SMC Asian Pacific Islanders Caucus & Peninsula Leaders Unite Against Racism and Xenophobia
Redwood City, Calif. -- San Mateo County’s elected leaders, including those from local, state and federal offices are standing with the API Caucus in San Mateo County against racism and xenophobia. The Covid-19 health crisis has fueled a disturbing, anti-Asian trend in the diverse communities nestled between San Francisco and San Jose.
“COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against anybody and neither can we.” Congresswoman Jackie Speier passionately explained, “Intentionally coughing and spitting on people are not only despicable, they could be lethal. We will not tolerate hate crimes and racism in America. We are all in this together and need to support each other to make it through this unprecedented crisis.”
Those pledging to support actions against hate crime and assaults on Asians to name a few are: Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, State Senator Jerry Hill, Assembly Members Kevin Mullin, Mark Berman, and Phil Ting and Mayors of San Mateo County.
According to US Census 2018 and 2019 estimates, some 30 percent of San Mateo County’s 766,570 residents are of Asian heritage, compared with 15.3 percent for all of California. SMC API Caucus is asking all Peninsula leaders to take a stand against any type of racism, against any ethnicity or heritage.
“There is absolutely no place for racism in America and acts of hate will not be tolerated,” said Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin. “The diversity that makes up our great nation and serves as the fabric of our society should be welcomed and celebrated as it only makes us stronger. During these challenging times, our community will come together, as we have always done, because that is the San Mateo County Way.”
“Racism and xenophobia in any form are unacceptable,” says Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. “Now, more than ever, every communities must unite against the common enemy that is COVID-19. I’m proud of our Asian community and stand with them during these challenging times, and always will.”
On April 13, Councilmembers in Daly City, the most populous city in the county, and boasting a 57-percent Asian population, are expected to consider a resolution condemning discriminatory behavior and urging support from all in Daly City.
The Stop-AAPI-Hate center has gathered more than 1,000 reports of anti-Asian discrimination in just over a week’s time. Created by San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies program, Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, the center continues to receive about 100 reports a day.
Do an internet search for Stop-AAPI-Hate for the latest statistics and reports of incidents against Asians. These incidents include shunning and verbal harassment to workplace discrimination and even physical assault. A large percent involves spitting and coughing at passersby who appear to be Asian.
“A person in line for a grocery store stood out of the line and coughed at me as I tried to pass by at the far side of the sidewalk,” explained Millbrae Former Mayor Wayne Lee “COVID-19 is a public health issue, not a racial one. Calling it a ‘Chinese virus’ only encourages hate crimes and incidents against Asian Americans at a time when communities should be working together to get through this crisis. I encourage victims to confidentially input their encounters on the new reporting site, so we can monitor the situation and provide support to those impacted,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).
“At a time when communities are coming together to help one another through this crisis, it is extremely disappointing that there are elements promoting racist and xenophobic actions against our fellow residents,” voiced Assemblymember Marc Berman. “It is incumbent on all of us to call out these hate crimes and stand in solidarity with our API community.”
“Racism in any form, at any time, is wrong,” said State Senator Jerry Hill. “We will beat this crisis through the efforts of our united community and our shared understanding that we are all in this together. That is the only way we will succeed: together.”
Report and call 911 when you witness or are a victim of an assault such as deliberate coughing, sneezing or physical threatening actions. These assaults are hate crimes. Please register your experience with the Stop AAPI Hate Center. Want to do something positive? Visit www.tolerance.org.
“My office will prosecute vigorously any hate crimes, especially towards Asians, during the COVID-19 crisis,” said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. “There is no justification for racism and misplaced anger. Ignorance wastes energy. We need to fight the virus, not humanity.”
Signed /s/ San Mateo County Asian Pacific Islanders Caucus San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, Nancy Magee Hellenic Law Society of Northern California Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier State Senator Jerry Hill State Assembly Member Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin State Assembly Members Phil Ting & Marc Berman San Mateo County Supervisors Dave Pine, Carole Groom, Don Horsley, Warren Slocum, and David Canepa Mayor of City of Atherton, Rick DeGolia Mayor of City of Belmont, Warren Lieberman Mayor of City of Brisbane, Terry OConnell Mayor of City of Burlingame, Emily Beach Mayor of Town of Colma, John Goodwin Mayor of City of Daly City, Glenn Sylvester Mayor of Town of Hillsborough, Shawn Christianson Mayor of City of Half Moon Bay, Adam Eisen Mayor of City of Millbrae, Reuben Holober Mayor of City of Pacifica, Deirdre Martin Mayor of Town of Portola Valley, Jeff Aalfs Mayor of City of Redwood City, Diane Howard Mayor of City of San Bruno, Rico Medina Mayor of City of San Carlos, Ron Collins Mayor of City of San Mateo, Joe Goethals Mayor of City of South San Francisco, Rich Garbarino Mayor of Town of Woodside, Ned Fluet