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When GoFundMe Is Not Enough: State Dollars Will Go Directly To Victims of Anti-Asian Incidents.

An older Vietnamese American woman wearing a mask, sunglasses and a light blue blouse practices self-defense moves on a male volunteer wearing a mask and a black t-shirt outside the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster.
An older Vietnamese American woman practices self-defense moves on a volunteer with the group Seniors Fight Back outside the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster.
(Josie Huang/LAist)
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Asian American leaders huddled in meetings in Anaheim and Los Angeles on Monday to talk about how to use millions of state dollars approved by legislators this year to address a rise in anti-Asian incidents.

State Assembly member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, a champion of the $166.5 million API Equity Fund, convened the meetings. He said the money will be invested in legal and counseling services, as well as victim funds, for those attacked in anti-Asian incidents.

"The (victim and the family) needs to spend immediately," Ting said. "They have bills to pay. They have health care to go get. Oftentimes, the GoFundMe's or the fundraising comes later."

About two-thirds of the funds — $110 million over three years — will go directly to victim services and prevention.

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The remainder will be used to fund projects such as the California-based non-profit Stop AAPI Hate, which has been tracking anti-Asian incidents around the country. Funding will also be used for data collection on Asian Americans, and pilot programs in California schools aimed at preventing bias and bullying.

Ting said $10 million in grants will also go to ethnic news outlets on which immigrant seniors are heavily dependent.

"For many people who are monolingual, ethnic media is the only way they get information," Ting said. "And they provide a very critical resource on where to get help, how to get help, and also what to do."

Different state agencies will begin soliciting bids for grants and services this year, Ting said.

Another $10 million has been set aside for a statewide hotline to report hate crimes and incidents in all communities. But the program is temporarily on hold as legislators hold conversations with the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom on how the hotline would work, Ting said.

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On Monday Ting first met with groups such as the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance in Anaheim before heading to Los Angeles to hold discussions with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA.

Southern California continues to receive reports of anti-Asian attacks.

In a recent interview, Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee, who's been in L.A. to film Dancing With The Stars, said she was verbally attacked last month and pepper sprayed on the arm while on a sidewalk with friends.

Aileen Louie, vice president of development at AAAJ-LA , said "we can count ourselves fortunate that we have not seen the kind of violence that we saw in Atlanta and other places in the state."

"But it doesn't mean that this hate has gone away," Louie said. "In many ways, it's kind of reverted back to this kind of like, every day, feeling like a foreigner."

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Just a couple of months ago, Louie's daughter’s Chinese American student organization at UCLA had an informational table set up when a passerby told them there were too many Asians on campus and that they didn't belong there.

Louie, who remembers enduring similar comments when she was at UCLA, said "it was sad to hear that my daughter had to experience the same thing that I had experienced."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported the first name of Aileen Louie.

Have a question about Southern California's Asian American communities?
Josie Huang reports on the intersection of being Asian and American and the impact of those growing communities in Southern California.