Redwood City, Calif. – The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a resolution condemning racism against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The resolution would affirm the County’s “commitment to the safety and well-being of Asian Americans and in combatting hate crimes targeting them.”
“COVID-19 is a public health issue, not a racial one,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, co-author of the resolution who represents District 1. “Characterizing COVID-19 as a ‘Chinese virus’ only encourages hate crimes and incidents against Asian Americans at a time when communities should be working together to get through this crisis.”
As the COVID-19 virus has spread, Asian Americans across the country have reported experiencing offensive comments and actions related to their race, racial profiling, hate incidents, and, in some cases, hate violence, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council.
Supervisor David J. Canepa, who represents District 5 and is also a co-author of the resolution, said, “Rumors and lies about COVID-19 have fueled mistrust, fear and racism against the Chinese and Asian American communities. We cannot let this disease divide us. Rather, this is an opportunity for us to say loud and clear that xenophobia has no place in our community.”
Three in 10 San Mateo County residents are of Asian descent. On April 10, the San Mateo County Asian Pacific Islanders Caucus and Peninsula leaders issued a statement denouncing racism and xenophobia. All five members of the Board of Supervisors signed on to the joint statement.
Tuesday’s resolution would also affirm the County’s commitment “to protect and aid victims of hate acts, and to prosecute and curb hate crimes, related to COVID-19 in partnership with nonprofits, the County of San Mateo’s District Attorney's Office, and our law enforcement partners.”
Pursuant to the Shelter in Place Orders issued by the San Mateo County Health Officer and the Governor, the Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20, and the CDC’s social distancing guidelines which discourage large public gatherings, the Board chambers is no longer open to the public for meetings of the Board of Supervisors.
A video broadcast of the meeting can be viewed at: https://sanmateocounty.legistar.com/.
Closed Captioning will be provided for all Board meetings. While watching the video broadcast, please scroll over the video and click “CC” to turn closed captions on.
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