ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans are speaking out against anti-Asian hate crimes that have been seeing across the country. City leaders hosted a rally at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque Sunday, which comes just two weeks after the mass shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, including six Asian women.
Albuquerque City Councilor Lan Sena spearheaded Sunday’s rally. She’s the city’s first Asian American city councilor. She and other city leaders addressed how they’re working to stop hate crimes in our communities. More than 100 people of all ages and races showed up to the rally Sunday afternoon, holding signs saying “Stop Asian Hate” and “We are Not a Virus” among other things.
During the rally, various Asian community leaders as well as Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina, and Attorney General Hector Balderas took to the mic. Sena said hate crimes against Asians rose nationwide by nearly 150% last year, with Asian women twice as likely to be targeted.
Sena said she plans on drafting resolutions that are much more impactful than just saying the city is condemning anti-Asian violence discrimination. “To say that we are a welcoming city,” said Sena. “We are doing what’s necessary, especially in the realm of language access and also committing funds for our youth to have culturally appropriate services when it comes to mental behavioral health.”
Attorney General Balderas said he’s calling on the governor and New Mexico Legislature to increase resources to investigate hate crimes. APD Chief Medina said the department has recently created an ambassador program that has various community leaders from different cultural groups to voice their concerns. The rally remained peaceful.