CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) held a virtual meeting with Central Coast Asian American and Pacific Islander community members to address the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes locally and nationally.
AAPI leaders and community members shared their own stories and experiences with the issue. Congressman Panetta discussed his efforts at the federal level to curb race-based hate crimes.
Attendees included people who were born and forced to stay in internment camps during World War II, activists who focus on hate locally, educators and community members who have experienced anti-Asian sentiment.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the assault that Asian Americans are enduring,” Congressman Panetta said. “While Congress is trying to root out such violence and venom through legislation like the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, we must work at all levels to provide answers and solutions to our local communities. I was proud to be a part of tonight’s discussion which brought our community together to highlight our work to find a vaccine for hate.”
University of California Santa Cruz Professor Alice Yang shined a light on student reports of anti-Asian hate on the UC Santa Cruz campus. She says in these incidents, AAPI women are more likely to be victims of the crimes, however, women are more likely to report the incidents.
According to the organization Stop AAPI Hate, Asian American women are targeted at a rate of two times more than men. In a national report, it says 3,795 incident have been received by the organization from March 20, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
“It’s very important for our legislators to hear the diverse opinions and perspectives of the affected communities, ” former Japanese Americans Citizen League National President Larry Oda said.
Congressman Panetta was joined by George Ow; Marina Councilmember Kathy Biala; Richard Zhang, Monterey Peninsula Chinese American Association; Ellie Hattori, Obon Festival Chair; Jeff Uchida, Japanese American Citizens League; Larry Oda, former Japanese Americans Citizen League National President; Linda and Alan Kadani; Greg Nakanishi; Ann and Douglas Tsuchiya; UC Santa Cruz Professor Alice Yang; David Kong, Greenfield Union School Board; Ted Esaki; Dr. Chris Hasegawa; Wendall and Kathryn Nuss; Roy Recio, Tobera Project; and Mars Rocamora, Filipino Community Of Salinas Valley President.