SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but given the rise in crimes against the community, what should be a time to celebrate has taken a much darker turn.

Over the past year, we’ve seen shocking acts of violence against Asian Americans.

Many elderly, here in the Bay Area and across the nation.

“Literally thousands of Anti-Asian hate incidents in this past year with a huge percentage of them coming from California and northern California,” said State Assemblyman David Chiu.

Some of the crimes are believed to have been sparked, at least in part, by language the former president used when talking about the pandemic including the “China Virus”, or “kung flu”.

The growing number of violent images also mobilized a movement, #StopAsianHate, and is instigating change.

State Assemblyman David Chiu is pushing a bill that would create a 24/7 statewide hotline for victims and survivors of anti-Asian hate.

“So law enforcement can follow up, as well as to ensure that victims and survivors can get assistance if they need.”

A second bill would expand compensation to victims of hate crimes. But also fund restorative justice programs for those incidents fueled by hate that don’t rise to the level of a crime.

“If somebody’s walking by and somebody else yells out a racial slur, how do you address that? And a restorative justice program is a way for us to bring accountability to perpetrators and victims outside of the criminal justice context.”

Both bills are in committee and could be voted on by the assembly in the next month before headed to the state senate.