FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mar. 24, 2021
Contact: Gautam Dutta, Esq. (415 236 2048; Gautam.Dutta@gmail.com)
The Asian American Action Fund (AAA Fund) and AAA Fund of California thank Governor Gavin Newsom for nominating Assemblymember Rob Bonta as the Golden State’s next Attorney General.
If confirmed by the Legislature, the Yale-educated lawyer and lawmaker would make history: as the first Filipino American and second Asian American and Pacific Islander (after Vice President Kamala Harris) to serve as California Attorney General.
After growing up in a trailer a stone’s throw away from legendary labor leader Cesar Chavez, Asm. Bonta served as a former San Francisco Deputy City Attorney and as Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda. In 2012, he became the first Filipino American to serve in the Legislature when he was elected to the California Assembly.
As a lawmaker, Asm. Bonta has authored key progressive legislation that protects the fundamental rights of every Californian. For example, the TRUTH Act requires that immigrants be informed of their rights before speaking with agents from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Moreover, Asm. Bonta authored historic, first-in-the-nation legislation (AB 32) to ban the use of for-profit private prisons and detention facilities in California. Another law (AB 72) that he authored provided patients with critical protection from surprise, out-of-network medical bills.
The diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, which accounts for one-sixth of California’s residents, comprises the nation’s fastest growing community. It is facing significant social challenges on a wide range of issues.
AAPIs have been unfairly – and violently – singled out and blamed for the COVID-19 pandemic, with Chinese Americans and other AAPI communities suffering an alarming increase in hate crimes and COVID-related attacks since the pandemic began. Two months ago, an 84- year-old AAPI grandfather was fatally attacked in San Francisco. Eight days ago, six AAPI women were killed in a mass shooting in Georgia.
On the health care front, although Filipino Americans account for 4 percent of the nation’s nurses, nearly one third of all nurses who have died from COVID-19 have been Filipino American.
Economically, the pandemic has disproportionately affected the AAPI community. AAPIs own 26 percent of the nation’s food and accommodation-service businesses and 17 percent of the nation’s retail businesses – industries that have been devastated by the pandemic.
By nominating Asm. Bonta as California’s next Attorney General, Governor Newsom has not only made history, but has sent a powerful message: every community counts.
Founded in 1999, the Asian American Action Fund (http://www.aaafund.org) is a Democratic Asian American Pacific Islander political action committee that has successfully supported over 200 candidates for office. The organization’s goal is to increase the voice of Asian American Pacific Islander voices in local, state, and federal office and address AAPI under-representation through mobilizing campaign volunteers, resources, and technical assistance.
Asian American Action Fund of California, the California chapter of AAA Fund, endorses and supports progressive candidates who promote and defend the rights of all Americans. The chapter works to encourage and educate the Golden State’s Asian Americans to join the political process, to make their voices heard, and to ensure that their needs are met.
Unless clearly identified as statements of the AAA-Fund, the views, opinions, analyses, and assumptions expressed in each blog or clearinghouse post are those of the author or contributor alone, and not those of the AAA-Fund.