California approves $156 million API Equity Budget to combat anti-Asian hate

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California is allocating $156 million to fund victim-centered solutions in combatting violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). 

Historic funding: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the historic Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Equity Budget on Monday as part of the state’s new $100 billion spending bill, NBC reported.  

  • Led by the API Legislative Caucus, California’s funding plan for the AAPI community is the largest allocated by any state. It is over 15 times what New York approved in April.
  • In a statement published by Stop AAPI Hate, Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Chair of the API Legislative Caucus, expressed his thanks to Newsom for “making history and investing in critical resources for the API Community.” 
  • “This sends a message to the API community that the State of California sees them and that we matter,” he added. “It gives us hope that California will be supporting our survivors and communities as our state recovers from COVID-19.”
  • Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), vice-chair of the API Legislative Caucus, called the investment “historic” while “noting that the community will now have “the tools to expand services, invest in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, increase anti-bias education, and better track and prevent these cowardly attacks.”

Fund allocation: The API Equity Budget will be used to fund non-carceral alternatives over a three-year period to address anti-Asian hate incidents, as broken down below.

  • The majority of the funding, amounting to $110 million, will be distributed to community organizations providing vital victim services and prevention.
  • Stop AAPI Hate will receive $10 million to aid in tracking, responding, and preventing racial bias and harm incidents.
  • The AAPI Data project is getting $10 million to improve the accuracy of data collection and data equity on the needs, challenges and barriers of the AAPI.
  • Ethnic media outlets in the state will get $10 million to reach underserved communities.
  • An anti-bias block grant will receive $10 million to help schools create restorative justice programs addressing early forms of hate and microaggressions.
  • A peer social media network project addressing bullying and mental health for young people will get $5 million in support.
  • A workgroup that enables low-income first-generation AAPI college students to attain education will receive $1.5 million.

The API Legislative Caucus originally asked for $200 million, but proposals such as the Office of Racial Equity, interpreter corps and ethnic enclaves reportedly failed to receive funding.

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Featured Image via ABC7

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