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March to Stop Asian Hate
Li and Lulu, Chinese immigrants and U.S. citizens, hold signs protesting increases in Asian hate crimes during a March 2021 "March to Stop Asian Hate" in Carlsbad. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Supervisors approve resolution condemning anti-Asian racism

REGION – San Diego County supervisors adopted a resolution denouncing xenophobia and anti-Asian racism, it was announced today.

During a Tuesday meeting that ran until 11:30 p.m. due to a packed agenda, supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, put forth by board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chairwoman Nora Vargas.

According to the resolution, “San Diego County joins cities, counties and states across the country in affirming its commitment to the safety and well-being of citizens, non-citizens and visitors with ancestry from the Asia Pacific region and in combating racist acts targeting (Asian Pacific Islanders).”

“San Diego County, in partnership with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, as well as other appropriate officials and agencies across the county, will continue its efforts to protect API residents and victims of discrimination and to curb hate acts related to COVID-19 as well as those inflicted upon Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Muslim and LGBTQIA communities, and people with disabilities,” the resolution stated.

The entire resolution is available online here.

“In January we declared racism a public health crisis, and today our board stood united with our Asian American and Pacific Islander community to say we will not tolerate acts of hate or xenophobia of any kind,” Fletcher said in a statement issued after the meeting. “We will continue to stand up against racism to make sure all people feel safe and that they belong in our county.”

During a March 24 news conference, Fletcher and Vargas joined with local Asian-American/Pacific Islander leaders to denounce hate and announce plans for the resolution.

“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 during the event. “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.

“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.”

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