US – Cuba Embassy

US Cuban flags

Histiory of The Embassy of the United States in Havana Cuba

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba in 1902, opening the first U.S. Embassy in Havana in 1923.  The Embassy was closed in 1961 when the United States severed diplomatic relations.  During President Carter’s administration in 1977, the United States and Cuba signed an agreement establishing the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) in Havana, and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, DC.  Under the formal protection of the Embassy of Switzerland, USINT operated out of the former U.S. Embassy building, which first opened in 1953.  On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced the intention to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.  After six months of negotiations, the two nations officially renewed diplomatic relations on July 20, 2015, and USINT became U.S. Embassy Havana.

For more: http://havana.usembassy.gov/about-us.html

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Kerry to host Cuba foreign minister in Washington on Monday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in Washington on Monday, U.S. officials said, to mark the historic restoration of diplomatic ties between former Cold War foes severed more than five decades ago.

Kerry will host Rodriguez at the State Department after the Cuban official leads the formal reopening of the Communist state’s embassy, a hugely symbolic step in the thaw between the countries initiated by President Barack Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro in December.

The Cuban flag will be raised over its mission in Washington for the first time in 54 years. While the U.S. embassy in Havana will also be automatically reopened, no American flag will fly there until Kerry visits to preside over a ceremony, U.S. officials said on Friday. He is expected to travel there in August.

Rodriguez, the first Cuban foreign minister to visit Washington since around the time of the Cuban Revolution, will have a substantive discussion with Kerry instead of “just a passing handshake,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

He said the agenda would cover areas of possible cooperation, such as global health and the Cuban people’s expanded “access to telecommunications,” as well as points of contention, including Cuba’s human rights record and U.S. fugitives sheltering on the island.

Re-establishment of ties, agreed on July 1 after several rounds of talks, will be the latest phase in a normalization process expected to move slowly because of lingering disputes as well Havana’s desire to keep a tight rein on Cuba’s society and its state-run economy.

A U.S. economic embargo against Cuba will remain in place, and only Congress can lift it.

For more: http://goo.gl/NbYbxz

#USCuba

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Stream Protection Rule

Stream Protection Rule


Interior Department Unveils Proposed Stream Protection Rule to Safeguard Communities from Coal Mining Operations

Proposal updates 32-year old regulations, provides protections for communities and environment, while setting expectations for responsible mining

07/16/2015 doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Following a robust public process, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider, and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Director Joseph Pizarchik today released proposed regulations to prevent or minimize impacts to surface water and groundwater from coal mining. The proposed rule would protect about 6,500 miles of streams nationwide over a period of 20 years, preserving community health and economic opportunities while meeting the nation’s energy needs.

“This proposed rule would accomplish what Americans expect from their government – a modern and balanced approach to energy development that safeguards our environment, protects water quality, supports the energy needs of the nation, and makes coalfield communities more resilient for a diversified economic future,” said Secretary Jewell. “We are committed to working with coalfield communities as we support economic activity while minimizing the impact coal production has on the environment that our children and grandchildren will inherit.”

The proposed Stream Protection Rule released today would include reasonable and straightforward reforms to revise three-decades-old regulations for coal mining in order to avoid or minimize impacts on surface water, groundwater, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. The proposed rule, which reflects updated science, would replace the 1983 regulations and would better protect the resources.

For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/interior-department-unveils-proposed-stream-protection-rule-to-safeguard-communities-from-coal-mining-operations.cfm

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Safe Harbor Agreement – 20th Anniversary

Safe Harbor Agreements are voluntary agreements between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and cooperating non-Federal landowners. They are designed to benefit federally endangered and threatened species by giving landowners assurances that at no future time would the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service impose restrictions on their land as a result of conservation actions on their part. In other words, these agreements essentially relieve landowners of liability under the Endangered Species Act if conservation practices on their land attract and/or perpetuate federally listed species. To date, nearly three million acres of land have been enrolled in Safe Harbor Agreements, benefiting a variety of listed species.

