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Photo: Axios

Asian American leaders said at a virtual Axios event Friday that data collection, media narratives and voting access are key priorities as the community moves forward.

Why it matters: Asian Americans have gained wider visibility as the U.S. grapples with a yearlong surge in anti-Asian hate. But the work isn't over, leaders say.

What they're saying: Because the AAPI community has such diverse needs, the first step is bringing together its various ethnic groups — especially those that are often overlooked, including Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians and South Asians, said Sonal Shah, president of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).

  • AAPI advocates have long said that lack of disaggregated data makes it nearly impossible to identify inequities and needs specific to individual ethnic groups.
    • TAAF has created a data working group with the intention of reaching out to different communities, Shah said. It's part of "making sure we're all speaking up together."
  • AAPIs have made a lot of strides in media representation, said actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim, who has been vocal about AAPI issues. But a recent survey shows that 42% of Americans cannot name a prominent Asian American.
    • "We're really talking about a real gap ... where people cannot think of someone who looks like us," he said. It's crucial to shift the narrative and "recreate our story" so AAPIs are never again invisible.
  • AAPI voters turned out in record numbers last year, in large part due to the switch to mail-in voting, according to Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
    • "Those are the areas of voting that are being attacked by the hundreds and hundreds of voter suppression bills," she said, adding that "we need to protect" voting access.

The big picture: At AAPI Victory Alliance's unity summit last week, Vice President Harris echoed Shah, Kim and Hirono's calls to consolidate AAPI power.

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Hate crimes in Colorado rise to record levels

Expand chart
Data: Federal Bureau of Investigation; Note: Six incidents in 2019 and two in 2020 were not categorized; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A new FBI report shows hate crimes in Colorado rose to their highest level in at least 30 years, with attacks on people for their race, ethnicity and ancestry driving much of the escalation.

The 283 incidents reported in 2020 represent the third consecutive year with increased rates and the sixth hike in 10 years, an Axios Denver data analysis finds.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

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