Leading AAPI Organizations Call on Elected Officials in Los Angeles County to Ensure Diverse Staff

LOS ANGELES — Today, AAPI Equity Alliance and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California issued the following joint statement urging elected officials in Los Angeles County, including the Los Angeles Mayor, City Councilmembers, and Los Angeles County Supervisors, to ensure diverse representation on their staffs. This includes considering, hiring, and promoting qualified staff at all levels – including at senior levels – with the cultural expertise and understanding to meaningfully engage Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. 

AAPIs represent more than 16% of the overall population in Los Angeles County and 12% of the City of Los Angeles. Specifically, AAPIs make up more than 10% of the population in ten (10) out of the fifteen (15) Los Angeles City Council districts and in all five (5) Los Angeles County Supervisorial districts. 

Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of AAPI Equity Alliance and Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate, released the following statement: 

“Our community has really struggled in the past several years, due to the pandemic and anti-Asian scapegoating and hate, compounded by the lack of government attention and resources. Despite our communities’ high needs and significant populations in all City Council and Supervisorial districts, we remain underrepresented in elected office and in key staff positions within those offices. 

Personnel is policy. Right now is a great opportunity for elected officials, particularly newly elected members, to commit to engaging AAPI communities and our policy priorities by hiring staff who reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County and establishing senior advisor positions dedicated to issues impacting AAPI communities. 

To help in this process, AAPI Equity Alliance is proud to unveil our AAPI Resume Bank, which is a crucial tool to build the pipeline of highly qualified candidates seeking government employment and/or Commission appointments. We hope elected officials will govern with the values of equity and justice, and ensure the voices of underserved communities are heard.”

The AAPI Resume Bank is a project by AAPI Equity Alliance. For more information or to submit your resume, please visit bit.ly/aapiresumebank.

Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, released the following statement: 

“AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in Los Angeles and have been the fastest growing voting group in the US for the last two decades. Our vote is critical to public officials winning elections, yet we are often overlooked, as we continue to lack representation in key City and County leadership positions. We need elected officials to bring in the right people for their administrations and commissions who understand and advocate for AAPI communities.

Los Angeles has been plagued by ugly racial divisions and the pitting of communities of color. To move beyond that, our government must be run by a diverse mosaic of leaders from Black, Brown, AAPI, and other communities who embody racial/cultural solidarity building and will not play into zero-sum politics. We call on our LA County and City elected officials to make sure they bring that diversity into their leadership, which has for too long been lacking for AAPIs.”

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AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is a coalition of over 40 community based organizations serving the diverse needs of the 1.6 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County and beyond. It is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.

Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). Founded in 1983, AJSOCAL serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, AJSOCAL focuses on the most vulnerable members of AANHPI communities while building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. More info is at AJSOCAL.org.