Nonprofits AAPI Equity Alliance and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California issued a statement urging elected officials in Los Angeles County to improve diverse representation in their staffing.
According to their Jan. 4 statement, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are underrepresented in key city and county leadership and staff positions despite comprising 16% of Los Angeles County’s population, according to the U.S. Census.
“Our community has really struggled in the past several years, due to the pandemic and anti-Asian scapegoating and hate, compounded by the lack of government attention and resources,” executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate Manjusha Kulkarni said.
AAPI Equity Alliance also unveiled their AAPI resume bank to be utilized by elected officials to employ AAPI individuals seeking government positions. Kulkarni emphasized the need for staff to reflect the diversity of L.A. County and the establishment of senior advisor positions dedicated to AAPI issues.
“We need elected officials to bring in the right people for their administrations and commissions who understand and advocate for AAPI communities,” CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California Connie Chung Joe said.
Hoang Nguyen, a former staffer for County Supervisor Hilda Solis, told LAist that AAPI staffers initially brought the issue of anti-AAPI hate to Solis during the pandemic. According to Nguyen, AAPI staffers contribute necessary perspectives.
“We hope that ultimately we get more AAPI elected officials, but until then, we at least want to see diverse staff,” Nguyen told LAist.
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