Continued Investments in the AAPI Community
As Assembly Budget Chair, it's been gratifying to see the state finally invest in the Asian American Pacific Islander community, addressing their needs through increased resources and neighborhood improvements. My latest efforts resulted in even more funding - some of which will benefit San Francisco.
Last week I announced that I secured $4 million from the state budget to help with the redesign of Chinatown's Portsmouth Square.
Many residents live in the surrounding single-room occupancy hotels, and they essentially use this popular public space as their living room to socialize and get fresh air. But Portsmouth Square can be more open and inviting to better serve seniors and multigenerational families who often use the park. This state funding will supplement the local voter-approved bond to help cover increased costs due to inflation and supply issues. The project is expected to start in late 2023.
On a broader scale, the new state budget amplifies AAPI voices, history and stories, including:
- AAPI MultiMedia Textbook: $10 million to deepen public knowledge about who we are, strengthen students' historical empathy, and build a more inclusive and equitable society
- Language Access Pilot Project: $5 million for a pilot program to provide language access at hearings and events in order to increase AAPI public participation
- California State University (CSU) Asian Bilingual Teacher Education Program: $5 million to provide financial assistance to aspiring teachers for bilingual accreditation
These investments are on top of last year's $166.5 million API Equity Budget, which was geared toward stopping AAPI hate. While those efforts continue, we can do more to foster greater understanding and promote our contributions.
I can't wait to highlight more of our great work in the budget, including more projects that benefit our district.
Assemblymember, 19th District