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tv   U.S. Conference of Mayors Hold Meeting on Violence Against Asian Americans  CSPAN  April 11, 2021 6:16pm-7:13pm EDT

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monday, liz cheney discusses the future of the republican party and the conservative movement. people speak at georgetown university -- she will speak at georgetown university. >> next, a look at the rise in hate crimes against asian americans and pacific islanders with mayors from around the u.s. and white house officials. they discuss ways to respond to and prevent these crimes. >> we have all been appalled by the increase in violence in hate crimes directed at asian americans over the last year. these acts have no place in our cities or our nation. the united states conference of mayors have always urged mayor
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to speak out on hate crimes whenever they occur and we have urged our police departments to report all hate crimes to the fbi. hate crimes against asian people is nothing new. we had a four miss -- we had a famous mayor who interned thousands at the direction of president roosevelt, incarcerations for over 120,000 people. we have had a past president who has referred to the virus as the kung flu, which is not helped either. i have had discussions and conversations over the last few months because of the increase we have seen with asian hate crimes in be have discussed the
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need to bring this together and we have had a great leader inside our organization from day one who created a compassionate center for cities, that is mayor greg fischer. i would like to turn this over to mayor greg fischer for a mark sandy thank all of you who have been here with us today, recognizing that we are going to do everything began to support the good asian people with their ancestry and to americans. thank you very much. >> thank you to the staff. i want to thank fremont mayor for organizing this webinar on this serious topic. on one hand, it is an honor that the united states conference of mayors as a platform to speak out against hate and discrimination. on the other hand, it is sad that we have to do this too often. whenever any type of hate or
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discrimination appears, people of america can depend on the conference of mayors to speak out. when we talk about timely, much 16, 8 people were killed in and around atlanta, six of them women of asian descent. this past monday, a 65-year-old was brutally attacked in new york and was told she did not belong here i her attacker. three men who witnessed the attack stood by, did not do anything. this makes your blood boil, mixture -- makes your mouth vile. it is disgusting and it is unacceptable. unfortunately, it is nothing new. such acts against asian americans and pacific islanders have been increasing and becoming all too common in our country today. one way beacon stamp that out is to speak up. on tuesday, president biden
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announced additional actions do respond to anti-asian violence, xenophobia, and biased actions that expand on similar efforts. he is a leader in this area that we are all grateful for. there is no place in our country for hatred or racism of any kind , it betrays the idea of the foundation of our country, and we as mayors have to condemn, must condemn, we will continue to condemn any type of hatred or racist violence in the strongest possible terms. when i became mayor a little over 10 years ago, we established compassion as one of our founding values in our city and by compassion, we mean respect for every one of our residents so their potential is flourishing. we extended that value of compassion as a priori already with the conference to promote
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compassion and equity anytime that we could in any instance that we could. this webinar has been organized as part of the conference's work. it is going to take all of us to work together to stand up to injustice anytime we see it to make our city and nation more inclusive so that people of every race, national origin, and ethnicity feel safe, secure, and accepted, and not just accepted, but embraced and celebrated for who they are in the beauty they bring to our country. let me introduce an outstanding mayor and board member of the u.s. conference of mayor, mayor lily may, who is going to moderate this session. thank you for your leadership. >> thank you for being with us today. and for that kind introduction.
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i am the mayor of fremont, california, which is also a city that treasures compassion. like many chinese americans, i have experienced discrimination throughout my life, whether it was as a child growing up in pennsylvania, in the vietnam war era, having faith some of that directly as a student and as a community member where i was wondering by people were upset or hating on my family and not understanding how we could discuss this topic that is so emotional, or even more recently, in this era, when we have this conversation, i was shocked to see how some of these conversations, because of the rhetoric being discussed with covid, would lead some people to create allegations when i was creating information and asking
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people to be conscientious of the covid-19 impact that i would be called out as a communist, called out as a spy, and you watch people who are bystanders or friends not speak up, including fellow electeds at times. i think we owe this as community leaders to make sure that this conversation is being held and discussed. it is important that, in the situation we have, we want everyone to know today that this is something we are inviting all of you to be part of this conversation and this is open to the press and c-span is recording today's discussion. horrific murders in atlanta shocked our nation and but it all to ahead and the violence inflicted on a 65-year-old filipino woman is beyond the pale, but not that unusual. today, we are honored to have with us john yang, the executive
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director of asian americans advancing justice, who will provide an update on anti-aapi incidents and violence and some advice for mayors about what they can do in their cities to prevent and respond to these incidents. we are especially pleased to have two officials from the white house, the director of the office of public engagement and the associate director of the office of internal governmental affairs -- they are going to guide us on president biden's actions on how to respond on hate crimes. another mayor will discuss her thoughts on the current situation and what she has been doing to make the aapi community feel included and safe. let's get on with it.
