Senators Say Proposed State Commission Can Combat Violence Against Asian Americans

Mar 17, 2021

Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester)
Credit Ohio Senate

A shooting spree in Georgia left eight people dead, most of whom appear to be of Asian descent.

Leaders in Ohio say this is just the latest example of the uptick in violent acts against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the starts of the COVID-19 pandemic. And legislators say they have a bill that can help address the problem. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.  


A bipartisan bill in the Ohio Senate would create a state commission and state office for Asian American and Pacific Islander affairs. 


Democratic Senator Tina Maharath says this would create an opportunity for Asian Americans to speak out about violence and hate crimes. 


Maharath: "If we don't create this safe space of constituents of Asian American descent to come in to provide us that information, we're not going to be able to gather and disseminate that information unless they bring those concerns up to us." 


Republican Senator Niraj Antani is also a sponsor of the bill. 


The Senators say gathering more data is an important step to addressing the increase in violence against Asian Americans.