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates @ IA Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

L-R: Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton,  Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb
L-R: Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb

Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

Former Governors Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) and Martin O’Malley (D-MD), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Senator James Webb (D-VA) speak at the 2015 Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration

Learn more: http://iowademocrats.org/hall-of-fame-waitlist-signup-closed/

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates:

Lincoln Davenport Chafee (born March 26, 1953) is an American politician from Rhode Island who has served as the Mayor of Warwick (1993–1999), a U.S. Senator (1999–2007) and as the 74th Governor of Rhode Island (2011–2015).

Born in Providence, Chafee is the son of Republican politician John Chafee, who served as the 66th Governor of Rhode Island (1963–1969), the United States Secretary of the Navy (1969–1972) and a U.S. Senator (1976–1999). Lincoln Chafee was educated at Providence Country Day School and Phillips Academy, before graduating with a degree in Classics from Brown University. He then moved to Bozeman, Montana, studying to become a farrier at Montana State University, then working at harness racetracks in the United States and Canada.

Chafee returned to Rhode Island and entered politics as a Republican in 1985 as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. A year later, he was elected to the Warwick City Council, where he served until his election as Warwick’s mayor in 1992. When his father died in 1999, Governor Lincoln Almond appointed the younger Chafee to his father’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He won the 2000 election to a full term, defeating Democrat Robert Weygand by 57% to 41%.

A liberal Republican, Chafee was frequently ranked as the least conservative Senate Republican, and to the left of some conservative Democrats. He opposed eliminating the estate tax, voted to increase the top federal income tax rate, voted against allowing drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supported an increased minimum wage and was the only Republican Senator to vote against authorising the use of force in Iraq. Chafee is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gun control and federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and opposes the death penalty and a Flag Desecration Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Political party Republican (1999–2007)
Independent (2007–2013)
Democratic (2013–present)

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Chafee

 Lincoln Chafee for President website

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Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician. She was United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, a United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, and, as the wife of President Bill Clinton, First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. A leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to the 2008 presidential election, she has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

As First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan of 1993, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. In 1997 and 1999, she played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her years as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband’s presidency. Her marriage to the president was subjected to considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal of 1998.

After moving to New York, Clinton was elected in 2000 as the first female senator from the state; she is the only First Lady ever to have run for public office. Following the September 11 attacks, she supported military action in Afghanistan and the Iraq Resolution, but subsequently objected to the George W. Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war. She opposed most of Bush’s domestic policies. Clinton was re-elected to the Senate in 2006. Running in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Clinton won far more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but narrowly lost the nomination to Obama.

As Secretary of State in the Obama administration from January 2009 to February 2013, Clinton was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring and advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya.

Political party Democratic (1968–present)
Other political affiliations Republican (Before 1968)

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

Hillary Clinton for President website

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Martin Joseph O’Malley (born January 18, 1963) is an American politician who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland, from 2007 to 2015. Prior to being elected as Governor, he served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, having previously served as a Baltimore City Councilor from 1991 to 1999. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the Chair of the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 to 2013. Following his departure from public office in early 2015, he was appointed to the Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School as a visiting professor focusing on government, business and urban issues.

As Governor, in 2011, he signed a law that would make certain undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition on condition; and in 2012, he signed a law to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Each law was challenged to a voter referendum in the 2012 general election and upheld by a majority of the voting public.

Political party Democratic

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_O%27Malley

Martin O’Malley for President website

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Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history. A self-described democratic socialist, he favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia. He caucuses with the Democratic Party and has been the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee since January 2015.

After unsuccessful candidacies for Vermont’s governor and U.S. senator, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s most populous city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent Vermont’s at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was re-elected by a large margin, capturing almost 71% of the popular vote.

Political party Independent (caucuses with the Democratic Party)
Other political affiliations Liberty Union (1971–1979)
Vermont Progressive

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

Bernie Sanders for President website

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James Henry “Jim” Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is an American politician and author. He has served as a United States Senator from Virginia, Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Counsel for the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and Marine Corps officer. In the private sector he has been an Emmy-award winning journalist, a filmmaker, and the author of ten books. In addition, he taught literature at the United States Naval Academy and was a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. As a member of the Democratic Party, Webb announced on November 19, 2014, that he was forming an exploratory committee to evaluate a run for President of the United States in 2016. On July 2, 2015, he announced that he would be joining the race for the Democratic nomination for President.

