‘This is a Do-or-Die Situation’

By The Rafu Shimpo |

SACRAMENTO — On Tuesday, the California Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus, Stop AAPI Hate, the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, hate crime survivors, and supporters from 150 leading API and ally organizations took part in a press conference urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to approve a $210 million budget investment to ensure California adequately addresses the far-reaching and long-term impacts of anti-API hate.

The API Equity Budget package passed its first major hurdle Monday, when the State Legislature supported the allocation of $210 million to API communities across the state. This historic investment responds to the surge in anti-API hate and violence over the past year and addresses racial inequities that have affected the API community since the 1800s. The budget package is now on Newsom’s desk.

Since the start of the pandemic, xenophobia and bigotry against the API community have escalated to unprecedented levels. Stop AAPI Hate has received more than 6,600 reports of hate crimes and incidents of discrimination since March 2020. Almost half of those incidents were reported in California, and these racist attacks have disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of the community, such as elders, young people, and women, who report hate incidents two times as often as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) men.

“California’s future growth and success depends on being a state of inclusion,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, chair of the California Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs. “We need meaningful investments in language access, community healing, and data equity in order to ensure that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from across the country and across the world continue to move to California and remain here.”