February 24, 2016
Seniors Decide 2016
By: Dr. Wes Lum

Seniors Decide 2016 was a forum led by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), of which NAPCA is a member, to provide a fair and unbiased platform for sharing the views of candidates for President of the United States on policies and programs affecting older Americans.

The forum was held on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 in Washington D.C.  While we would have preferred a greater participation and turn out by the presidential candidates, we learned a lot about the issues that older adults care about when they cast their ballots and who they vote for.

NAPCA is proud to have fully engaged in this event and to have supported LCAO in this worthy endeavor.  NAPCA convened watch parties in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Honolulu where they live-streamed the event.

NAPCA at seniors decide

We also submitted two questions for the candidates to respond to:

  1. Many services and programs that are available to older Americans are designed by and for a mainstream audience. When Asian American and Pacific Islander-specific services are available, they are concentrated in specific geographic areas and have more demand than supply. What steps will you take to ensure that Asian American and Pacific Islander elders are able to receive culturally competent services when and where they need them?
  1. Approximately 87% of older Asian Americans are foreign-born. 72% of Asian American and Pacific Islanders 55 years or older speak an Asian or Pacific Islander language at home, and 56% of Asian American elders have limited English proficiency. Limited English proficiency has been associated with restricted employment opportunities, racial discrimination, and significantly worse access to healthcare. What steps will you take to ensure that older Americans with limited English proficiency are able to optimize their health, security, and civic participation?

We had the same questions videotaped using our Helpline staff, and we are grateful that LCAO posted the video of Catherina, which can be found at: http://www.seniorsdecide.org/candidates.

The second video submission of David can be viewed or downloaded here.


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