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    Celebrating Women’s History Month

    By Assemblymember Phil Ting–

    Each year March is designated as Women’s History Month to honor the accomplishments and contributions women have made to every facet of our lives. From science to social justice, it’s a chance to reflect on the trailblazers who have led the way for change. I love the fact that this national celebration’s roots can be traced back to the Bay Area—Santa Rosa, in fact. A local educational task force there first proclaimed Women’s History Week in 1978 to comply with Title IX, and the movement grew from there.

    The California State Assembly marks the occasion annually by having lawmakers name their district’s Woman of the Year. This year, I’m excited to announce I’ve chosen Cynthia Choi, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), a community-based civil rights organization, which is committed to protecting the dignity and fair treatment of all immigrants. CAA also strives to fulfill the promise of a multi-racial democracy.

    You’ve probably seen her more recent work as Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate ( https://stopaapihate.org/ ), a national coalition addressing incidents of anti-Asian hate across the U.S. The group formed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when incidents of hate targeting members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities increased dramatically. Stop AAPI Hate created a national reporting website where victims can share what happened to them. It’s the only platform tracking COVID-related attacks or discrimination.

    Through the end of 2021, nearly 11,000 incidents have been logged. The cases involve name calling, harassment, or worse, beatings and murder. Perpetrators have been wrongly blaming the AAPI community for COVID-19 and the restrictions that were part of the public health emergency.

    Cynthia’s work is important for not only documenting but also solving this epidemic of violence against Asians. I agree with her approach in that solutions need to be holistic and will take time and resources. More policing isn’t the answer. We need to invest in additional services for victims and prevention programs to bring further attacks to an end. Plus, a more inclusive education system that teaches about Asian history and experiences would also help.

    I wanted to do all I can as Assembly Budget Chair to support these initiatives. The $166.5 million state-funded API Equity Budget I championed last year aims to make progress on each of those fronts.

    While the Outer Sunset resident is getting accolades for her Stop AAPI Hate work, Cynthia has spent more than three decades in the nonprofit sector, tackling issues that include environmental justice, immigrant/refugee rights, and gender violence. As a daughter of immigrants, she is deeply committed to and passionate about creating a world that is socially just. She describes her superpowers as being able to listen, understand, and evoke empathy. These traits have contributed to her success in leading change, and our world is better because of her.

    Congratulations to Cynthia. I have no doubt this tireless advocate will continue to make waves. I’m proud to name her 2022’s Woman of the Year for Assembly District 19. I hope you have a chance to honor someone in your life for Women’s HERtory Month.

    Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the Westside of San Francisco along with the communities of Broadmoor, Colma, and Daly City.

    Published on March 24, 2022