City Council approves resolution against hate

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Consent Calendar passes unanimously; denounces anti-Asian bigotry

 

The Seal Beach City Council on Monday, April 12, approved a resolution denouncing Anti-Asian racism.

The resolution was part of the Consent Calendar. Items on the Consent Calendar are voted on collectively, without discussion, unless pulled for separate consideration.

This item wasn’t pulled.

The entire Consent Calendar was approved unanimously.

Technically, the resolution denounced “stigmatization, racism, hate and xenophobia against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” according to the staff report by City Clerk Gloria Harper.

Mayor Joe Kalmick, in a phone interview, said the incident that led to the council’s denunciation—a threatening letter sent to an Asian family in Leisure World—was so shocking that it caused many cities to talk about it.

He said this incident “picked off a scab.”

“Now we can’t hide from it,” Kalmick said.

“The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been affected by a sharp increase in violence, abhorrent acts of racism, and stigmatization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Harper wrote.

“Although, the COVID-19 virus is not caused by ethnicity, an increasing number of AAPIs and Asians worldwide have reported experiencing microaggression, racial profiling, hate incidents, and violence,” she wrote.

“In a recent report, the group STOP AAPI Hate cites reports of over 3,700 anti-Asian hate incidents from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021 and, sadly, the City of Seal Beach has become part of this statistic,” Harper wrote.

“On March 22, 2021, a Seal Beach (Leisure World) resident became the target of a hate crime after receiving an anonymous letter of hate and discrimination in their mailbox,” Harper wrote.

The Sun has been contacted by another Asian asking how they can minimize their risk of being targeted.

“The proposed resolution denounces AAPI hate and reaffirms the City’s support of Seal Beach’s AAPI community,” Harper wrote.

“The City of Seal Beach joins the County of Orange, local districts and cities across the state that have adopted similar resolutions including Westminster, Monrovia, Torrance, San Mateo, and San Carlos. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community, other cities, states and the nation against stigmatization, racism, hate and xenophobia,” Harper wrote.

In late March emails, City Council members Schelly Sustarsic, of College Park East, and Thomas Moore of College Park West, both said they had not heard anything from their constituents about racial or ethnic hostility. However, District Five City Councilwoman Sandra Massa-Lavitt had.

“Yes, I have been contacted. To a person, those I consider a friend are all dismayed by this vitriol. I’m dismayed by some comments I have heard over the years (when I could, I let them know they were wrong, not in those words though),” she wrote in a March 23 email.

City Council approves resolution against hate