Political party Democratic

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Webb

Jim Webb for President website

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Friday, July 17,  8:00 PM ET
Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner
Cedar Rapids Convention Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Live Stream: http://www.c-span.org/video/?327043-1/iowa-democratic-party-hall-fame-dinner

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Pres Obama visits Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma & El Reno FCI

PBO Choctaw Nation OKChoctaw Chief Gary Batton on PBO visit

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO VISIT CHOCTAW NATION IN OKLAHOMA ON WEDNESDAY

July 11, 2015 nativenewsonline.net

WASHINGTON—The White House announced on Friday, President Barack Obama will visit the Choctaw Nation next week.

“On Wednesday, July 15th, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, where he will visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and deliver remarks on expanding economic opportunity,” White House spokesman Keith Maley said.

The president will remain overnight in Oklahoma and visit a federal prison the next day where he will be interviewed for a documentary about the American justice system. The documentary will be broadcast this fall.

The president’s visit will be his second visit to an American Indian tribe since he became president of the United States. In June 2014, President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

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FACT SHEET: ConnectHome: Coming Together to Ensure Digital Opportunity for All Americans

Today, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, to announce ConnectHome, a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country. The pilot program is launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.

ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.  ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/15/fact-sheet-connecthome-coming-together-ensure-digital-opportunity-all

Choctaw soldiers in training in World War I for coded radio and telephone transmissions

Choctaw soldiers in training in World War I for coded radio and telephone transmissions

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
President Obama meets with Choctaw Nation Chief Batton and Tribal Elders on expanding economic opportunity for for communities across the country
Durant High School, Choctaw Nation, Durant, Oklahoma

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US Government & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

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(BOP) – On Thursday, July 16th, President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), El Reno, Oklahoma. This visit marks the first time in history a United States President has visited a federal prison while in office. He will be accompanied by Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.

The President will meet with inmates and speak with staff. This is a great opportunity for the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) to show President Obama, and the Nation, the outstanding work performed daily at all Bureau institutions in meeting our mission to protect society and prepare inmates for reentry. The Bureau is honored that the President decided to make this visit.

FCI El Reno is a medium-security federal prison housing more than 1,000 male offenders. Another 248 male offenders reside at an adjacent minimum-security camp. Originally authorized by Congress in 1930 as a facility to rehabilitate, train and educate young offenders, FCI El Reno has a long and diverse history within the agency. It is home to one of the two remaining farms in operation within the Bureau, the other being at the Federal Correctional Complex, Lompoc, California.

Excerpts from 7/14/15 President Obama’s remarks at the 2015 NAACP Conference:

“The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China’s.

We keep more people behind bars than the top 35 European countries combined.

In 1980, there were 500,000 people behind bars in America — half a million people in 1980. In 2015 there are 2.2 million.  It has quadrupled since 1980.  Our prison population has doubled in the last two decades alone.

Studies show that up to a certain point, tougher prosecutors and stiffer sentences for these violent offenders contributed to the decline in violent crime over the last few decades.  Although the science also indicates that you get a point of diminishing returns.  But it is important for us to recognize that violence in our communities is serious and that historically, in fact, the African American community oftentimes was under-policed rather than over-policed.  Folks were very interested in containing the African American community so it couldn’t leave segregated areas, but within those areas there wasn’t enough police presence.

Over the last few decades, we’ve also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before.   And that is the real reason our prison population is so high.  In far too many cases, the punishment simply does not fit the crime.  If you’re a low-level drug dealer, or you violate your parole, you owe some debt to society.  You have to be held accountable and make amends.  But you don’t owe 20 years.  You don’t owe a life sentence.  That’s disproportionate to the price that should be paid.

