the Observance of Diwali.
If you want an example of the difference the Affordable Care Act will make in someone's life, you don't have to look any further than Janice — a new registrant from Selbyville, Delaware. She was the first woman to enroll in the Delaware exchange, and she says her new policy will save her $150 a month for more coverage benefits than ever before. Or David – a self-employed IT consultant and Air Force veteran living in Washington, D.C. David picked his plan the morning D.C.'s online health insurance marketplace opened. His previous plan was $600 a month. His new one? $250 cheaper. That's who we're fighting for here. And while it can get lost in the fray of the 24-hour news cycle, we hope you'll keep folks like Janice and David in mind in the weeks and months ahead. It's just too important to lose sight of the big picture. Read more about the Affordable Care Act.
This week, the Senate is expected to take up a critically important piece of legislation: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. This bill would make it explicitly illegal under federal law to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – and it’s long overdue. President Obama has long supported a fully inclusive ENDA and he has expressed this support repeatedly over years. In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post, the President speaks directly to the American people to ensure everyone understands what’s at stake and why it’s so important that Congress move forward on this legislation. Read the full text of the op-ed.
In his most recent weekly address, President Obama says that in order to keep growing the economy and creating good jobs, Washington must end its cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds. It’s time for both parties to work together to pass a budget that reflects our priorities – making smart cuts in things we don’t need and closing wasteful tax loopholes, while investing in areas that create opportunities for the middle class and our future generations. Watch President Obama’s weekly address.
Starting November 1, millions of Americans will begin feeling the effects of an automatic cut to food purchasing assistance provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is assistance that serves to help families get back on their feet, and children to receive the nourishment they need to stay healthy and competitive in the classroom. For many families, these cuts are devastating, and couldn’t come at a worse time as they begin to regain their footing following the worst recession since the Great Depression. That is why President Obama has proposed an extension of pre-November funding levels in the 2014 budget. As the economy continues to grow and recover, SNAP is proven to effectively combat hunger and food insecurity while giving millions of hardworking Americans the temporary boost they need during tough times. Read more about ending hunger in America.
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders invites you to join our Google Hangoutand chat about the Health Insurance Marketplace in Vietnamese on Wednesday, November 6, 2013at3:00 pm ET. You can submit your questions during the event via the Google+ “Ask a Question” feature, via Twitter at @WhiteHouseAAPI, or before the event via email. More information on the in-language Hangouts can be found at WHIAAPI’s website, and more information about the Affordable Care Act can be found at HealthCare.gov. Read more about the 11/6 Google+ Hangout.
As Filipino American History Month comes to a close, WHIAAPI’s Victor Diaz Zapanta shares the story of Angelo Mathay, a DACA law fellow at the National Immigration Law center: “Before practicing immigration law and becoming a key advocate for social justice and equality, Angelo was born in the Philippines and when he was six, he and his mother set out to find a better life in the United States. The next thirteen years were unrelentingly harsh for Angelo. He and his mother, who overstayed their tourist visas, found themselves moving frequently between apartments in California’s Daly City, a major Filipino American community. While his mother worked tirelessly day after day, Angelo struggled with English in school as early as second grade. He recalled at the briefing in June, ‘I would heat up leftovers my mother had set aside for my dinner and wait for her return. And when she arrived, my mother always made sure I had completed my arithmetic, reading, and writing homework.’” Read Angelo’s story.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has focused on the recruitment, career development, and advancement of AAPIs at the agency. For instance, last year it launched the pilot DoD Centralized Intern Program, a pipeline program which offers exposure and experiential training opportunities to college students and recent graduates, including AAPI and other students of color. In addition, DoD formalized an agency-wide mentoring program for students, including AAPI students, on research appointments under this program. During Fiscal Year 2012, one of the five students selected for conversion into the DoD student hire program (Pathways) was AAPI. Finally, DoD volunteered senior Equal Employment Opportunity staff to serve on the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program Review Board to evaluate trends and identify barriers to the recruitment of AAPIs. Read more about DoD’s work.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell praised President Obama’s intent to nominate Rhea S. Suh as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Suh would oversee and coordinate policy decisions for the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Rhea’s extensive experience and depth of knowledge of natural resource management make her an outstanding choice for this key position on our departmental leadership team,” said Jewell. Read more about Reah Suh’s nomination.
A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that nearly half (46 percent) of single young adults who are uninsured and may be eligible for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace could get coverage for $50 or less per month. “The health care law is making health insurance more affordable for young adults,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “With nearly half of single, Marketplace-eligible uninsured young adults able to get coverage at $50 or less per month, the health care law is delivering the quality, affordable coverage people are looking for.” Young adults are the age group most likely to be without health insurance. But through the Health Insurance Marketplace, young adults can purchase quality, affordable coverage and get lower costs on monthly premiums through tax credits. Young adults may also be eligible for Medicaid. The amount an individual can save depends on his or her family income and size. Read more about the HHS report.
The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities. The White House Internship Program’s mission is to make the “People’s House” accessible to future leaders from around the nation. The application for the Summer 2014 White House Internship Program is now open. To apply for the White House Internship Program, please apply here. For application deadlines and program dates, please see Internship Timeline and FAQs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is committed to working with public health systems to ensure planners, developers, and implementers of public health initiatives possess the skills and resources needed to better address HIV in the U.S. and its territories. The purpose of this announcement is to support AIDS Directors and HIV Prevention Program Managers in complying with the responsibilities established in National HIV/AIDS Strategy, High Impact Prevention, and other matters. The closing date for this opportunity is 12/9/13. Read more about this grant opportunity.
This announcement is a new initiative to support the development of cancer-relevant technologies suitable for use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Specifically, the announcement solicits applications for projects to adapt, apply, and validate existing or emerging technologies into a new generation of user-friendly, low-cost devices or assays that are clinically comparable to currently used technologies for imaging, in vitro detection/diagnosis, or treatment of cancers in humans living in LMICs. This grant opportunity closes on 1/6/14. Read more about this opportunity.