California lawmakers allocated $1.4 million to help Asian Americans report hate incidents as the number of incidents continues to rise throughout the state, ABC News reports.
The money was included in the larger AB85 pandemic budget bill, which California Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Tuesday. The $1.4 million will help fund research efforts Asian American Studies Center at the University of California Los Angeles as well as several initiatives including the Stop AAPI Hate website, CNN reports.
“The history of the Asian American Pacific Islander community in the United States has been punctuated by times of racism and hate including the Chinese Exclusion Act, the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americas in World War II, the murder of Vincent Chin, hate crimes against Sikhs after 9/11, and most recently, attacks and murder of API seniors incited by racist rhetoric about the COVID pandemic,” Dr. Richard Pan, chair of California’s Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, said according to CNN.
New York has chosen to ramp up policing in response to the increased attacks, but ABC News notes that California is taking a different approach. The money will primarily fund community-led initiatives that will focus on research and community-based solutions.
Lawmakers say the funding will help determine the scope of the problem.
“The rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic is alarming. But, we can’t solve a problem without knowing how big it is,” Assemblymember Phil Ting of San Francisco and chair of the state’s budget committee told CNN.
Ting hopes that the research will lead to solutions that “will make all communities safer.”
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