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john yang, the floor is yours. >> thank you very much, and thank you for your opening remarks. i thought what i might do is talk about where we are, how we got here, and where we go from here. you have seen the news, i appreciate the mayors talking about the recent attacks in new york and the murders in atlanta. what we are seeing in terms of where we are is between an organization called stop aapi hate in california and our organization, there are about 4500 reports that we have received, self-reports, voluntary reports of anti-asian attacks since february of 2020. of that 4500, about 90% would not qualify as a hate crime, they would fall under the category of leading -- bullying,
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it would include spitting, ethnic slurs, things of that nature. one thing i would ask all of you to remember is there is potentially a law enforcement element to it, but a lot of what our community is looking at is not necessarily deserve a law enforcement response, it is just this notion of how do we protect our community, how do we make sure our community feel safer? in terms of how we got here, i think both mayors started an outline. that is number one, october 19. covid-19 produces fear -- number one, covid-19. covid-19 produces fear and that is understandable. with respect to the prior president and other policymakers or people with media voices, the asian-american community was made at target of that fear.
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it could be a scapegoat of that fear. there is that that we have to wrestle with and the fact that the previous administration, there is still a ripple effect. i also want to emphasize that independent of covid-19, this is going to be an issue that we are going to have to continue to grapple with. what i mean by that is our geopolitical tensions with the chinese government are real. there are things we should be calling them out on, whether it is free press, the treatment of uygers, we should be doing that, but we need to be careful not to make a link such that the asian-american community back here in the united states becomes that scapegoat or that target. we have seen that happen in the past. when we were in world war ii, the empire of japan was an enemy of ours, but that did not mean japanese-americans should have been treated the way they were. we saw that after 9/11 when
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there were terrorist attacks on our soil, but that does not mean there should have been backlash against our arab, muslim, and southeast american committees. this will continue and we need to be smart and how we talk about some of these challenges that we face. in terms of where we go from here, there are a few thoughts i have. first is, for the asian-american community, what we are grappling with typically is two stereotypes. one is that of the perpetual foreigner, this notion that no matter how long we have been in this country, we are seen as a foreigner, we are seen as an other, and therefore we are seen as something less than, sometimes subhuman, and that we are not deserving of respect. that is one narrative we must continue to call out and recognize that asian americans are on the front lines addressing covid-19, whether it is in grocery stores, on farms,
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in health professions. number two is with respect to these stereotypes, on the good side is what we call the model minority stereotype, the notion that asian americans should not be complaining because the perception is that we are doing fine economically, the education level, we are doing above the median, so to speak. when we break that down, that is not true. it is true that there are asian americans doing well, would like easy -- like any committee, there is a gap. the gap between the low was in highest and the asian-american committee is the largest of any community in the united states. making sure we are mindful of that stereotype as well. in terms of where do we go, i think the mayors hit up on it, we need to speak out against these issues and make sure people understand that this is real. if you talk to your asian-american constituents,
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this is not just in the back of their you should not be fearful of raising the topic because this is on their mind. we would ask you all to continue to speak out of your press conferences and different events that you have. the fact that president biden spent a full minute during prime time coverage of his speech talking about the covid relief package was important because admit made our community visible. number two, make sure you meet with your asian american constituents. they need to be seen right now. they need to feel like there are people looking out for them and that they are being protected. so try to host some events to make sure that you give them that space. there is a feeling of pain and suffering. and part of it is for them to have the ability to recognize that people in positions of power are seeing them. number 3, on a tactical level,
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consider creating a task force of some sort that would address these issues. don't just focus on the law-enforcement aspect, yes, that is an aspect that absolutely must be addressed when we are talking hate crimes and violence, but it has to include mental health, because of the trauma the victims have. in the victims are not just the crime victims, the task force should include community groups working on these issues. but also include elements within your government structure that think about how we get into the education space, whether it is with school districts, to make sure we have the proper narratives. the last thing i would offer is, what we call bystander intervention training. making sure people are aware of what they do if they see discrimination in front of them. as angry as i was about the
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attack on that woman, i was more. at the three individuals that did nothing. one of the things i recognize is, we don't want to put anybody in physical harm's way. i don't know exactly with those three individuals were facing during that attack themselves, but after the attack, the fact that they first closed the door to the building and did not do anything for at least two minutes before they decided to go out makes no sense. the other piece is, speak up and find ways to talk to the victims if you don't feel like you are equipped to do something in that moment. find the tools that you need so our community members feel more safe. i am happy to engage in further discussions. not just our community, but the reality is that we're in a
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moment of racial reckoning in this country. to me and to our community, this is a segment that is part of what we saw with george floyd, ahmaud arbery, and breonna taylor. we need to show solidarity across all communities of color. have these courageous conversations with our communities about what we can do and address it together. i'm happy to answer questions. i will turn the mic over to gabe to talk about what the white house is doing. gabe: thank you, john. i am from the white house.
