SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — On the first day of the Lunar New Year, members of the California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus addressed the increase of attacks against Asian Americans throughout the state.
Members of the caucus from all across the state met at the State Capitol to express their frustrations in seeing elders in the Asian American community being targets of violent attacks.
They said they hope new legislation will be the start of positive changes.
The API Legislative Caucus blamed former President Donald Trump for the anti-Asian rhetoric during the pandemic.
“The narrative of being called the ‘kung flu virus’ or the ‘Wuhan virus,’ or us being accused of being Chinese spies,” explained Assemblyman Evan Low, D-San Jose.
Over the past year, lawmakers like Low said they have seen a rise in hate crimes against the Asian American community.
“Thirty-one percent of APIs today have reported experiencing some form of hate or discrimination since the pandemic began,” said Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine.
On top of publicly denouncing the violence, the API Caucus is also going to introduce new legislation to help victims of the crimes with more resources.
“We announce the reintroduction of my bill from 2017 to require the California Department of Justice to establish toll-free hotlines in an online form to report hate incidents and hate crimes,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco.
They’re also looking to create a special task force.
“We’ve asked for the creation of a racial bias task force, a straight team of immigrant advocates to share incidents in real-time,” Chiu said.
All of this comes as many Asian families plan to celebrate the Lunar New Year Friday.
“While we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Ox, let us also reflect on the fact that those in our communities, many of them elders, are most vulnerable,” Low said.
During the press conference, Min said he plans on introducing new resolutions next week that will condemn these violent attacks.