Continuing The Work To Stop AAPI Hate
Some encouraging news from the California Department of Justice. Hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community decreased 43 percent in 2022. Some credit can be given to the API Equity Budget, which made historic state investments in the Asian community during the last couple of years and were aimed at stopping AAPI hate. However, despite the downward trend in numbers, we must continue this work, supporting programs that help victims and prevent violence.
As Assembly Budget Chair, I made sure more progress can be achieved by securing another $40 million in the latest state spending plan for AAPI communities, as well as other communities facing hate incidents and violence. That brings the API Equity Budget's three-year total to nearly $250 million. Our non-profit partners have been instrumental in addressing discrimination, bullying, harassment and other biases, and even greater successes can be reached with these additional resources.
On top of the new $40 million allocation, I also fought for $5 million for a couple of local projects that foster cultural understanding. The Golden Gate Institute, a 112-year-old language school located in Japantown, will undergo a major reconstruction that will include adding a performing arts center. In addition, the soon-to-be displaced Chinese Cultural Center will get assistance in relocating and renovating a new space.
I additionally want to note that a new non-emergency hotline to report hate recently launched - funded by the API Equity Budget. While 911 is always available for life-threatening situations, California vs. Hate has care coordinators who can provide assistance in more than 200 languages. And because victims may be afraid of law enforcement, hotline workers can also facilitate involving the police or local prosecutors, if warranted. They can connect callers to legal services, mental health support, or housing, as well. That number is (833) 8NOHATE, or (833) 866-4283, and is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It's taken a long time for the AAPI community to be seen and heard. These state investments are steps in the right direction, validating that we belong and matter.