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Three Supervisors Propose $118 Million API Equity Fund to Boost Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Supervisors Chan, Mar and Peskin took to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday to propose a $118 million Asian and Pacific Islanders equity fund, which is a big demand even though it is similar to the current African American community reinvestment fund.

When then-supervisor Matt Haney suggested his formal apology to the Chinese American community for historical atrocities (which ultimately passed in February), there was skepticism that it would be anything more than symbolic. “Are reparations on the table? How about reinvesting in the Asian community and its organizations?” Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco Justin Hoover asked the Chronicle back then. “An apology is great, it really is, but it can’t just be a gesture.”

Well, he might have had the magic word with “reinvesting in the Asian community”. This is exactly what is suggested in a $118 million Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Equity Fund As the Chronicle reports, supervisors Connie Chan, Gordon Mar and Aaron Peskin posed on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, flanked by a “57-strong coalition of local nonprofits” who would likely be on the receiving end in many cases of these reinvestments.

“At a time when Asian and Pacific islanders face increasing threats — from violence, displacement, and gentrification — we must increase our investments in the security and resilience of our API community,” Mar said Tuesday, according to the Chronicle.

Sure, $118 million sounds like a big chunk, but the money’s already in the city’s purse. This would be similar to Mayor Race and Supervisor Shamann Walton $120M Dream Keeper Initiative toward specific strategic sectors that support SF’s black community. And according to Chron, the money is already available in a $294 million “fiscal cliff reserve” that they say “is used to address budget deficits and consists of unspent federal and state COVID relief assistance.” .

“We’re looking for real action, real implementation by the city that will help API communities,” API Council Executive Director Cally Wong told The Chronicle. “This opportunity now, with the softening of the commercial property markets and a large amount of demonstrated community need, will truly ensure that our services will have a home for decades to come.”

Um… “Softening of commercial real estate markets?” I’m all for community investment, but commercial landlords don’t necessarily seem to be the most needy demographic in San Francisco’s AAPI community right now. Perhaps this offer was intended as a solicitation to purchase municipal or non-profit property. But it’s also a reason to worry that “community investment” could go to the people closest to the power of City Hall rather than the people most in need of community investment .

Related: California’s First-in-the-Nation Reparations Task Force meets at the Third Baptist Church in Fillmore [SFist]

Picture: @conniechansf on Twitter

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