New Bonta bill allows compensation for Asian hate crime victims, others without police report


California State 18th District Assemblymember Rob Bonta filed a bill to provide mental health services, more access to compensation funds and promote restorative justice programs for hate crime victims in reaction to the spate of hate attacks against Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

Bonta filed AB 886 after a 70-year old woman was shoved and robbed in Oakland, one of the cities he represents. As the first Filipino American to represent a US state assembly district, the bill was his response to the alarming rise of assaults against Asian seniors.

“The recent rise in racist and xenophobic attacks on members on the API community and the larger increase in hate crimes must be addressed with decisive action,” asserts Bonta. “The embers of hate have always been present but they have recently been fanned into a fire of violence by no less than the previous occupant of the White House.”

Aside from expanding the eligibility for victims of hate violence (those that did not file police report can now be eligible to victim compensation funds) the bill is envisioned to fund community-based organizations that provide culturally competent mental health services for victims of hate violence and restorative justice programs.

“All communities deserve to be seen, valued, and protected,” Bonta maintains. “AB 886 would assure that consultation with the victim becomes a primary focus along with community healing. AB 886 would address prevention by providing additional restorative justice tools to proactively increase the likelihood that an individual who caused the harm would not do additional harm.”

AB 886 is co-sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California and supported by the following organizations: AACI, AAPI Women Lead, APIENC, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), Asian Law Alliance, Bay Rising, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Family Bridges, Japanese American Citizens League – Berkeley, Florin, Placer County, Sacramento Chapters and Northern California Western Nevada Pacific District JACL, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and Project by Project, San Francisco.

Aside from Oakland, Assemblymember Rob Bonta also represents the cities of Alameda and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader.

He earlier led a noontime united stand against recent hate violent crimes at the California State  Capitol together with groups of diverse lawmakers namely Assemblymembers Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Asse Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Evan Low (D-Campbell), Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) together with Senators María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), Dave Min (D-Irvine), and Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).