As Los Angeles County observes LA vs Hate Week, California is welcoming $166.5 million over three years in newly announced state funding to combat anti-Asian incidents and crimes.
"As a legislature, we were very proud to champion in this year's budget $166.5 million appropriation over three years to give to community organizations, a variety of group, to really get the word out about anti-Asian hate and ways we can prevent it, ways we can serve victims, ways that we could really come together as a community," California Assemblyman Phil Ting, who chairs the Assembly's budget committee, said.
$110 million of the funding will go to groups that directly serve impacted communities, with the Department of Social Services setting the criteria. Some of the funds will go towards more data collecting, school programs, and a statewide hotline.
At the headquarters of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice in LA, lawmakers, community leaders, and service providers held a press conference where they applauded the new funding. They believe this is just the beginning in stopping AAPI hate.
"It was at this time this past year, after hearing all of these stories, that the commission and API legislative caucus came together to really join forces and develop this proposal to make sure that our community has access and resources beyond what are partners on the ground are able to provide," Serena Kirk of the Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs said.
As for Filipino American Sierra Madre Mayor and Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (AP3CON) board President Rachelle Arizmendi, she looks forward to boosting data-gathering. Last year, AP3CON launched stopaapihate.org as a way to track hate incidents across the country. Since March 2020, it has received over 10,000 reports of such incidents.
"We understand the responsibility that we have and this work is far from over," Arizmendi asserted. "We will ensure that the funding allocated to stop AAPI hate will support our mission because this is not just about tracing data, but this is about providing technical assistance to rapid response, to providing preventative measures and strategies, supporting restorative justice measures, and pushing for policy change."
Just as California Attorney General Rob Bonta has been doing in recent weeks, lawmakers also held roundtable discussions with the Los Angeles community and local leaders to discuss ways to combat hate, and strategies to use the extra funding.