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i would like to provide a detailed update on the current administration, and what they are doing to address asian violence. chris invited inside a presidential memorandum the first week of office. combating racism and intolerance is asian americans in the united states. in his address to the nation, the president also condemned anti-asian violence as an american and called on everything american to help. following the tragic murders of the individuals in atlanta, -- including women of asian descent, the president and vice president went to atlanta and engaged with asian american leaders. additionally white house officials in the office of public engagement, the office of governmental affairs and general policy council convened roundtables and listening sessions to discuss this issue. following up with the following up with leaders. also combating the asian violence is among the department's highest priorities
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, taking a look at ways to reinvigorate the department of hate crimes and prevention initiatives to identify ways that we can expand data collection and reporting. combating anti-asian violence is among the department's highest priorities, and they are taking a fresh look at ways to reinvigorate the initiative to identify ways we can improve and expand reporting. additionally, the department of health and human services hosted a conversation with asian american leaders to discuss equity in the nation's covid-19 response, and announced combating xenophobia as one of the top priorities of the equity task force. and last friday, the national day of action and healing, the white house office of public engagement hosted an event with cedric richmond and the national asian american chamber of commerce.
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a priority for this administration is to condemn at anti-asian violence. the president called on congress to pass the sponsored act by senator hirono. 15% of all appointees like myself identify as asian american and pacific islander. we will now go over the events of this week. >> thank you to all the mayors. early this week, actually on tuesday, the president released a worksheet. it will include reinstating and reinvigorating the white house initiative on asian americans and pacific islanders, with specific focus on anti-asian violence, combating violence, especially anti-asian violence and the intersection of --. the president will meet with
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asian american leaders and organizations to hear their initiatives and community engagement. the president will appoint a director to lead the initiative in the coordination of policies impacting asian americans and pacific islanders. the department of health and human services allocated money to a program, for community based services and programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who face barriers such as language barriers. the president also created a department of justice initiative to address anti-asian violence. this included reinstating the department of hate crimes enforcement initiative focused on the rise of hate crimes in the community, publishing a new hate crime page to ensure transparency international hate crime data, into sharing the
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spotlight on anti-asian violence , partnering with community-based organizations to expand public education and awareness about hate crime reporting, prevention, and response. and also holding nationwide civil rights training events for both state, local and law enforcement reporting of hate crimes. health and human services also announced the establishment of a sub committee to help with inequity and xenophobia, with emphasis on advancing inequity for specific asian communities including pacific islander communities who have been proportionately been affected by and died from covid-19. there will also be a virtual library to educate civic leaders and families to explore asian american history and address the ongoing challenge of anti-asian discrimination and racism in the united states.
