Proposal to Advance Equity for the API Community
The California Asian Pacific Islander population has faced increased attacks against members of their community since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than one year ago. Racist rhetoric coming from the White House has mobilized and emboldened individuals who wish to sow hate against AAPIs by attacking them. California must take a strong stance against this violence and provide community support, services, prevention against these attacks, and cultural and economic development for the community. This proposal requests $210 million over a three-year period to address hate incidents against the AAPI community.
A summary of the proposal’s key pillars, components and descriptions are below. This summary has been updated as of May 28, 2021 to adding: Office of Racial Equity.
Victims Services & Prevention – $109.5 million
Nonprofit or CBOs that are providing necessary services to victims of hate incidents, such as legal services, health care, mental health, victim’s compensation, or counseling will receive grant funding so that these services may be provided free of charge. Grantees that are service providers should be within the database that the hotline provides referrals to.
Statewide Hate Incidents Hotline – $10 million
This proposal seeks to provide a hotline that serves as a centralized hub that would connect caller’s in-language to the appropriate local resources, whether they be legal, health care, mental health, or law enforcement if they choose to report.
Culture and Economic Development – $20 million
The state shall provide grants to local ethnic hubs to revitalize Chinatowns, Japantowns, Koreatowns, Little Manilas, etc. Local nonprofits or CBOs would receive grant funding to beautify ethnic corridors, create cultural monuments, revitalize community centers, notify local business owners about existing grant programs to assist small businesses, and provide direct assistance to businesses if necessary.
Safe Schools for AAPI Students – $20 million
- Restorative justice pilot program ($10 million). API students and staff require safe spaces to discuss news of API hate incidents and personal experiences with hate and macroaggressions.
- Higher education attainment ($5 million). Funding allocation to initiate a committee and strategic planning process to address education loss, mental health services needs and increase education attainment, for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, especially low-income and first-generation college students.
- Peer Social Media Network ($5 million). California’s students must not feel that they are alone and the state should invest in peer support networks the students themselves will actually use – through social media that today’s students are using.
Stop AAPI Hate – $10 million
Stop AAPI Hate is the first organization to begin collecting data on AAPI hate incidents in-language. We must continue that this resource and support Stop AAPI hate expanding their data collection and analysis and will be bringing on staff to expand their capacity.
Establish the California Interpreters Corps – $10 million
The California Interpreters Corps will be an entity comprised of a diverse pool of interpreters that are state workers that other departments can call to assist residents who are trying to access services, but are limited-English proficient
Data Equity. Capacity to collect data on AAPI needs, challenges, and barriers – $10 million
To obtain sound, accurate data about the API community, California should invest in a quarterly, scientific survey of the experiences, needs, and barriers facing Asian American and Pacific Islander adults, conducted online and in-language, similar to large scale social science surveys of Americans conducted by other major universities.
Racial Bias Task Force – $500,000
As advocated by the API Legislative Caucus this past year, a 15-member racial bias task force should be established at the California Department of Justice and be comprised of representatives from a diverse array of stakeholders (community-based organizations, health/mental health providers, K-16 educators, law enforcement, ethnic chambers of commerce, major corporations and more), in order to create a blueprint to address the root causes of racial bias and hate violence, as well as recommend innovative solutions to the Governor and State Legislature.
Office of Racial Equity - $10 million
Structural racism impacts all communities of color, and addressing racial equity broadly is essential for equity for API communities. An independent Office of Racial Equity, governed by the Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council, will establish accountability for advancing racial equity in state government. The office will develop a statewide Racial Equity Framework for state agencies and departments to adopt and provide technical assistance to agencies implementing strategies for racial equity, and also provide guidance in how the state can accurately identify API subgroups to help inform public policy.
Administration & Programming
Ethnic Media Outreach – $7 million
In order for community members to know about the hotline, which service providers are trusted, and the culture and economic development funding, the state should create partnerships with ethnic media as trusted messengers for this information. Some of the grant funding will be set aside for the State Library to set up a RFP in order to ensure regional and ethnic diversity.
Staffing – $3 million
In order to support the above programs, limited-term funding for staff at the State Library, CDE, and CDSS to create and administer these grant programs is necessary.