Last night, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California 2021-2022 budget, which includes the API Equity Budget that fulfills his promise to address racial discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). 

Thanks to the broad coalition of 150 community-based groups organized by CAA and the Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, among others, California will invest over $150 million in AAPI communities. This historic investment addresses racism and xenophobia that our communities have grappled with for decades, as well as the pandemic-related hate that has surged over the past year and a half.

Key provisions include, but are not limited to: 

  • $110 million for community-based organizations who provide victim services and violence prevention;
  • $10 million for an anti-bias block grant to provide funding to schools to pilot restorative justice programs to address hate and racialized bullying; 
  • $5 million for a peer social media network project to address online and mental health challenges facing children and youth;
  • $10 million to improve the disaggregation and accuracy of data collection and promote data equity in documenting AAPI needs and challenges;
  • $10 million for state agencies to work with ethnic media outlets to reach monolingual and underserved communities, including AAPIs; 
  • $10 million for the Stop AAPI Hate coalition to track, respond, and prevent incidents of racial bias and harm.

The passage of the API Equity Budget represents one of the most powerful responses to anti-AAPI racism in the country, and takes a holistic approach to advancing racial justice by centering and investing in impacted communities.  

The budget also demonstrates how lawmakers here and everywhere can go beyond words of support and take actions that address structural racism. Communities of color deserve the trust and investment needed to provide support to victims and survivors, to address both the causes and manifestations of racial injustice, and to recognize that keeping our communities strong and united will make us all safer.

Click here to read our joint statement with the API Legislative Caucus and Stop AAPI Hate about the API Equity Budget and what it means for AAPI communities in California.