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Lawmakers in New York, Calif. Pledge resources and protection following attacks on elderly Asians

California lawmakers this week passed a bill that would allocate $ 1.4 million in public funds to tracking incidents of anti-Asian hate. The legislation was drafted as part of an effort to combat the series of violent attacks on the elderly that have been reflected in Asian-American communities across the United States.

If the legislation is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom – who has not said if he supports it – the money will go directly to Stop AAPI Hate, an online system where victims of prejudice, hate or violence can report their experiences. The form, started last March after anti-Asia incidents fueled by a pandemic, had more than 2,800 self-reports in 2020. The states with the largest share were California, with 43% of all incidents, and New York, with 13%.

“We are outraged by the disturbing incidents we saw last week where Asian American seniors were attacked in the San Francisco Bay Area,” the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement. . “These violent assaults are having a devastating impact on our community as they are part of an alarming rise in anti-Asian American hatred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the main proponents of the measure, assemblyman Phil Ting, chairman of the budget committee, introduced it as part of California’s ongoing budget response to the pandemic. He said in a statement that the allocation of funds to Stop AAPI Hate will allow more research and reporting on the trend and help the government get a feel for the problem.

“The rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic is alarming. But we can’t solve a problem without knowing how big it is. New public funding allows data collection to continue, and research will ultimately lead us to solutions that will make all communities safer, ”Ting said.

Asian communities in the Bay Area have been hit hard by the recent violence, including Chinatowns in Oakland and San Francisco, where Asians over the age of 60 have been the targets of theft, burglaries and robberies. assaults. 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed after beings were thrown to the ground in an attack on January 31 captured on surveillance video. A 91-year-old man was violently pushed around the same day and also made national headlines because of a video capturing the incident.

New York, which saw a sharp rise in anti-Asian violence in 2020, has also implemented programs to help Asians identify and report stigma. In a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio discussed the 2021 hike and spoke about the role of the Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, which was launched by the NYPD last year. After a 61-year-old man was punched in the face on a subway train this month, the mayor said a more concerted effort would be made to monitor subways.

“If you dare to raise your hand against a member of our Asian communities, you will suffer the consequences,” said de Blasio. “The NYPD is focused like never before.”

But critics of the task force say more policing could do more harm than good.

“I think it’s difficult for us to fundamentally reconcile the fact that this entity is going to protect our community,” Kham Moua, policy director of the civil rights organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, told NBC Asian. America in September. color comes from the police. “

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