New bill establishes first-ever New York State AAPI Commission


New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill to establish the first-ever New York State Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Commission.

About the bill: Bill A3301, proposed by State Assemblyperson Jenifer Rajkumar, aims to address the growing needs and challenges faced by the Asian American community in the state, which has increased 40% over the past decade.

The commission, consisting of 13 members appointed by the governor, state senate and state assembly, will be housed in the New York State Department of State. It is tasked with developing policies to enhance the safety, health, economic stability and education of the Asian American community. New York reportedly joins at least 12 other states with similar commissions.

Rajkumar's efforts: The legislation garnered unanimous support in Albany, with 40 co-sponsors and backing from every Asian American legislator in the Capitol. Rajkumar's efforts also included mobilizing a coalition of 49 Asian American community organizations and securing funding for the commission in the state budget.

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“I am proud to have established a historic Commission that will bring Asian-American New Yorkers across our State to the table of government,” Rajkumar said, according to The American Bazaar. “I introduced this historic legislation to meet this critical moment in time: Asian Americans are now the fastest growing ethnic group and making large gains in representation across many fields.”

Empowering the community: Assemblywoman Rajkumar emphasized the significance of the historic commission in empowering Asian Americans and addressing their unique challenges. The legislation comes at a crucial time, marked by a 2,900% surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic. The establishment of the commission reflects a broader societal desire, with 72% of Americans expressing the need for government action against racism targeting Asian Americans.

About Rajkumar: Rajkumar is the first South Asian American woman elected to New York State Office. She has been an advocate for the Asian American community, achieving historic results in increasing political participation and legislative victories.

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