Asian American Solidarity Letter to Governor Cuomo - from Allies
Dear Governor Cuomo:

We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community and are deeply disappointed with your statement from March 17, 2021 in response to the tragic shootings in Atlanta ( The words and framing reinforce the hateful and racist rhetoric that has scapegoated Asian American communities throughout this pandemic. That was a missed opportunity to address the real fears that Asian American communities are experiencing right now with the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence in our state. We support the first-of-its-kind $19.5 Million budget package in support of Asian American New Yorkers in FY21-22.

We are concerned with your actions over the past years that have also dismissed Asian American communities, the fastest growing community which makes up 10% of New York State. You vetoed a bill to collect critical data on Asian American New Yorkers’ real and diverse challenges and needs. These improved data-collection measures would have allowed New York to have a more equitable COVID-19 response and vaccination plan.

The State has failed to provide language accessible and culturally relevant information on COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines. This has left Asian American communities less safe, and our already under-resourced nonprofit organizations to pick up the slack in order to ensure Asian American seniors and families have equitable access to testing and vaccination.

And at the same time, the State has not prioritized funding for Asian American nonprofit organizations, which receive less than 1% of contracted human services funding. Asian American nonprofit organizations are vital partners in our work and provide culturally competent and language accessible services that are critical to supporting our Asian American communities struggling immense trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic, the severe economic fallout experienced two months before New York went on PAUSE and exacerbated by xenophobia, as well as the spike in anti-Asian hate and violence.

We urge you to be accountable to Asian American families and communities, especially now as they face severe challenges. We stand in solidarity with the NYS Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), and Asian American community based organizations in their FY21-22 budget package of $19.5 Million. This budget package is the first of its kind in the nation to provide community based services and to support the disaggregation of data that would strengthen the State’s response in supporting a very diverse Asian American community:

1. Allocate $15 Million to Asian American community based organizations to support short term and long term solutions to address inequities, support racial healing, and promote relief and recovery (see APA Legislative Task Force list).
2. Support data disaggregation efforts with a $2.5 Million within the NY State Department of Health
3. Invest $2 Million to support in language public education campaign to address COVID-19 and community based resources.

Thank you
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