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Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday condemned the yearlong spike in anti-Asian hate and urged the Asian American community to harness its political power.

What she's saying: "When we saw the targeting, when we've seen the hate, when we've seen the viciousness of it all ... As a member of this community, I share in that outrage and grief, and I believe we have an opportunity now to turn that pain into action," the country's first Asian and Black vice president said at the AAPI Victory Alliance's unity summit.

  • The reporting center Stop AAPI Hate has received over 6,600 reports since March 2020, but that number falls short, Harris said, pointing to her experience working on hate crimes reports as California's attorney general.
  • She also condemned the current slew of GOP-led voting restrictions, which she said will "suppress" Asian Americans' right to vote.
    • AAPI voter turnout jumped by 46% between 2016 and 2020, and used vote-by-mail at a higher rate than any other group, USA Today reports.
  • "We have an opportunity to ... transform our nation's future," she added, encouraging the community to mobilize its power.
"And it is what I call American aspiration. It is the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been. It is the determination, not only to dream, but to do."

Hillary Clinton, who also spoke at the event, said that seeing the community respond to anti-Asian hate has given her hope.

  • "Facing adversity can break you, it can discourage you, it can depress you, it can make you feel like there’s nothing you can do, but that’s not what I’m seeing," she said.
  • "I’m seeing a real coming-together, not only of the community itself, but the allies — people who are standing up, speaking out, voting on behalf of what should be obvious, which is a fair, just, equal, inclusive America."

The big picture: Congress this week sent the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to President Biden's desk, which Harris applauded in her remarks on Wednesday.

Go deeper

Aug 24, 2021 - World

Kamala Harris accuses Beijing of intimidation in South China Sea claim

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore on Tuesday. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris accused Beijing on Tuesday of continuing to "intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea."

Why it matters: Harris' major foreign policy speech in Singapore comes at a crucial point for the Biden administration, as officials seek to emphasize the Biden administration's commitment and rally an international coalition to curb the influence of China's government.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

1 hour ago - World

Zelensky questions U.S. warnings of "imminent" invasion in Biden call

Biden and Zelensky at the White House last October. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a back-and-forth in their call this evening about just how "imminent" the threat of a Russian invasion might be, according to three sources briefed on the call.

Why it matters: Biden has said previously that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will probably "move in" to Ukraine, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday afternoon that "an invasion could come at any time."