The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to create a public messaging campaign to combat anti-Asian American/Pacific Islander hate speech.
Council members Nithya Raman, John Lee and Mark Ridley-Thomas authored the motion that directs the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department to initiate the public messaging campaign in collaboration with AAPI artists.
The motion passed on a 14-0 vote, with one member absent.
“The rise in anti-AAPI violence has occurred consistent with a coordinated barrage of racist, anti-AAPI conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 virus. The city of Los Angeles not only condemns anti-AAPI violence, but likewise condemns the anti-AAPI hate speech that, in large part, is responsible for inciting it,” the motion reads.
Asian Americans make up about 12% of L.A.’s population, and hate crimes against the community increased by 114% in 2020, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, which was launched in March 2020, said 360 hate incidents in Los Angeles weren reported to the nonprofit in the website’s first year, among 3,800 nationwide.