County vows new policy combatting anti-Asian racism


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County supervisors joined with local Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders Wednesday to denounce hate and announce plans to address the issue early next month.

Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas will create the policy to be brought for a vote before the board at its meeting on April 6.

“The senseless attacks and hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islanders are unconscionable and must be stopped,” Fletcher said. “At the county we are being very intentional about tackling systemic racism with policy that affects change, and at our next Board of Supervisors meeting we will take action to support the AAPI community.”

The details of the policy are unclear at this time.

“While San Diego County is diverse and many of us embrace this diversity, this moment calls for more than thoughts and prayers, we need solidarity and action,” Vargas said. “Today as allies, we denounce hate and renew our commitment to stand up against all forms of racism.”

The API community has been the targets of increased hate crimes and attacks in San Diego County and across the nation since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China. The recent murders of eight people in Georgia — six of whom were Asian-American women — have galvanized the community to take more action.

According to the San Diego API Coalition, between March 19 and Dec. 31, 2020, there were 42 reports of discrimination against the API community. More than half were verbal and nearly 10% were physical assaults.

“We all share a responsibility in combating hate — not simply during the pandemic and not only on behalf of API communities,” said Kent Lee, co- chair of the coalition and executive director of the Pacific Arts Movement. “Only together can we build a stronger, more compassionate, and more inclusive county of San Diego.”

The San Diego API Coalition’s mission is to “facilitate conversation with API communities and advocates for representation of voices by amplifying and cultivating leadership, acting as a hub for API organizations to collaborate and building a more inclusive and equitable San Diego.”

Kirin Macapugay, membership coordinator for the coalition, said the “recent rise in hate against API communities, most recently the tragic deaths of several Asian women in their place of business, is part of a centuries long history of systemic racism faced by our and many other communities. Working to recognize and dismantle all forms of discrimination and oppression is key, and we appreciate the steps our leaders are willing to take with us.”

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