[United States] taxpayers are picking up the tab for that price.  Every year, we spend $80 billion to keep folks incarcerated — $80 billion.  Now, just to put that in perspective, for $80 billion, we could have universal preschool for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in America.  That’s what $80 billion buys.  For $80 billion, we could double the salary of every high school teacher in America.  For $80 billion, we could finance new roads and new bridges and new airports, job training programs, research and development.  We’re about to get in a big budget debate in Washington — what I couldn’t do with $80 billion. For what we spend to keep everyone locked up for one year, we could eliminate tuition at every single one of our public colleges and universities.”

For the entire transcript: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/remarks-president-naacp-conference

FACT SHEET: Enhancing the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

Today the President will lay out the case for meaningful juvenile and criminal justice reform that makes our system, fairer, smarter and more cost-effective while keeping the American people safe and secure.  Across the political spectrum, there is a growing consensus to make reforms to the juvenile and criminal justice systems to ensure that criminal laws are enforced more fairly and efficiently.  Unwarranted disparities and unduly harsh sentences undermine trust in the rule of law and offend the basic principles of fairness and justice.  In an era of limited resources and diverse threats, there is a public safety imperative to devote the resources of the criminal justice system to the practices that are most successful at deterring crime and protecting the public.

This Administration has taken a series of actions to enhance fairness and efficiency at all phases of the criminal justice system and to better address the vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities.  Now, it is time for Congress to act.  Meaningful sentencing reform, steps to reduce repeat offenders and reform of the juvenile justice system are crucial to improving public safety, reducing runaway incarceration costs and making our criminal justice system more fair.

* A Smarter and Fairer Approach to Charging and Sentencing

* Enhancing the Credibility and Accountability of the Justice System

* Focus on Effective Prisoner Reentry and the Cycle of Incarceration

* Support for State and Local Law Enforcement

* Working with State and Local Law Enforcement to Build Community Trust

* Working with State and Local Law Enforcement to Build Community Trust

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/fact-sheet-enhancing-fairness-and-effectiveness-criminal-justice-system

Thursday, July 16, 2015
President Obama delivers remarks on Enhancing the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System
El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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2015 White House Conference on Aging

older WH Conf on Aging

WH Conference on AgingActive Seniors

THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation authorizing the Older Americans Act. To date, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the 2015 conference.

However, the White House is committed to hosting a White House Conference on Aging in 2015 and intends to seek broad public engagement and work closely with stakeholders in developing the conference. We also plan to use web tools and social media to encourage as many older Americans as possible to participate. We are engaging with stakeholders and members of the public about the issues and ideas most important to older individuals, their caregivers, and families. We also encourage people to submit their ideas directly through the Get Involved section on this website.

THE ISSUES

The face of America is growing older and more diverse as the first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age of 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging allows us to highlight the contributions of older adults today, and to shape the landscape of aging for the decade to come.

The President believes that older Americans are a tremendous national asset and has consistently worked to support their needs by, for example, strengthening Medicare and protecting Social Security. The White House Conference on Aging offers a unique opportunity to reflect on this work while looking forward to the next decade. We intend to use the year ahead to engage with older Americans, families, researchers, caregivers, leaders in the field of aging, and other stakeholders about the issues of most importance to them.

In our conversations to date, some common themes have emerged, including: how to ensure we prepare for financial needs in retirement; how to remain healthy as we age; what types of services and supports can help older Americans remain independent in the community as we age and how to support this care and the caregivers who provide it; and how to protect older Americans from financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging provides an opportunity to listen to older Americans and engage with the American public about strategies to continue to maximize the contributions of older Americans to our country.

  • RETIREMENT SECURITY
  • HEALTHY AGING
  • LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
  • ELDER JUSTICE

Learn more: http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/

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Resources from the National Institute on Aging at NIH

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is a White House Conference on Aging?

A: The White House has held a Conference on Aging each decade since the 1960s to identify and advance actions to improve the quality of life of older Americans. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

Q: When will the next White House Conference on Aging be held and what is its purpose?