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in the biden administration, we are committed to working hand-in-hand with leaders, civil rights organizations and communities to provide fairness, opportunity and equity for all. thank you all for the leadership. and thank you for addressing this in your cities. we're with the resources, so please reach out anytime. i will pass it back to you. >> thank you. next, we will hear from the mayor, who will share some of her personal experiences and her insights as leader for the u.s. conference of mayors. welcome. >> thank you. thank you for your leadership. thank you, president bishop for your leadership, enter tom cochran for your leadership with the u.s. conference of mayors and all of the activities we need to address. everything that is going on in our country. what we are experiencing is something that everyone has
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spoken to, that it is something that we cannot tolerate in our country. so let me tell you a little bit about myself and i will go on and talk to you about what i did here in my community right after the atlanta massacre. and then what we have been doing in my community since i became mayor, in building the building blocks. as you see, in my background, in 2019, we started our --. another building block. this is a brand that everybody belongs here in burnsville. i use this as my backdrop because i want people to know that when you think about burnsville, you are thinking about a community where everybody belongs here. the day after what happened in atlanta, i decided that i wanted to make sure that i connected
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with the people of my community, my asian american community. i went out to all the stores in my community -- there are a lot of shoppers. target, walmart, costco, and i went around with a handful of business cards. i went up to asian americans and introduced myself, told them who i am, handed them my card, and asked them if they lived in burnsville. most of them did. i asked if they felt safe. they said they did. those who did not live in burnsville but worked in burnsville were very appreciative that someone cared enough to ask them how they were doing and if they felt safe. that did not mean that my community members did not feel safe, that they know me and i know that i have been there. this morning i went for my last
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shot at the hospital for covid-19. we had nurses, asian american nurses. i went up to them, handed my card, introduced myself and asked if they were safe. they did not live in burnsville, they do work in burnsville at a hospital. and they were very appreciative. people need to know that they are cared about. april need to know that we know what is going on and that we are going to reach out. so this is what i have been doing. i also went to the business where i manicure and pedicure, run by vietnamese women. i asked them how they were doing. i asked if they felt safe, and they did. i also asked if they had a plan, and to be vigilant. they didn't have a plan. i helped them to work with a
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plan and what they needed to do, and i handed my card to each one of the women who were there and i said, everybody is involved in this. you see something, called 911. they were very appreciative. so these are practical things that leaders can do on an ongoing basis. so about 15 years ago, what we did in burnsville was to make sure that people knew that they were cared about. we launched "i love burnsville" which goes on and still is very active today. what is "i love burnsville?" throughout burnsville, our community is integrated and we are very international community. there isn't a chinese neighborhood, a somali neighborhood, and so forth, everybody is integrated within the neighborhood. and what we wanted was to help people to get to know one another. we believe that when you get to know one another, then you're
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not going to be afraid of that person or see that person as the other. that person belongs as a part of your neighborhood. we had different activities for about a week, and then everybody did that. but we also built onto that with our night to unite, in august, where we go with our police officers and everybody to the neighborhood and talk to people and help them understand what their city and their law enforcement can do to help. all of these things that we do are building blocks. we even went to our schools for "love burnsville." and our third-graders write an essay about why they love burnsville. ", by the way, we partner with a credit union. what the credit union does is give $25 to each student who wins into the teacher and they
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write these essays. so every third-grader all the schools in our community is asked to write about it. what comes out of those essays is not only the park system that they enjoy, but what they find is that they feel safe in the community. they also like their neighbors because everybody is different, and they talk about that. i find that very refreshing. and we do this on an ongoing basis and continue to build the building blocks around all of this. mayors, what i think we need to do is be courageous. we need to be our community when these things happen. i can tell you from my experience when you are out there as a leader, your community members realize that they are no longer invisible. and they are recognized.
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one of the biggest -- one of the primary values we have here is mutual respect and inclusion. that is why "you belong here" is important. this is about a community that welcomes everyone and is inclusive. one of the things that i want all of us to understand as mayors is that those things like going up and asking when these tragedies happen throughout the our country, and find out how are people feeling, it helps a great deal. last summer during the riots and protests in minneapolis, which is just down the road from me, my community members kn that i am there for themow -- my community members know that i am there for them.
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they talked with me about 20 to have a protest, about wanting a rally. he said, what do you need? they said they did not want a police presence. my police chief was with me and he said, ok. we won't have a police presence. however, we want to know how you're going to conduct these rallies and protests, because if it goes sideways we need to make sure the community is safe. they understood that. i also told them, this is your home. you are a partner in helping us to ensure that a work in unity is safe. you have the right to free speech. you have the right to rally. but at the same time, you have an obligation to make sure your home, your community is safe. let me tell you, we had peaceful protest, and we had peaceful rallies. we also said to them, do you want to be present? one of the rallies was put
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together by young people. they said, yes. i was there and the superintendent was there so we had the leadership there, and from the chamber of commerce. . we made sure people knew we were there to support them. they had their rally, two and a half hours. everybody disbanded. but people felt heard. they felt that they were heard. even the protesters. i was there sitting with some other the women, talking with them, and they felt that they were cared about. they were not invisible, and that the leadership of the community came and listened and sat. so, what we need to do, mayors, is make sure we are out there front and center, so that our people know that we care about them and they are not invisible.
