Statement on March 16 Atlanta Attack
The murder of eight people, including the lives of six Asian women, in the mass shooting in Georgia, is sickening and deeply tragic. This pandemic has been challenging in many ways, including the upward trend in violence against Asian American Pacific Islanders.
I firmly believe that we will be able to get through this pandemic by supporting one another and by offering kindness. That is what we do in our community. We help with food insecurity issues by collaborating with the Share Food Program and providing food for our neighbors. We also organized our first COVID-19 vaccination event on March 8th and are working toward organizing more events like this. While we hold these events and many others to address urgent needs in our community there is an added benefit of bringing us all together. That is why the attacks against the Asian community are deeply disturbing to me.
Asian American community members have shared reports of harassment and intimidation. I will not stand for this hateful behavior or for violence. On the morning of the shooting, the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate released a horrifying report on more than 3,700 incidents of Anti-Asian American Pacific Islander hate incidents they received in the past year. Hate crimes against Asian Americans are up 150% in 2020 versus the number of incidents reported in 2019.
Please know that if you are the victim of harassment or if you witness harassment and would like to file a complaint about specific incidents of discrimination, please go online to https://www.phrc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx and print a questionnaire. If you are unable to submit the complaint online, please call my office for additional assistance. In the case of physical assault and vandalism, please call 911 to file a report.
To everyone in my district and across the state who has been discriminated against and who is worried about being targeted, please know that we all must stand together. I am grateful to live in such a BEAUTIFUL and DIVERSE community, and I will stand up against hate every day. The diversity of our community is what makes us so strong. This awful tragedy is a result of two epidemics we must overcome: gun violence and racism. I will remain committed to putting a stop to both and continuing to advocate for equity and justice for all regardless of the color of one’s skin.