AUGUST 23, 2021 BOSTON — The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI Commission) today announces vital investments in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) state budget to strengthen and support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. On July 16, 2021, Governor Charlie Baker signed the FY22 budget into law — a $47.6 billion plan designed to support the Commonwealth’s neighborhoods, schools, families, small businesses, and workers as Massachusetts emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FY22 budget increases the AAPI Commission’s annual appropriation by $80,400 to $250,400 — a significant milestone amidst a challenging year marked by a surge in anti-Asian racism and violence. Representative Tackey Chan of Quincy and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain filed the budget amendments to increase the state appropriation for the Commission.
“The AAPI Commission commends our state leaders – especially Representative Chan, Senator Chang-Diaz, Chair Michlewitz, and Chair Rodrigues – for their consistent advocacy on behalf of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We’d also like to thank Governor Baker, Senate President Spilka, and Speaker Mariano for their leadership and support,” said Sam Hyun, Chairperson of the AAPI Commission. “For far too long, Asian American and Pacific Islander residents have been invisible and ignored, and the FY22 budget sends a message to the AAPI community that state leaders see them and our voices matter.”
The budget increase will enable the AAPI Commission to expand its programming and support to Asian American and Pacific Islander residents, including lower-wage workers and communities of color hardest-hit by COVID-19. It will also allow the AAPI Commission to deepen its partnerships with community-based organizations providing critical services to the AAPI community and offer training and educational opportunities to the broader Massachusetts population on combating anti-AAPI hate.
Other FY22 budget measures related to the AAPI community include:
- $1,000,000 within the Massachusetts Cultural Council line item to support entities provide AAPI-focused cultural events, cultural education, or cultural performances, with these funds being prioritized to entities who have been adversely affected by COVID-19
- $300,000 for the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston to study the history and experiences of anti-Asian racism in the United States and the Commonwealth
- $100,000 for Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative to support programming needs
- $100,000 for Boston Asian: Youth Essential Services to support youth violence prevention programs
- $100,000 for Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. to help local economic development projects
- $50,000 for Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition (GMAACC) Inc. to establish an Asian community center in the city of Malden
“These investments will make a real difference for the AAPI community during an extraordinarily challenging year,” said Danielle Kim, Government Relations Chair and Secretary of the AAPI Commission. “We hope to see our state leaders continue prioritizing AAPI residents in discussions to distribute federal relief dollars and use these funds to address anti-AAPI racism and longstanding inequities.”
The AAPI Commission is a permanent body dedicated to advocacy for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout Massachusetts. The Commission’s goal is to recognize and highlight the vital contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the Commonwealth; to identify and address the needs and challenges facing residents of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry; and to promote the well-being of this dynamic and diverse community, thereby advancing the interests of all persons who call Massachusetts home.
For additional information, please contact Yasmin Padamsee Forbes, Executive Director Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission at [email protected].
Chairperson – Samuel Hyun
Vice Chairperson – Philjay Solar
Treasurer – Haniya Syeda
Secretary – Danielle Kim
Vira Douangmany Cage
Nate Bae Kupel
Mary K. Y. Lee
Yasmin Padamsee Forbes
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108