June 9, 2016
MIAMI, FL – On a year when voting is essential to advance positive change for the older adult population in the U.S, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), addressed the impact of being informed and getting involved in public policy during their Regional Conference in Miami.
The older adult population is drastically growing and is becoming increasingly diverse. The country needs to be prepared to address the needs of this population, who faces economic insecurity, high levels of poverty, lack of affordable housing and great state of isolation.
Empowering the older adult population to get informed and partake in the election process and also to encourage their family members, in particular young voters, to go out and vote, can be a determining factor on the impact of the Latino vote in the upcoming election.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA’s President and CEO highlighted during her remarks the fact that Florida is a key state in national elections, and added that the Latino vote has been a determining factor in the past two elections.
“Every vote counts (…) I would ask everyone to make a commitment and register to vote and also encourage your families and friends to do the same. I especially ask this of our seniors. You are respected by your children and grandchildren and your encouragement can make a huge difference.” said Dr. Cruz
More than 100 participants including congressional staffers, representatives from local agencies, advocates, Hispanic older adults and caregivers, engaged in a solution-driven discussion about the issues currently affecting the older adult population in South Florida.
The conference included a two day Empowerment and Civic Engagement Training, which provides grassroots individuals the advocacy tools needed to help in the implementation of solutions to community issues. The training also emphasizes the importance of spreading knowledge to others in order to create a wider network of local leaders.
Dr. Cruz emphasized the contributions of our older adults and NHCOA’s community leaders. “Though there have been some steps in the right direction, there is much more to be done. The voices of our community leaders have contributed to the national debate that pushed the issues forward. They have inspired us all and the descriptions of their struggles have opened the eyes of many in Miami, Florida and Washington, D.C.”
In trying to guarantee housing, economic security and the health & well-being of Hispanic older adults the information gathered during the conference will be included in the State of Hispanic Older Adults report which is released officially on Capitol Hill in the fall and is distributed nationwide.
The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers.