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Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

More than 183 national organizations, led by Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community groups, have called on the White House to set aside $300 million for safety and relief programs.

Why it matters: The letter of demands was delivered to President Biden and Vice President Harris during their meeting with AAPI leaders in Atlanta on Friday, days after a white gunman in Atlanta killed eight people, including six Asian women.

Of note: Earlier Friday Biden in a statement called for the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. The measure would:

  • Expedite the federal government’s response to the rise of hate crimes exacerbated during the pandemic.
  • Support state and local governments to improve hate crimes reporting.
  • Ensure that hate crimes information is more accessible to Asian American communities.

Details of the AAPI request: $100 million to go to AAPI groups to develop programs that address discrimination against Asian people, with an additional $200 million requested in the next federal budget for "longer-term community safety, recovery and resilience," including:

  • Funds to help hate-crime victims report incidents in their language, receive mental health support, and navigate government resources.
  • Money to help organizations advocate for victims and survivors.
  • Resources for creating alternatives to law enforcement, such as violence prevention and crisis intervention.
  • Funds to help AAPI essential workers and low-wage workers "confronting the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism," especially immigrants.
  • Establishing a White-House-level interagency task force to coordinate federal efforts with AAPI advocates.
  • Disaggregating resources to ensure they are appropriately directed to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and organizations.

What they're saying: "It is open season on Asian American women and girls, transgender and gender non-conforming, undocumented and immigrant communities," the letter to Biden begins.

  • "Our Asian elders are not safe walking on the streets for fear of getting sliced, punched, shoved, kicked and spit on. Our children endure bullying and are all but invisible in what they learn about in school. Our businesses are shuttered, our homes graffitied. We can’t wait any longer."
  • The community groups also single out President Trump for his "China virus" rhetoric. He "extended the wounds of the AAPI community and invited hate-filled white supremacists to pour salt on them," the letter states.

After the meeting, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum released statements highlighting the "racialized misogyny" that targets Asian women.

  • "The prior presidential memo did nothing to prevent the murders that occurred this week, nor has it stemmed the flow of violence and hate to date," Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow said, referring to Biden’s January directive for federal agencies to examine anti-Asian discrimination.
  • "What is clear is that we need an interagency, full government response that addresses the full spectrum of our community's needs ... That requires actual, long-term investment."

The big picture: The pandemic has led to a rise in anti-Asian incidents across the U.S.

  • Asian women are particularly vulnerable. They are 2.3 times more likely to report an incident than Asian men, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

Go deeper: Atlanta spa killings stir even more fear among Asian Americans

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak.
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings.
  5. World: Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Maryland lawmakers override Hogan vetoes of police accountability legislation

Marion Gray Hopkins with Coalition of Concerned Mothers speaks during a rally promoting police reform on March 4 in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maryland's Democratic-controlled legislature on Saturday voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes of police accountability legislation.

Why it matters: Maryland is the first state to repeal its Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, the Washington Post notes.

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