Politics AAPI PAC launches nonprofit, think tank amid rise in hate crimes
New bid for hate crime laws in Wyoming, 1 of 3 states without them
Wyoming lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill aimed at combating hate crimes in the state where Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998. © Andy Carpenean / AP Anti-Discrimination More than two decades later, Wyoming remains without the law even though the 2009 federal anti-hate crime law bears Shepard's name. A state hate crime bill narrowly failed to pass the legislature the year after Shepard's killing, and several more attempts to introduce bills since then have failed to gain traction, according to a report on hate crimes in Wyoming issued by an advisory committee to the U.S.
The AAPI Victory Fund PAC launched a nonprofit and think tank on Monday amid the recent rise in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
The nonprofit AAPI Victory Alliance replaces AAPI Progressive Action and will include a think tank aimed at addressing policy through an AAPI perspective. The Victory Fund said it will be the only AAPI organization that includes a PAC, think tank and nonprofit 501(c)4.
The Hill was the first news outlet to report on the launch.
"We were trying our best to respond as an organization to the last year-plus of acts of hate and race violence against our community," the group's executive director, Varun Nikore, told The Hill.
Police, communities across U.S. fight back against anti-Asian hate crimes
Police, communities across U.S. fight back against anti-Asian hate crimesSAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - More than a dozen San Jose, California, police officers walked through the white arches of the Grand Century Mall in "Little Saigon" to reassure a Vietnamese-American community fearful over the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States.
"It's such an important time to show leadership and the path forward, frankly, that will allow us to take our grief and our hurt and our pain and channel it into more positive things for our community," he continued.
The Victory Alliance hopes to work with lawmakers at all levels of government to enact policies that will benefit the AAPI community and continue to build support for AAPI political candidates.
The launch comes as hate crimes against the community have skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, eight people, including six Asian American women, were killed during a shooting rampage at Atlanta-area spas.
The group's rollout also comes as more members of AAPI communities become more politically active in the U.S.
Lobby staff fired after attack on Asian American woman outside apartment building
Two employees who were on duty when a 65-year-old Asian American woman was attacked outside a New York City apartment building last week have been fired. The Brodsky Organization, which owns the building, had initially suspended the pair pending an investigation in conjunction with their union.
Rep. Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, last month launched In Our Hands PAC, which will recruit and support Asian American and Pacific Islander candidates and other candidates of color.
Vice President Harris also became the first South Asian and first Black person to hold the nation's second-highest executive office earlier this year, while Reps. Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) became some of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress.
AAPI voters voted in record numbers in the 2020 election cycle, playing a crucial role in states like Georgia, where some counts show their voter participation doubling, helping Democrats flip the Republican stronghold.
Trump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle .
Ninety-two senators voted last week to advance an Asian American hate crimes bill. But its passage likely depends on Democrats agreeing to soften language that Republicans say ties hate crimes too narrowly to the characterization of COVID-19 as the "China virus."Even Republicans who voted to advance the hate crimes legislation sponsored by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) see it as a jab at President Trump. The bill links his characterization of COVID-19 as the "China virus" to racist and hateful acts. Republicans also see language in the bill as opening the door to politically correct thought-police squads.