Recently re-elected New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill that establishes the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Commission.
In recognition of AAPI contribution: Murphy signed Assembly Bill 5737 (A-5737/S-3763) into law on Monday, days after winning his second term as governor over Republican Jack Ciattarelli in a close election, according to a press release.
- The commission was created to help develop policies that would provide social and economic safeguards to the state’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
- According to the bill’s sponsors, the commission’s work will help the state develop “ways to recognize the cultures and tackle the social, economic and health needs of the AAPI community.”
- Established within the Department of State, the commission is required to submit an annual report about its activities to the governor and the legislature.
- In a statement, Murphy highlighted AAPI community members’ contributions to the local society and economy while also recognizing the challenges many of them face.
- “With today’s bill signing, this newly created commission will represent this diverse population and ensure to advocate on behalf of AAPI throughout New Jersey,” he was quoted as saying.
A response to hate: The bill’s primary sponsors in both the assembly and senate cheered the signing of the legislation.
- Senator Vin Gopal, AAPI Legislative Caucus founding member, noted that the commission will help increase the community’s awareness of the resources that are available to them.
- “This new law will help raise visibility and improve understanding, as well as to foster more positive dialogue and communication and serve to recognize the many and varied contributions AAPI individuals have made and continue to make in New Jersey,” he added.
- Senator Linda Greenstein highlighted the urgency and importance of the commission’s establishment amid the “hate-fueled acts geared towards the AAPI community.”
- “It is important now more than ever that we work to increase awareness for AAPI individuals, including their cultural contributions and the issues this community faces,” she said.
- Assemblymembers Raj Mukherji, Sterley Stanley and Gordon Johnson released a joint statement celebrating the legislation while noting its significance.
- “This Commission will ensure representation and access to resources by raising awareness to several challenges facing the AAPI community and focusing on addressing the needs of these communities,” the statement read.