SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Amid a wave of violent attacks on Asian Americans in the Bay Area and across the nation, California Governor Gavin Newsom met with Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders in San Francisco Friday afternoon to condemn the acts and commit to working with them to combat racism.
“The acts of violence and bigotry impact all of us because we are all part of one community,” Newsom said.
The governor met with leaders to discuss how the state can help curb the escalating number of attacks on that community.
“How we ensure preventing these incidents with community-based policing, how we ensure real investigations, how ensure putting victims and survivors first,” State Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, said.
Attacks on the Asian American community have been going on for decades but community members said over the last 12 months there have been close to 1,700 verbal and physical attacks in California which has put this segment of the community on edge.
“We have schools reopening where parents are careful children will be bullied and encounter racism, we have private businesses’ worried if they are Asian owned and have Asian employees will they be targeted,” Cynthia Choi, with Chinese for Affirmative Action, said.
The governor pledged the state would take an active role in curbing the hate.
“We have to do more and demand better from everyone, it is not just about the Asian American community, it’s about who we are and what we represent. It should impact all of us, our lives are diminished, we have a responsibility to do more,” Governor Gavin Newsom said.
Community members also indicated that some 90% of these attacks don’t fit the legal definition of a hate crime which is why they plan to ask the department of justice to begin tracking hate attacks as well as hate crimes.