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APIAVote’s Full Statement on the Mass Shooting in Monterey Park, California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ruoping Chen

202-223-9170

Media@APIAVote.org

WASHINGTON D.C. – APIAVote issues statement in response to the mass shooting that occurred on Lunar New Year’s Eve in Monterey Park, California which left at least 10 individuals dead and 10 injured.

On Lunar New Year’s Eve, the country received news that a gunman killed at least 10 innocent people in Monterey Park, California – on a day, and in a city, deeply important to many in the Asian American community. While more details emerge in the upcoming days, one thing is for certain: gun-related violence continues to be the source behind so much tragedy across America – harming our dance halls, our schools, our groceries, our places of worship.

This shooting happened in Monterey Park, an area that is 65% Asian and is considered to be the country’s first suburban Chinatown. The city has a long history of being a hub for new immigrants arriving to find a better life, later as a base for Asian American political activism since the 1960s, and today as a welcoming and diverse community that had not seen this level of violence before.

“The Asian American community is grieving. Our communities have gone through significant trauma over the last three years, and this tragedy only adds to our collective anxiety, fears, and wounds. While it remains unclear what the now deceased-gunman’s motives were, this type of violence is all too familiar for all Americans across the country,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.

“Asian Americans, like other historically marginalized and ignored voters, are turning out in growing numbers every election and are the margin of victory. We are tired of the violence, we are tired of the thoughts and prayers, and we demand elected officials heed our voices and act now. According to our 2022 Asian American Voter Survey, 85% of Asian American voters ranked crime/public safety as an ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ issue. Furthermore, 77% of Asian American voters believe our country needs stricter gun laws.”

“We cannot allow this story, or the other tragic losses to gun-related violence to fade from the headlines; we must find justice for the victims. Nor must we allow special interest groups to exploit our tragedy for their own personal, monetary, or political gains.”

We encourage folks to create space for their Asian American friends and colleagues to grieve, heal, and receive care as we await more updates and news. If you or someone you know is in need of trauma support, AAPI Equity Alliance has resources and info on local organizations offering English and in-language support. If you are able, please consider donating to the Monterey Park Lunar New Year Victims Fund to help support those impacted by the tragedy. We also encourage everyone looking to support our communities in Monterey Park to follow our social media for additional ways to support the victims and others who were affected by this recent attack.

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About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a leading national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See more information at https://www.apiavote.org/