Little People of America and California State Politics with CFILC’s Dan Okenfuss

May 3, 2021

Dan Okenfuss, the Public Policy Manager at the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), joins us this month to discuss his extensive career in California state politics, as well as his leadership in Little People of America (LPA). He also tells us about starting a family with the help of LPA’s adoption program.

In his post at CFILC, Dan advocates for the rights and increased supports and freedoms of people with disabilities in the state. He tracks bills moving through the California state legislature that would have a positive (or negative) impact on the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. Dan has an extensive background in public policy work, both here in California and in our nation’s capital. He has worked for at least six California Assemblymembers. Early in his career, Dan was a Legislative Aide to US Congressman David Mann of Ohio.

Dan has achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism. He is a lifelong member of Little People of America and has served as National Vice President of Public Affairs and a Chapter President for that organization.

His wife, Ericka, is also a little person. They have two remarkable children, and we say remarkable because, as we were doing research for this show, at least half of the articles we read were about their sons, Hai and Jude, and only mentioned Dan as their proud father. Hai and Jude have won numerous athletic awards. They represented the United States at the 7th World Dwarf Games in Guelph, Ontario, in 2017.

Here’s a video about the Okenfuss family, and here’s another video about Hai at the World Dwarf Games.




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