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thank you, mayors. >> thank you, mayor katz, and thanks to john, howard and gabe, for your excellent presentations. i would like to add that in my city of fremont, i have heard the same conversations, which is, is it enough just to do a proclamation, and what can we do to unite our communities in these challenging times? some other things we did early on in our city is when the first -- the wuhan virus, as it was called, was coming out. so myself and one of our councilmembers, we were part of a press conference that covered a lot of the local restaurants and we pulled in some of the local media, sure people understand that there was no rational fear in going to those businesses, and speak out for
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them. in our city, we worked with the police department to create a "what is a hate crime" brochure. we also created public service announcements so people could see some of the examples of what we were thinking. and in fact, most recently, the das office formed a special task force to focus on these hate crimes and racism. we also worked closely with community-based organizations. many of us could already sense some of the conversations and the uprising in terms of the frustration of being covid-coop ed. so whether it is working with fellow organizations, working with our citizens for better community, a lot of people came out in force, in partnership with so many organizations such as rotarians and others that helped with donations of ppe and supply and aid. when so many of our frontline
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workers are struggling, -- we just celebrated with our nurses and frontline workers -- there was many opportunities where the community came out, restaurants, business owners, and work hard to keep our communities safe. we are part of the solution. we are not the problem. we are here to work with you to address the concerns and the needs of the people. i want to thank my fellow mayors who joined me at the mayors conference. it was not enough that our city dated alone, but that we united all the mayors of the country joined in the resolution. not only did they not stop there, they continued to have these conversations with their own communities. it was a ripple effect that amplified within our bay area region. some of the other things that have been occurring not just to do with this day, because it is not just about
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anti-asian, it is about making sure everybody feels valued inner-city, deserved and welcomed in our city. we are a compassionate city. some of the things we value and treasure is the diversity of heritages and cultures in our community, so we celebrate every year, interfaith worship day. my former experience, i served two terms on the school board and i meet the immediate president of the national league of --, and we have learned that we need to have this constant conversation. it is not just about asian leaders, it is about communities that have asian populations, give them a voice. as john mentioned earlier when it comes to education, i think it is the struggle that we face so many times, that when talking about a racial disparity" relaxes, that we're not recognizing that there is such a wide breadth of economic and
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educational opportunities within the asian community itself. it is important we recognize that it is not just one stereotype. certainly when we talk about what is being said, it is important that we highlight what is being portrayed in the media, too, recognize that you cannot stereotype people into misrepresentation, in terms of being nerds or dragon ladies or other things. i think it is important that we have, normal people that are in the community. that is what we are hoping. at this time, i would like to turn it to my fellow mayors and others for conversation and questions. i will pull that up and sleep we have some questions. are there examples he would like to give, john? actually, mayor fischer, before you leave, i know that you have
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spent so much -- you have done so much any city of louisville. is there something you would like to share? mayor fischer: just emphasize what is the work that you do to prepare for when a tragedy or an incident of hate happens in your community? you beautifully spoke to that. over interfaith tradition here is really strong. we are constantly calling people together that normally would not interact with each other, because isn't that what is really at the root of otherism? because they don't know each other? isolation is our enemy. more than 365 days a year, intentionally bringing people together that normally would not interact with each other to build the kind of social muscle that we need, so when a tragedy transpires, the city coalesces together so you can make the best of the worst situation and
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hopefully --. after the racial -- of the last year, we are emerging as a stronger city. we are emerging as a stronger nation as a result of these hate crimes, because people are talking about it. their consciousness is being expanded. that is part of our role as mayors with our secular pope it's, to make sure that -- [inaudible] >> thank you. i know that howard had to leave us. john will stick around. >> mayor, one of the things that i think is important is what john was saying. sometimes we jumped ahead crimes really fast. there was a lot of confusion in the sheriff in georgia as to what the mayor was saying. and we all know that so many of the crimes that we have in the country, from state, not from
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the federal government, but the emphasis that john used, that are not hate crimes, but they are awful, dastardly act, it is something that the mayors might be thinking about in the way of a task force. and to the schools. so, as laura and i are listening to this under the leadership of mayor fischer, with our compassionate center, we need to delve down and see if we can come up with some best practices and talk about this. >> i absolutely agree. i think that is one thing people have talked about, children, when you look at them in schools, they are not taught hate. that is an opportunity that we educate early on within our students. as far as what is defined as a hate crime versus chasing people
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around or using racial slurs, we acknowledge that there may be questions at times as to whether victims are targeted because of their race and ethnicity. however, we work closely with our police as well as our community leaders in -- -- and legislators -- in terms of what can be determined as the motive with these types of crimes or incidents. we investigate them fully to consider the facts in terms of whether they equate to hate. i also wanted to invite, i know there has been a question, mayor kautz, you talked about your background. i was wondering if you would be so kind to share that with us. >> thank you. i did see mayor ashcroft's question. i sort of skipped over that. so, i am biracial. let me give you my father's heritage. his heritage is danish and
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english, but my mother is a pacific islander. she is polynesian, from the island of samara. so that is what you see. when i came into office 26 years ago, in burnsville, there were only 8% minority. 8% minority. we are now, i am waiting for the next census, but our demographics in burnsville is probably about 30% to 40% of bernardi and very integrated, -- 30% to 40% minority, and very integrated. these are the things that make for a great and healthy community, and the things that we do not only with our interfaith community, because we have an interfaith -- we have three mosques in our community.
