WASHINGTON — Aug. 14 marked the 80th anniversary of the Social Security Act of 1935. In commemoration of this anniversary, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus issued the following statements:
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “Eighty years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act, an important program that benefits millions nationwide. While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are often viewed as the ‘model minority’ – a stereotype that views AAPIs as universally financially secure and highly educated – this is far from true. In fact, Social Security is a tremendous source of income for so many AAPI seniors. Almost one-third of married AAPI seniors and over half of unmarried AAPI seniors rely on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income.
“For AAPI seniors and the millions of elderly nationwide, we must work towards preserving and strengthening Social Security to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from this program for many years to come.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “One in six Hawaii residents depends on Social Security to help pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. This hard-earned benefit is the only source of income for 25% of our kupuna. While we celebrate Social Security’s 80th birthday, we must continue to protect and strengthen this program to ensure that it is also there for Americans for the next 80 years and beyond.”
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara), CAPAC chair emeritus: “Social Security is one of the building blocks of our country and demonstrates our commitment to making sure older Americans have the comfort and security of safe and healthy living in their later years. We have a responsibility to make sure that Social Security benefits are available for generations to come, especially for Asian American and Pacific Islander people, as they have much higher life expectancies than the majority of the population.
“That is also why just a few weeks ago, I introduced a bill, the CPI-E Act of 2015, to make sure that cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and federal retirement programs accurately take into account the unique expenses that seniors incur, including housing and health care. As we honor our long-standing commitment to taking care of all of our citizens, young or old, we must continue to take steps to ensure that our seniors can enjoy a safe, secure, and healthy life in their later years.”