New York State legislators are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to establish an Asian Commission charged with improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Spectrum Local News reports the commission would focus on health, education and the social well-being of the community.
“Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority group in the state, and a task force of this kind seeks to address AAPI voices that for too long have been overlooked,” said State Sen Jeremy Cooney who co-sponsored the legislation. “I am proud to have helped secure new funding in this year’s state budget for this commission and I look forward to making New York more inclusive for Asian American families.”
The bill which passed unanimously in the Assembly and 61-1 in the Senate is still awaiting the Governor’s signature.
A letter signed by 48 groups and written by Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar who sponsored the assembly version of the bill has been sent to the governor urging her to approve the bill.
“This historic AAPI Commission will bridge the gap between our government and our emerging Asian American community,” the letter reads according to the American Bazaar.
The state’s Asian American population has increased 40 percent while hate crimes against Asians shot up 2900 percent, the letter says.
“These hate crimes have been rising rapidly, so I think respective of their social, economic status, the hate has been one common factor that’s been going around the past few years,” said Ashok Adikoppula of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Albany Chapter.
Hate crimes are just one area of concern that the commission would explore.
If approved, New York would join 12 other states that have similar commissions. Those states are California, Oregon, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina, and Iowa.
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