From left to right: Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica; Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama and Beth Takekawa, executive director of The Wing. Photo credit: ICHS.

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, Asian American and Pacific Islander business and civic leaders gathered at International Community Health Services (ICHS) International District Medical & Dental Clinic to meet with Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett arrived in Seattle that morning to conduct specific outreach in the AAPI community to discuss the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implementation, comprehensive immigration reform and AAPI small business issues.

After touring the ICHS facility with ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola and Hyeok Kim, a commissioner with President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Jarrett joined about 20 other AAPI leaders to discuss a variety of issues affecting our communities, including supports for culturally appropriate outreach services under ACA implementation, the importance of disaggregating data to address health disparities, ways to encourage venture capital investments in AAPI entrepreneurship and the need for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses both sibling and family immigration, as well as immigration needs in high-demand industries.

Having worked in local government for eight years in Chicago, Jarrett expressed her appreciation of understanding how national policy issues play out on the ground in places like Seattle and with diverse communities like the AAPI community.
“Having such a trusted advisor as Valerie Jarrett is to the President come to Seattle and want to hear from and discuss meaningful policy issues with members of our AAPI community is significant,” noted Hyeok Kim.

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