Civil rights leaders are calling for more significant investment into Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the city of Seattle.
Seattle’s Chinatown has struggled since the pandemic. On Saturday, September 23, the city announced that the Chinatown International District Night Market event was canceled. For more than a decade, thousands of people enjoyed the end-of-summer event, gathering to enjoy food and cultural performances.
According to The Seattle Times, the event was canceled due to a lack of sponsorships and rising costs.
Leaders are specifically calling on the city to address violence against the AAPI community. According to FOX 13, the recent racist vandalism of the Wing Luke Museum in the city’s Chinatown-International District prompted leaders to speak out.
Stan Shikuma, co-President of the Japanese American Citizens League Greater Seattle Chapter, told FOX 13 they waited for around 50 minutes for police to arrive after initially calling 911 about the vandalism.
AAPI leaders have also expressed outrage over a video showing a Seattle police officer mocking the death of 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula, who was struck and killed by a Seattle police vehicle.
AAPI leaders have petitioned the Seattle government to implement several changes to stop violence against AAPIs in Seattle. According to FOX 13 they have requested the following:
1. Immediately assign two community service officers/safety coordinators to assist south Seattle residents and work with community organizations
2. The Mayor and Police Chief hold a press conference in the CID immediately to state their support of the CID and the API Community, and their zero tolerance for any anti-Asian activity throughout the City
3. Publish safety tips in multiple API languages safety tips in API newspapers and the media
4. Fund two safety coordinators for South Seattle
5. Convene a public safety task force to work collaboratively with our impacted communities
6. Refund youth programs like Seattle Youth Initiatives that can prevent and redirect youth away from crime towards positive pursuits
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.