A: The White House Conference on Aging will be held in 2015. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the next decade.

Q: How will the 2015 White House Conference on Aging be organized?

A: In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation, as part of the authorization of the Older Americans Act.

At this point in time, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the Conference.

However, the White House is committed to convening the 2015 conference and we will seek broad public engagement and work closely with stakeholders in the lead-up to the conference. We also plan to use web tools and social media to encourage as many older Americans as possible to participate.

The Conference Web site www.WhiteHouseConferenceOnAging.gov provides regular updates on Conference activities. The website also provides opportunities for older Americans and leaders in the field of aging to provide their input and personal stories.

Q: How are issues being selected for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging?

A: We are engaging with stakeholders and members of the public about the issuesmost important to older individuals, their caregivers, and families. To listen and learn from key aging leaders and older Americans, the Administration is participating in listening sessions with older Americans and advocates across the country. These listening sessions began in July 2014 and will continue up to and during the Conference.

As we listen to aging leaders and older Americans, some of the common themes we hear include the following:

  • Retirement security is a vitally important issue. Financial security in retirement provides essential peace of mind for older Americans, but requires attention during our working lives to ensure that we are well prepared for retirement.
  • Healthy aging will be all the more important as baby boomers age. As medical advances progress, the opportunities for older Americans to maintain their health and vitality should progress as well and community supports, including housing, are important tools to promote this vitality.
  • Long-term services and supports remain a priority. Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in the community as they age. They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.
  • Elder justice is important given that seniors, particularly the oldest older Americans, can be vulnerable to financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The Elder Justice Act was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, and we need to realize its vision of protecting seniors from scam artists and others seeking to take advantage of them.

Q: What activities are planned as we move forward to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging?

A: Monthly webinars for older adults, their families, stakeholders, and others, beginning in December of 2014, will examine the most important issues for older Americans. Additionally, a series of Regional Forums are being planned, and the Executive Director of the White House Conference on Aging is holding listening sessions with stakeholder groups across the country. The Conference website also features a regular blog that provides information and resources on topics of interest to older Americans, their families, caregivers, and others.

2015 WH Conference on Aging Tour

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THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING
Monday, July 13
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET

#WHCOA

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New Natl Monuments: Berryessa Snow Mtn, Waco Mammoth & Basin and Range

President Barack Obama signs National Monument designations for Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and the Basin and Range in Nevada. Standing behing the President, from left, are: Victor Knox, National Park Service, April Slayton, National Park Service, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Chief Tom Tidwell, Randy Moore, Forest Service, and Director Neil Kornze. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
President Barack Obama signs National Monument designations for Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and the Basin and Range in Nevada. Standing behing the President, from left, are: Victor Knox, National Park Service, April Slayton, National Park Service, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Chief Tom Tidwell, Randy Moore, Forest Service, and Director Neil Kornze. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, Waco Mammoth National Monument & Basin and Range National Monument

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Christy Goldfuss July 10, 2015  02:36 PM EDT

Today, we joined community members from California, Texas, and Nevada to celebrate the President’s announcement of three new national monuments. The new monuments include Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and Basin and Range in Nevada. Together, these striking places demonstrate the wide range of historic, cultural, and natural values that make America’s public lands so treasured.

With these new designations, President Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments. Today’s addition of three national monuments will protect more than 1 million acres of public land, adding to the more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters President Obama has protected for future generations – more than any other President.

Protecting our lands is about more than just protecting our great outdoors. These designations provide a boost to the local economies of surrounding communities by attracting visitors and generating more revenue and jobs, building on an outdoor recreation industry that already generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year.

