Officials and Community Rally In Support of Asian American Community

Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley), alongside Senator John Liu (D-Queens), Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburgh), other state and local officials, as well as the Orange County Chinese Association and local residents, rallied outside Senator Skoufis’ Newburgh office in support of the Asian American community. In light of recent disturbing attacks on Asian Americans and the surge in targeted violence against Asian-owned businesses, lawmakers and the community denounced this egregious behavior and made it clear that it has no place in the Hudson Valley, or anywhere else. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed over the past year. A report recently released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism revealed that Anti-Asian hate crimes increased nationally by nearly 150% in 2020 despite total  overall hate crimes dropping by 7% during that same time.

“I stand in complete solidarity with the Asian American community,” said Senator Skoufis. “I’m calling on our neighbors across the district to not only strongly denounce any anti-Asian discrimination they see but also show our Asian American neighbors and business owners extra support during this time. We can all do better and must work to put an end to this disturbing and unacceptable reality. My deepest gratitude to Senator John Liu, Kangjian Wu, and Christine Wang for all sharing their experiences and highlighting why we must all stand together.”

Senator John Liu said,”In this past year of global pandemic, the Asian American community has faced a secondary virus, that of hate and bigotry. The shooting spree in Atlanta was heinous and horrific, and I hope and pray that that becomes the culmination of the onslaught of anti-Asian bias and hate. As Asian Americans all across the state of New York struggle with pain and hardship, we are thankful that Senator Skoufis has convened this gathering and continues to work hand-in-hand with community leaders.”

Assemblymember Jacobson said, “I am proud to be here today with my Senate colleagues and other local officials to stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends and neighbors. Over the past year, racist and xenophobic rhetoric has fueled an increase in violence against the AAPI community. Last week, this culminated in the senseless murder of 8 innocent victims, including 6 Asian American women. This hatred and demonization must stop, and we must work together to bring it to an end.” 

Kangjian Wu, President of the Orange County Chinese Association, said “We are seeing escalated violence and racist-motivated murders toward our community in the United States. We must come together to put an end to this and all speak up whenever we see it occurring.”

Christine Wang, a Beacon resident said, “The tragic recent events have triggered memories of being spat on when walking down Main Street in Beacon. This should not happen here or anywhere – to me, or to anyone. Asian women are hyper anxious right now because of the violence toward us and the time to speak up for them is now. I’m asking for us to be recognized and for our communities to take action.”

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, “The recent increase in hate and violence against Asian Americans throughout this country is deeply concerning. There is no place for behavior such as this in Orange County or anywhere, and it will not be tolerated. The rally organized by Senator Skoufis provided an important forum to support the Asian American community, and reinforced that we will work together to defend and safeguard the human rights of everyone in our County.” 

Senator Mike Martucci said,”I strongly denounce the rise in hate crimes and violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAPI communities in my district and across our state and our country are just like every one of us working to achieve the American dream. Their cultural contributions and achievements are a tremendous benefit to our society and those seeking to harm or disparage them should be universally condemned. Together, we can, and we must put a stop to it.”

(Photos by Edie Johnson)

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