Today, California State Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen held a press conference at the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster, California to denounce the increase in hate crimes occurring against the Asian-American community and to introduce legislation she is authoring to combat these crimes.
“As a refugee who came here as a young child, I too have been the victim of hate over the years,” said Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen. “I have first-hand knowledge of how devastating and hurtful these crimes can be.”
There have been nearly 3,800 documented cases of hate incidents nationwide in the past year, and the majority of the victims have been Asian-American women. People have been harassed, they have been shunned, personal property has been vandalized and in some cases, acts of physical violence and death have occurred.
“These hate crimes are unacceptable. We have a responsibility to protect every individual from hate-based crimes and we must do more to punish these criminals and protect the hard-working members of our community. This is why I have introduced a bill package for this legislative session to combat hate crimes in the State of California” said Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen.
Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen also spoke on numerous bills she is co-authoring to increase penalties on criminals who commit hate related crimes.
“No one should have to live in fear. Not my family or any Asian-American family. For that matter, no family at all should have to live in fear. These legislations is an important first step in making sure our Asian-American feel safe within our community” said Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen.
Faith Bautista, CEO of the National Asian-American Coalition, offered the following comments at the press conference: “The ultimate goal of a society like ours is to be able to live productively and safely because we have embraced and accepted our diversity as a nation. Inclusivity is what will propel us toward a progressive future. Hate incidents and crimes should be dealt with zero tolerance. We need to be more loving and compassionate towards each other and be vigilant more than ever against what further divides us.”
Claudia Choi, daughter of the Seal Beach resident Lee Ann Kim who was sent a hateful letter, also added: “Asian Americans are an integral part of this country’s long immigrant narrative. Our hope is that by sharing the racist letter sent to my family during our time of grief, we can help pass legislation that will help prosecute and prevent future hate crimes.”
Jin Sung, Board Chairwoman from the National Diversity Coalition, also contributed remarks at the press conference. “We, as a nation, cannot underscore the trauma that has been created in our neighborhoods through anti-Asian hate crimes. I strongly exhort every Asian-lead organization stand in solidarity to demand reform in policies that support access, protection and development of the Asian American communities.”
Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen was joined by: Faith Bautista (CEO, National Asian American Coalition), Jin Sung (Board Chairwoman, National Diversity Coalition), Claudia Choi, the daughter of Seal Beach resident Lee Ann Kim who received a hate letter just this week, Tam Nguyen (Co-Founder of Nailing It for America), Congresswoman Michelle Steel (tentative), Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones, Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui (Chairman, Vietnamese-American Federation of Southern California), Garden Grove Police Chief Tom DaRae, Fountain Valley Police Chief Matt Sheppard, Huntington Beach Councilman Mike Posey, Los Alamitos Mayor Mark Chirco, Westminster City Councilman Tai Do, Santa Ana Councilman Phil Bacerra, Fountain Valley Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Harper, Orange County Sheriff Captain Cory Martino, Westminster Police Chief Roy Campo, Westminster Deputy Police Chief Cameron K. and Seal Beach Police Captain Mike Ezroj.