California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $100 billion fiscal budget that includes a $156.5 million measure to address systemic discrimination and rising hate incidents against AAPI communities.
Since the onset of the pandemic, discrimination against AAPIs has risen dramatically. A non-profit organization called Stop AAPI Hate has documented over 6,600 incidents of hate or discrimination.
The API Equity Budget will combat systemic discrimination and hate through community-based solutions. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee noted that the investment has been a long time coming.
“For decades, API communities have been longing to be seen and heard,” Ting said in a press release. “The pandemic amplified the need to do more amid rising hate against Asian Americans. The state’s remarkable investment acknowledges this struggle by ensuring that victims have access to culturally competent services and resources. It also shores up research and data collection, so we can look at ways to prevent such attacks from happening in the first place.”
“Every person has the right to shop, go to school and enjoy our neighborhoods safely without fear of being attacked. It is my hope that with this historic investment our communities feel safe once again.”
A majority of the funding will go to community-based organizations. According to a press release from Stop AAPI Hate, the funds will be distributed as such:
- $110 million – a majority of the funding – will go to community organizations who are providing vital victim services and prevention;
- $10 million will provide support to Stop AAPI Hate to track, respond, and prevent incidents of racial bias and harm;
- $10 million will go to the AAPI Data project to increase accurate data collection and data equity on AAPI needs, challenges, and barriers;
- $10 million will go to anti-bias block grant to provide funding to schools to create restorative justice programs to address hate and macroaggressions early;
- $5 million will support a peer social media network project addressing bullying and mental health for children and youth;
- $1.5 million will go towards a workgroup to address education attainment for low income first generation AAPI college students, and support the Commission on Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs as it coordinates these programs; and
- $10 million will go to ethnic media outlets to reach AAPI and other underserved communities in California.
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), in partnership with Stop AAPI hate, thanked Gov. Newsom for his support.
“The API Equity Budget was Governor Newsom’s chance to stand by his commitment to the AAPI community — we are heartened to see him take it,” Vincent Pan, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), said in a press release. “This funding is essential in addressing both the pandemic-related hate our community is facing and the racial inequities that have too long shaped the lives of California’s AAPI community.”
“We thank Governor Newsom, the State Legislature, especially the API Legislative Caucus, and community and ally organizations for uniting behind this budget effort. We hope other states can draw from the API Equity Budget to invest in the AAPI community as the primary way to protect AAPIs against racism and discrimination.”
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