Mayor Singh-Allen Introduces Buddy System & Resolution To Stop Hate Crimes Against AAPI Communities
Responding to the surge of hate crimes and discrimination against Asian American Pacific Islander communities, Mayor of Elk Grove Bobbie Singh-Allen held a press conference at City Hall. Mayor Singh-Allen is introducing a Buddy System meant to help community members to feel safe. Furthermore, Elk Grove City Council will discuss resolutions to address hate crimes in the area. These efforts are supported by local AAPI organizations and non-profits.
The Press Conference
Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, Council Member Darren Suen, and other community leaders held a press conference outside of Elk Grove City Hall. Mayor Singh-Allen spoke of the hate crimes and violence that have surged in the past weeks against the AAPI community. Due to the stigma of the coronavirus, people of Asian/Pacific Islander descent have been targeted. The elderly in particular have been assaulted and harassed.
Recently, in Atlanta, six people of Asian descent and two others were killed in a shooting rampage. These shootings, as well as physical attacks on people of Asian descent has left many afraid and uncertain.
Consequently, at the press conference Mayor Singh-Allen gave a speech about these hateful incidents.
“Violence against one of us damages all of us. To combat the fear and offer support to our AAPI residents, I am introducing a buddy program in partnership with the Police Department and local community organizations that reinforces our commitment to the community and reminds them that they are not alone.”Mayor of Elk Grove, Bobbie Singh-Allen
The Buddy System
This new system is meant for seniors and anyone afraid to feel safe when they are going out into the community. The Buddy System is a partnership between the city of Elk Grove, the Elk Grove Police Department, and non-profits in the area. (These non-profits include My Sister’s House, Community Partners Advocate of Little Saigon Sacramento, OCA, to name a few). While the system was introduced during a press conference about racism towards the AAPI community, this service is available to people of all ethnicities. Residents of Elk Grove can call (916) 691-5246 to request a buddy.
A City Council meeting will be held on March 24 to discuss a resolution. The City Council will “adopt a resolution condemning and combating hate violence, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian American Pacific Islanders
(AAPI), support related legislative bills, and promote the Stop AAPI Hate movement,” according to the agenda. The resolution will not have any fiscal impact on the City of Elk Grove.
The resolution was passed with all City Council Members and the Mayor signing off on it. Here are several quotes from the City Council.
“I will say that this morning, during our press conference, we were able to announce at least some level of comfort for our community that might be too afraid to go to the grocery store, to a place to run errands or to make phone calls. The Chief of Police has launched a new hotline for anybody to have a conversation, to make a report or voice any fears or concerns. They are there to listen. I am very proud of our Chief of Police for heeding that call and stepping up.
It is unfortunate that we are in this moment, but it is a reality and we need to be there to look out for each other.”Mayor of Elk Grove Bobbie Singh-Allen
“I stand by this resolution. I think the press conference today really reinforced the need for this resolution. I wholeheartedly support it. I am disheartened by everything that is happening in the nation, but I know it’s not prevalent in Elk Grove. But I feel like this will give our residents some peace of mind.”City Council Member Darren Suen
“In short, I support this item. I attended an anti-AAPI hate rally on the corner of Bruceville and Laguna. Hate against AAPI is not acceptable. It is not acceptable against anyone. For those in the back, they need to know that mocking, marginalizing, assaulting, and killing is not cute, funny or cool. Hate and any resulting violence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”City Council Member Kevin Spease
“This [resolution] has definitely been my world for the last couple of weeks here. We [the AAPI community] have always been a target, it has only been recently that there has been more awareness brought to it [the violence]. I look forward to doing more than just this resolution here.”City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen
Pieces Of Legislation For AAPI Communities
Additionally, the City Council will address multiple pieces of legislation. The first piece is the AB 886 Bill, also known as Bonta. This legislation would support and fund non-profit organizations that help victims of racial violence. These organizations also use culturally appropriate mental healthcare for these victims. Furthermore, the legislation would help organizations seeking “restorative justice” for victims. Victims would also be able to seek aid and funding even if the victims did not file a police report.
Another bill was recently signed by the California Governor. AB 86 Budget Trailer Bill gives $1.4 million to research and report hate incidents targeting the AAPI community. Stop AAPI Hate will receive the funding.