New York State budget for AAPI communities goes up to $30M

Asian diplomats march with Mayor Eric Adams during the 2nd Asian American and Pacific Islander Cultural and Heritage Parade on May 21. Consul General Senen Mangalile is at right wearing a Grand Marshal sash. Photos by Tess Abutanmo dela Cruz

By Marivir Montebon

A hallmark in the celebration of the Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage in the month of May is the significant increase in the New York State Fiscal Year budget for 2023-2024 of $30 million to AAPI communities.

The office of Assemblymember Steven Raga, the first Filipino American elected official in New York state, said this increase of $10 million from last year’s allocation is a major victory for Filipinos and the broader AAPI communities.

Raga worked with the AAPI Equity Budget Coalition (EBC) for the increased allocation. The EBC is composed of 100 AAPI community leaders and nonprofits and played a pivotal role in advocating for the bigger funding.

“The historic level of funding secured for our AAPI communities in the New York State budget represents a significant step in addressing the systemic discrimination that communities like ours have faced,” Raga said in a press statement.  

“This commitment not only provides resources to combat the distressing rise in hate crimes and Anti-AAPI violence but also empowers Filipino New Yorkers and our fellow Asian communities to establish robust support systems within their neighborhoods,” he continued.

The Filipino community in particular is disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and increase in hate crimes in the city.   

The newly secured funds will be allocated to enhance essential programs within these communities, to build the capacity of local organizations, and to facilitate recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A study by the Pew Research Center in 2019 reported that Chinese Americans are the largest Asian origin group in the U.S., making up 24 percent of the Asian population, or 5.4 million people.They are followed by Indian Americans, who account for 21 percent  or 4.6 million people, and Filipino Americans, comprising 19 percent or 4.2 million people.

Assemblymember Steven Raga: Part of the budget will go toward combating the distressing rise in Anti-AAPI violence.

The Pew Research said that nearly half of U.S. Asians (45 percent) lived on the West Coast. Nearly a third (30 percent) were in California with apopulation of roughly 6.7 million in 2019, by far the nation’s largest. Majority of the U.S. Asians lived in New York (1.9 million), Texas (1.6 million), New Jersey (958,000) and Washington (852,000). A majority of U.S. Asians (55 percent) lived in these five states, said the Pew Research.

The Pew Research also noted that Asian Americans have stepped up in public leadership in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Boston.

In the State Assembly, Raga serves in the committees of Agriculture, Banks, Government Operations, Social Services, and Veterans Affairs. He sits on the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, & Asian Legislative Caucus and the Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative, the New York Legislative Aviation Caucus, the Asian Pacific American Taskforce, and the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Taskforce.

In his first 100 days, he had pushed for the passage of three pieces of legislation which were all signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul:

· A04016: Empowering residents of assisted living facilities to access hospice services, thereby ensuring comprehensive end-of-life care.

· A04453: Enhancing the transparency and accountability of government agencies in New York by addressing their ability to claim copyright protection.

· A06512: Facilitating safety and coordination by providing notice to school districts and nonpublic schools in New York City of relevant construction projects.

According to his office, Raga is co-sponsoring more than 250 bills and over 50 resolutions covering the sectors of education, housing, healthcare, the environment, social justice, and economic development.

Leave a Reply