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so we are very interactive with all of them. one of the things that is going on as we continue to look at "you belong here in burnsville," one of our lutheran churches has put together this task force for inclusion. what was interesting in what they had shared with me is, the makeup of the whole group was all caucasian. all white, one asian american. and becky told her story of what it was like to be in our community and to be in this task force and to feel like she was invisible. and it opened the eyes of many of the people there. so i think having a proclamation and doing resolutions and all of that is great.
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that's great. that is a one-time thing. i think it has to be every. every day we are doing something. everyday we are building those building blocks to change the culture and transform the way that we see each other and how we behave as a community. and so, it just takes a lot of work and a lot of heavy lifting, but we can do it. >> thank you, mayor kautz, for sharing that. to recognize all the efforts you are doing in burnsville. some other efforts i also wanted to recognize is that, when we talk about the community and giving outreach through different faiths, fremont is actually the third largest aapi community in the united states based on the percentage of population.
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it is an asian-majority city. it has been one of the things i have been so pleased to see the last couple of years, the diversity and representation weather on the school governance team, or here at the city council itself. we have gone from being -- i was the first asian born councilwoman inner-city, to see now that we have our first black councilwoman, in majority asian city council, and for the first time in our city's 65 year history, a majority women-counsel, coming from a place where there was a 35-year period with no women at all on the council. we talk about everyday efforts of how we can expand outreach. when i was on the scoreboard, i was president of the. asian school board members. . one thing we brought also with the council of presidents, working with council and the school board association and their governance and order directors, so that it was not
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just the representative being black at large or agent at large, or native-american, it was all of us regularly meeting to talk about the issues that pertain to our students and our communities. in fremont we have such a diverse heritage, we have the largest afghan population outside of afghanistan here inner-city, and we also have many faith-based groups, as i mentioned. one of our human relations commissioners often go out and meet them and have discussions. these continual conversations are ways we can embrace and learn and educate one another about the richness of our cultures. make us such a blessed community to live in, one that we hope in this period when it is easy to get divided and easy to be frustrated, to recognize that together, everyone achieves more, and that we spread hope when we help one another. i also see that -- i would love
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to invite, i think one of my fellow city mayors is making a comment. i don't know if you would like to join. if you would like to, he can raise his hand. >> david, can you help us with this? >> sorry. would you like to share with us? ken? >> he is coming up. >> you are muted. ok. i apologize, i saw that he was sharing with us, but he was mentioning that his city manager and his assistant city manager are also tongan, and they represent about 1.6% of the population. >> there he is! >>, there he is!
