Akron, OH, April 4, 2022 – Asian Services in Action (ASIA), a community based non-profit organization serving Asian, new immigrant, and refugee communities in Ohio, will be hosting an advocacy event at the Ohio Statehouse on April 5, 2022 from 9AM to 2PM to show support for a state Office of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affairs.
They will bring nearly 200 staff members, clients, community members, and non-profit partners to Columbus to speak with elected officials about the importance of Ohio Senate Bill 87 and House Bill 224, which call for an AAPI Commission, and Senate Bill 214, which calls for AAPI history in K-12 education. The existence of such an office would advise Ohio’s state government on the affairs, concerns, and perspectives of its steadily increasing AAPI population. It would also provide equitable access to resources for AAPI communication, such as language translation for all state materials.
Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are often overlooked by local and state governments even though the number of voter-eligible AAPI individuals in Ohio has increased by over 39% since 2012 according to APIA Vote. Ohio currently has commissions for Hispanic affairs and African Immigrant affairs respectively, which have benefited their communities and guaranteed Spanish language translation of materials for the Hispanic population. Currently, the AAPI population of Ohio is larger than the new African immigrant population, which emphasizes the necessity and benefit of a commission on their behalf.
The rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes across the United States, including in Cleveland, OH, has also highlighted the urgent need for an Office of AAPI Affairs that would prioritize AAPI protection and equity. Within the first year of the pandemic alone, Cleveland’s Asian community experienced 41 anti-Asian hate crimes as reported by “Stop AAPI Hate.”
ASIA will meet with state senators and representatives to introduce them to AAPI constituents as well as show that the community cares about the establishment of this office.
Speaking in support of an Office of AAPI Affairs, ASIA’s CEO, Elaine Tso, shared: “The Asian American Pacific Islander community in Ohio is more diverse than most people know. Our communities speak dozens of different languages and dialects. Language access is essential for the newly arrived Limited English Proficient (LEP) immigrant and refugee population. Ohio is also home to thousands of Marshallese community members with significant chronic health issues as a direct result of nuclear testing conducted by the U.S. on the Marshall Islands. An Office of AAPI Affairs would aim to provide equitable access to resources based on these varying needs.”
To support an Office for Asian American & Pacific Islander Affairs, contact Sen. Kristine Roegner (Chair of the Committee for Government Oversight and Reform) at firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen. Andrew Brenner (Chair of the Committee for Primary and Secondary Education) at email@example.com, and Senate President Matt Huffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASIA is the largest health and human services agency serving the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community of Northeast Ohio. ASIA specializes in linguistically and culturally focused services for immigrants and refugees.
MEDIA CONTACT: Anna Chen
PHONE: 330-535-3263 ext 4692