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Four Queens community board chairs take a stand to fight back against rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in NYC

Sunnyside residents hold a rally standing up against Asian hate crimes on March 6. (File photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The chair members of four Queens community boards are condemning the violent string of anti-Asian attacks and discrimination in New York City, especially in Queens, after an elderly Asian woman was assaulted last month outside of a Flushing bakery. The suspect was arrested after the incident.

Community board chairs Alexa Weitzman of CB 6, Martha Taylor of CB 8, Betty Bratton of CB 10 and Michael Budabin of CB 11 issued a joint statement on Thursday, March 11, taking a stand against the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City and around the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We feel it is important that we at the community board level, being the governmental agency closest to the people, stand up and say with one voice that we have opposed this despicable behavior in the past, we fight against it now, and we will continue to do so as a community of neighbors forever,” the board members said in a letter. 

The board members’ statement comes following the latest incident that occurred on Tuesday, March 9, in Fresh Meadows, where an Asian American reported to police that an unidentified man spit at her while she was holding her baby and was called “Chinese virus.”

While the investigation is still ongoing, local elected officials such as Congresswoman Grace Meng, Councilman Peter Koo and Borough President Donovan Richards called for unity in order to condemn anti-Asian hate and sentiment. 

In response to the attacks, the board members said they will not rest until every resident on each block feels safe in their homes and on the streets. They are asking that the city not only be reactive, but proactive in addressing the problem by allocating resources and thoughtful coordination across agencies to ensure that “hate has no home in America, in New York City or in the borough of Queens.”

“We look to our leadership at all levels of government to do more to prevent these kinds of attacks and discrimination, and ourselves to do what we can to be the change we wish to see,” the board members said. “In the ‘World’s Borough’ of Queens, we celebrate that we are the most diverse county on the planet, with over 200 languages spoken here. We want our neighborhoods to be shining beacons of diversity, inclusion, and what makes the United States of America such an incredible place. This is kind of discrimination is totally unacceptable to us.”

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