January 23, 2015
DEC Blog: A Federal Update
By: Ben de Guzman


A View of the White House. Photo Credit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house

A View of the White House. Photo Credit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house


This week, we wanted to spend some time sharing some of the fast moving information happening at the federal level. The items below are drawn from government sources, Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) members, and important partners.

This past Monday, the nation celebrated Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The ideals he worked and sacrificed for inform our work and we dedicate this blog post to him, his family, and his legacy.

We at DEC are hard at work on a variety of fronts. Our #SignUpB4TimesUp campaign is up and running- check out our blog for the tools to help raise awareness about the second enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act and what it means for our communities. Next week, the AAPI community steps up to Sign Up as well with a weeklong series of events as the 2nd Asian American and Pacific Islander Affordable Care Act Enrollment Week of Action. Our member groups are also doing important work in communities around the country and where relevant, we’ve pointed to that work and what is happening in our constituencies as well.

For this blog, we’ve made a section for each branch of the federal government- Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.



Many eyes and ears this week were tuned into the President’s State of the Union speech. The National Council of American Indians (NCAI) this week in turn, gave their own State of Indian Nations Address on January 22.  Among the topics covered in the address included: Federal Budget, Tax Reform, Technology Access, Access to Capital, Energy Reform, Governmental Partnership, and Education Reform.

The White House Conference on Aging is moving forward in its planning process for this conference that only happens once every 10 years. White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz issued a statement that provided key updates to the Conference’s planning process, including four regional forums in February (Tampa, FL), March (Phoenix, AZ), April (Seattle, WA), and May (Boston, MA). The Diverse Elders Coalition and its members are engaging the White House and other stakeholders to ensure our communities have a voice at this important event.



We posted a blog earlier about the opening of the 114th Congress. An interesting article by our friends at New American Media breaks down some of the figures around Social Security and what it means for communities of color and women.

Our member group Southeast Asia Resource Action Center has announced its 16th Annual Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT), which will be held in Washington, DC April 27-29. SEARAC’s important work engaging federal lawmakers will be on full display here.

They are also hiring a Policy Manager, who will also be involved in their legislative advocacy work. For more information, visit their web site.



Last week, the Supreme Court took up the issue of marriage equality when they agreed to hear cases regarding state bans on same-sex marriage in four states.

The cases will be argued before the court in June with a decision expected by late June. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that set in motion a series of lower court rulings in favor of marriage equality and it is expected that their ruling this time around may settle the issue on a national level once and for all.

A DEC member, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), recognized the wedding of two of their constituents in their blog this week- in Oklahoma of all places! We extend our congratulations and best wishes to Eduardo and Ray.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.