This past year has been challenging for everyone: physically, emotionally, mentally, and economically. Too many lives have been lost and hurt due to COVID-19.
In addition to the pandemic, our country has also had to confront the contagion of hate.
Hate crimes and incidents against Asian Americans and the Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have risen dramatically since the start of the pandemic. Earlier this month, STOP AAPI Hate released a report that catalogued 3,795 incidents targeting Asian Americans over the past year. These xenophobic acts are often gendered, with women reporting twice as many incidents as men.
And those are just the incidents that we know about—most incidents go unreported.
Sadly, anti-Asian American discrimination and hate is nothing new in our country. The U.S. has a long and painful history of racism and violence against the Asian American community dating back to the 19th century.
To combat this hate, we must raise awareness of its prevalence in our society. To that end, I’ve hosted several virtual discussions on understanding and responding to hate:
- Watch: OAG’s Take 30 on Combating Hate and Extremism (May 2020)
- Watch: OAG’s Take 30 on Taking a Stand Against Bullying, Harassment, and Hate (Sept. 2020)
- Watch: OAG’s Take 30 on Unifying in the Aftermath of Hate (Dec. 2020)
And just last Friday, I had a conversation with AG Herring (VA) and AG Tong (CT) about the rise of anti-Asian hate, rhetoric, and violence.
For those who want to be better equipped to stop AAPI hate, I urge you to register for the below trainings offered by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and Hollaback! These “Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment and Xenophobia” trainings are offered via zoom webinars.
- Register: Tuesday April 6, 2021 at 2 pm ET
- Register: Wednesday April 7, 2021 at 3pm ET
- Register: Thursday April 8, 2021 at 1 pm ET.
Let’s continue our fight for justice, equity, equality, and to eradicate hate.
Together we can eradicate hate and stand by our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters.
Karl A. Racine
Pre-Register for the COVID-19 Vaccine
Everyone can now pre-register for the vaccine. You will receive an alert when an appointment is ready for you. For details visit vaccinate.dc.gov or call 1-855-363-0333.
You can sign up 24/7 through the website and during the day, 7 days a week by phone.
Enforcing the District’s Wage Laws
Last week, AG Racine filed a lawsuit against Justin Allen and his company, Executive Security Services LLC, for failing to pay his employees the District’s required minimum wage, overtime, and sick leave. In the complaint, OAG alleges that over the course of multiple years, Mr. Allen has not guaranteed fair payment to all his employees, and in doing so, has deprived them of wages they are entitled to. Read more here.
Resolving Health and Safety Issues at Shaw Apartment Complex
Earlier this month, OAG filed suit against the owners and managers of the Foster House Apartments for failing to provide a safe and secure living space for its tenants, who are primarily at-risk, low-income seniors experiencing disabilities. In response, the owners of this apartment complex agreed to remedy the hazardous conditions that their tenants have been forced to live with for years, which include but are not limited to: leaks, mold, inoperable appliances, vermin infestations, and issues with electricity, heating, cooling, ventilation, and safety. Read more here.
Ensuring Affordable Food Access for All
This week, AG Racine announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed a Trump Administration appeal that aimed to revoke food assistance for approximately 700,000 Americans. Read more about the decision here.
Condemning Opioid Manufacturer’s Bankruptcy Plan
In June 2019, AG Racine filed suit against Purdue Pharma, an opioid manufacturer, and the Sackler family, owners of the company. In September 2019, the litigation ended when Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection. Earlier this month, AG Racine, along with 23 other state attorneys general, issued a statement expressing their disappointment in a plan filed by Purdue to resolve the lawsuits against them and the Sackler family. In the statement, the attorneys general expressed apprehension that the plan does not allocate sufficient funds to remedy the opioid crisis, among other flaws. Read more here.
Banning Non-Complete Clauses
On March 16, 2021, the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act took effect. This law bans the use of non-compete clauses (which limit employees’ job opportunities and reduce their wages) for most workers in the District. Learn more here.
Revising Outdated Aircraft Noise Policy
In a comment letter submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), AG Racine urged the agency to revise and modernize its antiquated and insufficient noise policy. The letter also urged the FAA to apply the policy consistently in order to ensure that communities near and around Reagan National Airport (DCA) experience a noise reduction. Read more here.
WIN: Company Must Pay $1.2+ Million for Failing to Disclose Product’s Side-Effects
Boston Scientific Corporation, a medical device manufacturer, must pay the District over $1.2 million and market its products in a way that discloses their potential risks. As a part of the overall settlement, the company agreed to pay $188.6 million for marketing transvaginal surgical mesh devices to patients in a deceiving way. Read more about the settlement here.