LOS ANGELES, C.A. – This week, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai held a roundtable discussion at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo with members of the CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence. The event, held during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, focused on local, state and federal efforts to promote public safety and combat the rise of xenophobic attacks toward the Asian American community. 

Between March 19, 2020, and December 31, 2021, nearly 11,000 hate crimes targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been reported to the advocacy organization Stop Asian Hate, and leaders say the true number is much higher as many hate crimes go unreported. Last February, a Korean American veteran named Denny Kim was attacked in Koreatown by strangers who called him Asian slurs and left him with a concussion, black eye, and broken nose. The case was 1 of 41 anti-Asian hate crimes that Los Angeles police investigated last year — a 173% increase over 2020. 

“Anti-Asian violence has risen sharply during the pandemic, and many in the community are living in fear,” said Congressman Gomez. “These bigoted acts against those of Asian descent is not a new phenomenon. From the LA Chinese massacre of 1871 to the murder of Vincent Chin, anti-Asian hate has been a stain on our nation’s history. With the creation of the CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence, we’re taking a stand to advance safety, inclusion and belonging for all AAPI communities. 

“Anti-AANHPI bias is not new in American society, and part of why this task force is so important is because it is a platform for the AANHPI community to stand up and remind the rest of America that we are, have been, and will be integral to the fabric of our society and history,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai. “This is an opportunity to articulate a vision for an America that is inclusive, strong, and as beautiful as we know it can be.” 

“Asian Americans have a long history of contributing to the cultural and economic fabric of our nation, and we deserve support from our government – especially in the wake of anti-Asian attacks that have increased during the pandemic,” said Peter Ng, Executive Director of the Chinatown Service Center. “All humans are equal, and it’s important to show each other mutual respect. I applaud Rep. Jimmy Gomez for bringing AAPI voices to the table and listening to our communities with the CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence.” 

“Hate crimes against the AAPI community are at an all-time high, rising by 339% last year compared with 2020,” said Alex De Ocampo, Co-Founder of the Filipino Voter Empowerment Project. “Many Asian Americans are afraid to leave their own homes due to the surge of violence we’ve seen targeting people in our communities -- especially our elders. AAPI voices must be elevated in order to address this urgent crisis, and I commend Rep. Jimmy Gomez’s for creating a Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence in the 34th Congressional District to promote public safety for our neighborhoods. 

"KYCC applauds Congressman Jimmy Gomez in the formation of the Stop Anti-Asian Hate Taskforce,” said Steve Kang, Director of External Affairs at Koreatown Youth & Community Center. “The 34th Congressional District includes many historic AAPI communities, including Koreatown, and we look forward to working collaboratively to stop all forms of hate." 

"Amidst a surge in anti-Asian racism and violence that mirror some of the lowest moments of American history, I am grateful for the invitation to participate in the CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence,” said Tammy Cho, Co-Founder of Hate Is A Virus. “Racially stereotyped as "Model Minorities", in reality many Asian American/Pacific Islanders face poverty, violence, mental health crises, domestic abuse, unjust incarceration, deportation, and other struggles familiar to all marginalized communities. These needs are all compounded by entrenched systemic barriers to equity and access. I hope this Task Force's work will lead to real commitments from our public leaders and elected officials, and bring tangible relief to hurting AAPI communities.” 

Congressman Gomez announced the creation of a CA-34 Congressional Task Force to Stop Anti-Asian Hate and Violence following a rise of attacks targeting the AAPI community nationwide. He is an original co-sponsor of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to help combat the increase in anti-Asian hate that has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photos of the roundtable discussion can be accessed here


Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.