Proposal to Address Hate Crimes in the AAPI Community
The California Asian Pacific Islander population has faced increased attacks against members of their community since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than one year ago. Racist rhetoric coming from the previous White House has mobilized and emboldened individuals who wish to sow hate against AAPIs by attacking them. California must take a strong stance against this violence and provide community support, services, prevention against these attacks, and cultural and economic development for the community. This proposal requests $200 million over a three-year period to address hate crimes against the AAPI community. (Click headline to see entire list.)
Direct Response – $159.5 million
- Victims Services & Prevention – $109.5 million
Nonprofit or CBOs that are providing necessary services to victims of hate crimes, such as legal services, health care, mental health, victim’s compensation, or counseling will receive grant funding so that these services may be provided free of charge. Grantees that are service providers should be within the database that the hotline provides referrals to.
Nonprofits or CBOs providing services to protect and prevent attacks against API individuals (such as senior escort programs) will also receive grants to continue this work. Nonprofits or CBOs that provide educational or healing programs about the historic harms caused by structural and systemic racism across different communities of color will receive grants to continue or start this work.
Statewide Hate Crimes Hotline – $10 million
California lacks a single location for individuals to report hate crimes and incidents that can also connect callers with necessary services. This proposal seeks to provide a hotline run by a nonprofit entity that serves as a centralized hub that would connect caller’s in-language to the appropriate local resources, whether they be legal, health care, mental health, or law enforcement if they choose to report. The hotline will also collect data on these calls about the hate crimes and incidents occurring, which will be reported to the Legislature on July 1, 2024. This program may be eligible for federal funding.
Culture and Economic Development – $20 million
Hate rhetoric and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused rippling economic effects to ethnic hubs across the state. In order to rebuild these communities and recognize the important cultural role they provide to California, the state shall provide grants to local ethnic hubs to revitalize Chinatowns, Japantowns, Koreatowns, Little Manilas, etc. Local nonprofits or CBOs would receive grant funding to beautify ethnic corridors, create cultural monuments, revitalize community centers, notify local business owners about existing grant programs to assist small businesses, and provide direct assistance to businesses if necessary.
Safe Schools for AAPI Students – $20 million
- Restorative justice pilot program ($10 million). API children need support at school in the face of hate and the erasure of their community’s stories, even as schools are transitioning from distance learning to in-person classes. API students and staff require safe spaces to discuss news of API hate incidents and personal experiences with hate and macroaggressions. These grants will help fund restorative justice programs on school campuses to provide these spaces and help address hate and macroaggression early on and provide young people with the tools to create a community where healing is possible.
- Higher education attainment ($5 million). Funding allocation to initiate a committee and strategic planning process to address education loss, mental health services needs and increase education attainment, for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, especially low-income and first-generation college students.
- Peer Social Media Network ($5 million). With students returning back to their classrooms now and all students returning in the fall, more AAPI students have reported instances of bullying related to their ethnicity. California’s students must not feel that they are alone and the state should invest in peer support networks the students themselves will actually use – through social media that today’s students are using.
Long Term – $30.5 million
Stop AAPI Hate – $10 million
Stop AAPI Hate is the first organization to begin collecting data on AAPI hate crimes in-language. We must continue that this resource is available to the community as some populations (i.e. undocumented AAPIs) may feel uncomfortable reporting to a government entity. Stop AAPI hate is expanding their data collection and analysis and will be bringing on staff to expand their capacity.
Establish the California Interpreters Corps – $10 million.
How can we access services if we cannot communicate with the person across the desk, or read the applications we are required to fill out? The California Interpreters Corps will be an entity comprised of a diverse pool of interpreters that are state workers that other departments can call to assist residents who are trying to access services, but are limited-English proficient. The state should also conduct department-wide surveys and maintain a list of existing employees who can be called upon to serve as an interpreter resource, and these individuals should be compensated accordingly.
Data Equity. Capacity to collect data on AAPI needs, challenges, and barriers – $10 million.
We cannot address inequities we cannot see. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up one of every six students in California and have high language needs, yet we are largely excluded from regular surveys of California residents and ignored in a vast majority of published research studies. To obtain sound, accurate data about the API community, California should invest in a quarterly, scientific survey of the experiences, needs, and barriers facing Asian American and Pacific Islander adults, conducted online and in-language, similar to large scale social science surveys of Americans conducted by other major universities.
Racial Bias Task Force – $500,000.
California’s civic leadership has a critical role to play in ending hate violence. As advocated by the API Legislative Caucus this past year, a 15-member racial bias task force should be established at the California Department of Justice and be comprised of representatives from a diverse array of stakeholders (community-based organizations, health/mental health providers, K-16 educators, law enforcement, ethnic chambers of commerce, major corporations and more), in order to create a blueprint to address the root causes of racial bias and hate violence, as well as recommend innovative solutions to the Governor and State Legislature.
Administration & Programming – $10 million
Ethnic Media Outreach – $7 million
In order for community members to know about the hotline, which service providers are trusted, and the culture and economic development funding, the state should create partnerships with ethnic media as trusted messengers for this information.
Staffing – $3 million
In order to support the above programs, limited-term funding for staff to create and administer these grant programs is necessary.