This article is written by Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition and originally posted on the Diverse Elders Coalition blog.
The need for the voices of diverse elders is more apparent than ever before. With the introduction of each new piece of legislation that threatens older adults in this country — such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and immigration policies that will separate families and caregivers — it becomes even more important for us to speak up, tell our stories, and push back against policies that will devastate our communities.
Join us! On Thursday, February 23rd at 10am EST, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be hosting a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC to release our new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up.” This report is based on the nearly 5,000 comments we received from older adults in all 50 states during our 2016 civic engagement campaign and highlights the challenges and resiliencies of American Indian/Alaska Native elders; Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian elders; Black and African American elders; Hispanic and Latino elders; and LGBTQ elders. We bring this report and the stories of our communities to Capitol Hill in order to educate Congress and identify champions for diverse elders. Click here to RSVP or to learn more.
The comments that we collected from our constituents point to an overwhelming need for aging services and supports that take into account the unique needs, experiences, and challenges faced by diverse elders. Social safety net programs like the Affordable Care Act and Medicare, as well as funding for Older Americans Act programs and services, are essential to the health and dignity of diverse older adults. If you can’t join us in DC, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be covering the event live.
Between now and then, we’ll also be sharing other opportunities for you to speak up about what you need to age with health and dignity. For example, Caring Across Generations — a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country, and our partner on this civic engagement project — is hosting a national call-in day on Monday, January 30th to speak out against the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has reduced the uninsured rates in our communities, provided much needed funds to Indian Health Services, and protected those seeking care from discrimination because of race, gender, sexual orientation, and pre-existing conditions. It is essential to the health and well-being of our communities.
Can you commit to calling Congress to ask your legislators to protect the Affordable Care Act? RSVP here to receive an email reminder on Monday January 30th with instructions and a script for speaking to your Senators. It’s easy, and it will only take a minute — but it could impact millions of older adults, caregivers, and families.
Thank you for speaking up about the issues that affect our communities! We’ll see you in DC in February!