We Stand United with our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Communities
Written by Keith Kaplan & Michael Pagan with members of Grace Community Chapel
The Teaneck Council will be adopting a Resolution on Thursday night declaring solidarity with Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Communities to stand in support with those affected by the terrible shooting in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16th.
Sadly, hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment have jumped 1,900% in New York City in 2020 and almost 3,000 reports of anti-Asian discrimination between March 19 and December 31, 2020 have been recorded by the Stop AAPI Hate.
Moreover, racially-motivated assaults and harassment targeting of AAPI seniors have dramatically increased and include the recent attack and subsequent tragic death of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco on January 28, 2021.
In response to the xenophobic and inflammatory rhetoric about COVID-19, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued an Executive Order on January 26th during the first week of his administration to show that most Americans across the country abhor this type of behavior by the bigots who commit these crimes.
The Teaneck Mayor and Council unanimously passed a resolution rejecting hate within the Township and support measures at the municipal and state level to combat the insidious and persistent impact of racism.
The Resolution that will be adopted by the Teaneck Council this Thursday night will:
- Condemn and denounce racism, xenophobia and intolerance in all forms;
- Call on public officials in other municipalities and at the county and state levels to condemn and denounce racism, xenophobia and intolerance in all forms and stand with us in solidarity with AAPI communities;
- Continue to promote and advocate for equality and equity through all policies approved by the Mayor and Council;
- Recognize the dedication of AAPI frontline medical workers, teachers, police and fire officers and essential workers. They along with their colleagues show up to work everyday so that our society can still function. The strain of COVID is particularly heavy for AAPI essential workers because they have been personally attacked for their ethnicity in the midst of providing essential services;
- Continue to advocate locally and through the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, New Jersey Conference of Mayors and all other appropriate associations for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color;
- Support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism;
- Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis;
- Support community efforts, including through the Township’s Advisory Boards and Forums, to combat discrimination and xenophobia while engaging actively and authentically with communities of color;
- Strive to be the example of racial, religious and ethnic acceptance;
- Foster an environment of inclusion and acceptance in all Township sanctioned events;
- Promote and support policies and resources that prioritize the health of all people, such as bystander intervention programs like https://www.ihollaback.
- Encourage racial equality among all community partners, vendors and contractors;
- Call upon Bergen County Executive Tedesco and the Bergen County Board of Commissioners to declare racism as a public health crisis and to ensure equality in all policies in the County of Bergen; and
- Call upon Governor Murphy, State Senate President Sweeney, and State Assembly Speaker Coughlin to also declare racism as a public health crisis and to ensure equality in all policies of the state of New Jersey.
One of Teaneck’s greatest strengths is its diversity and we will continue to work to ensure that hate has no home here. We stand united with our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Communities and vow to always fight for justice and fairness within Teaneck’s borders and beyond.
Mark Schwartz, Karen Lew Orgen, Keith Kaplan, Michael Pagan
Henry Liao, Jae Park, Jay Suh, Sean Suh, Steven Lee, Samuel Lim, Diana Yu
Members of Grace Community Chapel