The public lands President Obama designated today protect significant cultural and historical landmarks. Native Americans have inhabited the Berryessa Snow Mountain area for at least the last 11,000 years, leaving behind their cultural influences and artifacts, such as seasonal hunting camps and earth-covered round buildings. The Basin and Range National Monument tells the story of a rich cultural tradition from petroglyph and prehistoric rock art panels, to the earliest human inhabitants 13,000 years ago, to miners and ranchers in the past century. The unique cultural and historic City installation by artist Michael Heizer captures the natural beauty of the Basin and Range, and is one of the most ambitious examples of the distinctively American land-art movement.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/07/10/president-obama-designates-three-new-national-monuments-protecting-over-one-million-

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July 10, 2015

FACT SHEET: President Obama Designates New National Monuments

As part of the Administration’s commitment to protect our country’s significant outdoor spaces for the benefit of future generations, today President Obama will announce the creation of three new national monuments that demonstrate the wide range of historic and cultural values that make America’s public lands so beloved.

The new monuments are:

Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, a landscape containing rare biodiversity and an abundance of recreational opportunities; waco in Texas, a significant paleontological site featuring well-preserved remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths; and Basin and Range in Nevada, an iconic American landscape that includes rock art dating back 4,000 years and serves as an irreplaceable resource for archaeologists, historians, and ecologists.

Together, the new monuments protect over one million acres of public land. These monuments will also provide a boost to local economies by attracting visitors and generating more revenue and jobs for local communities, further supporting an outdoor recreation industry that already generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year.

With these new designations, President Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters – more than any other President – as well as preserved sites that help tell the story of significant people or extraordinary events in American history, such as Cèsar E. Chàvez National Monument in California, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland, and Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/10/fact-sheet-president-obama-designates-new-national-monuments

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July 10, 2015

Remarks by the President at Signing of Monument Designation

Oval Office

2:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: As many of you know, one of the great legacies of this incredible country of ours is our national parks and national monuments. It is something that we pass on from generation to generation, preserving the incredible beauty of this nation, but also reminding us of the richness of its history. And I am especially pleased to be able to announce three new designations that are going to be taking place in varied landscapes, but all of them speak to some incredible history.

The first, we are going to be designating the Waco Mammoth National Monument. This is one of the most incredible collections of mammoth fossils anywhere in the country. And for us to be able to preserve this space is going to be important not only to scientists but also to many people who are able to take a look at this incredible landscape down in Texas.

We’re also designating the Basin and Range area of southeastern Nevada — the Basin and Range National Monument. This is one of the most undisturbed corners of the Great Basin region, and its topography is unique. It is a place that attracts already a large number of visitors because of some of its unique geological aspects. And we’re going to be able to make sure that even more visitors are aware and take advantage of this incredible landscape.

And finally, we’re going to be designating the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in California’s wild Inner Coast Range. Once covered by ocean waters, it’s a landscape that is shaped by geological forces that are unique, and it has been a refuge for Native American inhabitants for 11,000 years — so that gives you a sense of the time scales that we’re working off of with some of these national monuments.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/10/remarks-president-signing-monument-designation

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, California
Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, California
Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas
Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas
Basin and Range, Nevada
Basin and Range, Nevada

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National Monuments Established by President Obama

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2015 Kids’ “State Dinner”

WH Kid's State Dinner - Lrg

2015 Kids State Dinner

2015 Kids’ “State Dinner” Winners Announced!

Today, fifty-five talented and aspiring young chefs found out they are headed to the White House this summer for the fourth annual Kids’ “State Dinner!” With nearly one thousand entries submitted, the winning recipes were selected based on their healthfulness, taste, originality, affordability, and following USDA’s MyPlate recommendations. We were extremely impressed with the incredible recipes that kids cooked up this year!

“Reading over these winning recipes, two things become very clear,” says First Lady Michelle Obama. “America’s kids are passionate about not just eating healthy food, but about cooking healthy food, too.  And we’re raising some truly inventive and talented chefs. I can’t wait to meet our 2015 winners and try some of their recipes at the Kids’ “State Dinner.’”

This year, the First Lady teamed up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The fifty-five winners, representing all U.S. states, four territories, and the District of Columbia, will attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama on July 10. The young chefs and a parent or guardian will join the First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House Kitchen Garden.

For more: http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2015/06/08/2015-kids’-“state-dinner”-winners-announced

Friday, July 10, 2015
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosts
The White House Kids State Dinner
East Room, White House

#KidsStateDinner

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