WASHINGTON, DC – Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, issued the following statement after President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address tonight.
“Tonight, President Biden made two things clear: ending violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and fighting for voting rights remain high priorities for this administration. Despite the several challenges presented to the United States since he took office, we are pleased that our communities’ livelihood and our freedom to vote are at the forefront of his agenda.”
“Anti-Asian hate has existed long before COVID-19, but the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated discrimination and violence towards AAPIs to dangerous levels. We were pleased when President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law last year, and reauthorized the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. We look forward to continuing to work with the White House on the issues that impact AAPIs’ everyday lives.”
“We were disappointed earlier this year when the Senate failed to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. State legislatures across the country are directly attacking our democracy without shame, and we know historically marginalized communities will be the first to face the brunt of these new discriminatory laws – so this setback hurt. However, President Biden reasserted yesterday his commitment to protecting democracy and securing our communities’ ability to vote – no matter what. The fight for our voting rights is not over, and we appreciate that the President agrees.”
“The voting rights of every American, including AAPIs, must remain top of mind in 2022 and beyond; there is a lot of work to be done. We look forward to working with the President and his administration to ensure that this promise is fulfilled.”