For Immediate Release: April 1, 2021
Contact: [email protected]
CITIES FOR ACTION ISSUES STATEMENT STANDING WITH VICTIMS OF ANTI-AAPI ATTACKS AND CONDEMNING HATE AND RACISM
Cities for Action (C4A) issued the following statement in response to the recent attacks on AAPI communities and rise in anti-AAPI hate.
Cities for Action joins communities across the country in mourning the lives lost in the horrific shootings in Atlanta and standing with everyone in our communities affected by this rise in violence and hate crimes. As cities and counties who know that immigrants and refugees make our communities stronger, we stand firmly with AAPI and immigrant communities against all forms of hate and discrimination.
As we continue to see reports of senseless violence, we must recognize that these are not isolated incidents and are part of a rise in anti-AAPI sentiment and harassment across the country — a trend that has disturbingly and disproportionately affected AAPI women and the elderly. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, AAPI communities have been scapegoated for the pandemic by toxic and xenophobic rhetoric flowing from the highest office of the land, culminating in a 1,900% increase in anti-Asian violence last year. But it is also critically important to understand that AAPI communities have been the targets of institutional scapegoating and marginalization for centuries in this country, from racist labor and housing discrimination to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Executive Order 9066 resulting in the wrongful incarceration of over 120,000 American citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry, and other discriminatory policies.
Local governments understand firsthand that immigrants bring innumerable benefits to our communities, and injustices like these against our immigrant and BIPOC neighbors only serve to weaken and divide us at a moment when we must build solidarity to protect our collective well-being. For this reason, we recognized in our Vision for Immigration Action the need for leadership in denouncing the racism and xenophobia connected to the pandemic, as well as developing new resources to address racism and xenophobia as a public health issue.
As cities and counties advocating for inclusive policies that support the full integration of our immigrant communities — including many in the AAPI communities — into our social, economic, and political fabric, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting and addressing our communities’ needs, including safety, language access, mental health services, immigration legal services, workplace development, food and housing security, and other needs.
We commend the Administration for signing the Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States in the President's first week in office, and welcome yesterday's announcement of additional actions in response to Anti-Asian violence. We stand ready to partner with the Administration on further actions that support the full inclusion and sense of belonging in all communities, and urge the Administration to continue connecting with impacted communities to fully address their needs. This hatred and violence must stop now.