Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide), Chair of the Governance & Education Committee, issued the following statement after eight people were tragically killed by a white man in the Atlanta area. According to the Associated Press, six of the victims were identified as Asian and seven were women:
“My heart is heavy for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander American community and the news of targeted gun-violence in Atlanta leaving eight dead. This violence is an act of terrorism and unacceptable.
“For several months now, the Asian-American and Pacific Islander American community, both locally and nationally, have been on high alert following various attacks. We must protect our neighbors both by denouncing this violence and standing in solidarity with one another to strengthen our communities.
“We must dismantle the culture that enables this violence and end it for good by directly investing in trusted, community-lead organizations that work tirelessly to protect the Asian-American and Pacific Islander American community from violence. Organizations, such as API Chaya, Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Utopia, Refugee Women’s Alliance, and Coalition for Ending Gender-Based Violence, are the community leaders on the ground doing the work of making our Asian-American and Asian Pacific Islander communities safer, and I want to thank them for their work during this difficult time.
“Over the coming weeks, I will continue to explore concrete investments in community-led organizations that deliver culturally appropriate harm-reduction services that serve to keep our Asian-American and Pacific Islander American community safe.
“To our Asian-American and Pacific Islander American community – I stand with you and I know you are exhausted by the daily targeted attacks of Asians and Islanders. Gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia is never okay.”