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i don't know what happened! [laughter] >> how are you doing there, mayor? >> hi! thank you, mayor. >> i remember you. i didn't realize that -- my mom is from samoa. mayor kautz. i remember meeting with you. now, i was just kind of bragging. not only is our city manager someone, he was actually -- city manager samoan, he was formerly in the nfl. his job was to kill quarterbacks. in our manager is tongan. go figure. here, we are probably one point percent of the population. i had the mayor from albuquerque, while ago and he asked me, where you elected at
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large? how many japanese live in las cruces? i said, maybe 20 families. he goes, i am going to put las cruces as a preferred destination in japan to visit. i thought that was pretty cool. so i just want to lend my support to the mayors around the country. we have been extremely lucky here in las cruces. but i see what happened in other parts of the country and, it is terrible. you know, my dad was also interned in camps in fact, he, passed away a few years ago, but he told me, the first time he went to japan was 16, when he got released from the camp. and they did not like him in japan because he was american. so he saved his money, came back , joined the military in 1948. retired in 1969. i will admit, in 1990, that was
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my first running office for state rep in 1990, 26 years old, and this guy took, he saw my name and he goes what kind of name is this? i said, japanese, he goes, i am not going to work for japanese. of course, that is not very good, but i thought about my dad and what he had to suffer in the military in 1948 and i thought, this is nothing compared to what he had to go through. so i kept plugging away, like what you said, mayor kautz. i will admit, my uncle was in the committed 1950's, work for the president of the university in the foodservice service. so there were people who knew my family. but i just wanted to give the mayor support, whatever i can do to help here in las cruces. thank you for standing up. and i want to thank our good
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friend mayor fischer and tom cochran for putting this on. i live in a very diverse community and, to have this at this level is incredible. thanks for doing it. >> thank you. >> john, can i ask you a question, can you comment on recent incidents? can you discern japanese, korean, chinese? is it geared more to the chinese, or -- you comment on that? >> at one level, for the mainstream population, the old stereotype of we all look alike does apply. the statistics of these attack we have been tracking, about 40% are chinese-american. but it goes across all of asia
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with the exception of south asian americans, they are not impacted in the same way. and actually, pacific islanders are not impacted in the same way. but japanese, chinese, korean, as well as vietnamese, la otian and burmese, we have reports from all those communities. we have reports from all 50 states. that is important to be aware of. what is absolutely correct is that the degree with which it is gender-based is significant. 70% of the attacks against women. so if you're thinking of resources within your community, you should be targeting and making sure there are gender-based resources. and i want to make sure again, to be centered around the victims, what wraparound services do you have for the victims, because for our community, accountability of the
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attacker is relevant but not critical, frankly. what we are more concerned about is, how are you providing services to that victim? if you are in a school, what sort of high school counselor is to talk to that student? what a person will talk to the family of that student about what happened to help that process at all? those are the types of things we need to lean in on. >>, i appreciate your comments, john and thank you because i think that is important. i mentioned earlier that we are an asian-majority city, i also forgot to mention that we are also very large in terms of east asian indian and south pacific island or, -- note that sometimes when it comes to the frustration, i absolutely agree when i talk to some women, that during this last time period, a lot of women have been focused on far greater, and our elderly,
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just because of the stereotype of being seen as a weaker opponent. that is why i sincerely appreciate your conversation, tom and greg and mayor fischer, as something that the conference can take on in terms of creating a list of resources and opportunities to provide those. in terms of what the -- what the u.s. conference of mayors offers is not just a venue to learn from one another, but an opportunity for us to amplify our voices and to be heard and to help assist one another. there is no better time than right now to be able to provide that for our communities. i am trying to see if there is any other comments from my fellow mayors. i was just going to say that, it is so important, and i have to thank all of you for taking this time to talk about this topic.
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it is at times very personal for me because it is something that is really moved my community and something that i am so grateful that we are able to have this conversation and to allow people to be able to share their thoughts. but this is not, like mayor kautz said, one conversation and beer down. this has to be an ongoing -- one conversation and we are done. this has to be an ongoing effort, because people in our communities, mayors and community members and businesses and all, need to feel safe and welcome. that is something that i would pledge that we all need to do every day. i thank you all a particular time, the opportunity, john yang for coming to share, mayor fischer, mayor shima, mayor kautz, and for those at the u.s. conference of mayors who help us amplify this voice. i am so moved and thankful.
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i wish you all the best as we work together to address covid, address reopening safely, and address how we can build a better normal working together. i thank you for your time today and they look forward to many conversations as we move forward. be safe and stay healthy. >> thank you. >> thank you for your leadership, mayor mei. ♪ middleton high school students participated in c-span's studentcam competition telling us what issues the president and congress should address this year. all month, we are featuring the winners. our second prize school winners are 12 graders from oklahoma whe c-span is available through cox. [chanting] ♪ >> more than 800 miles int

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