Sen. Kelly Votes for Bipartisan Bill to Address Anti-AAPI Hate Crimes
Kelly co-sponsored The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeting Asian Americans
Today Arizona Senator Mark Kelly voted to pass The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and co-sponsored by Kelly, and issued the following statement on this bipartisan legislation to address the rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
“Violent acts of hate against the Asian American community will not be tolerated and this bipartisan bill takes important steps to give communities and law enforcement additional tools to crack down on hate crimes. Every Arizonan, regardless of race, deserves to live a life free from discrimination,” said Senator Mark Kelly.
“We are grateful for Senator Mark Kelly’s support for such important legislation to address the rising acts of hate against the Asian American community. We appreciate that he has taken the time not only to listen but engage in such important discussions and policy,” Vicente Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Chamber of Commerce.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would address the rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community by:
- Requiring the Attorney General to designate a person whose responsibility will be to expedite review of COVID-19 hate crimes reported to law enforcement.
- Providing guidance to state and local law enforcement on establishing an online reporting system that’s available in multiple languages as well as expanding culturally appropriate public education campaigns and the collection of data.
- Ensuring that the guidance issued by the Department of Justice is inclusive of all people, including people with disabilities.
In early April, during the Senate’s state work period, Kelly met with the Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce in Mesa where he listened to leaders about the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and steps congressional leaders could take in Washington, D.C. like passing The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, among other legislative priorities.