Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is launching new measures to stop hate and violence against Asian Americans.
On Monday, Hogan visited a section of Howard County known as Korean Way. There are about 60,000 Asians living in the county and over 160 Asian businesses along that area of U.S. Route 40.
Hogan, whose wife Yumi is Korean-American, said this issue is personal to him.
“Our youngest daughter told us she was afraid to drive to visit us with our granddaughter because her friend’s mom had recently been attacked at a gas station,” Hogan said.
Maryland’s first lady, Yumi Hogan, said her heart is broken for victims of hate crimes.
“Stop the hate. Hate has no home here,” she said.
Hogan has directed police to step up patrols in Asian communities. In addition, the state is issuing awareness bulletins to businesses and calling on people to report any such incident to the state’s hate crimes hotline at 866-481-8361.
“Please do not be afraid, and I want to assure you it will make a difference,” Hogan said.
Frank Lee, who owns two businesses that Hogan toured on Monday, said it means a lot that the governor is making this issue a priority.
“It means a lot for the Asian community, with the recent tragedies going on,” he said. “The Asian community really needs to be together and be supportive.”
Also on hand for the event Monday was the president of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship Chiling Tong.
“We are not foreigners,” she said. “We are Americans, and we are here to stay.”
Tong and Hogan announced that her organization has declared Friday, March 26, to be Stop Asian Hate Virtual Action Day. They ask all Maryland organizations and businesses to post a statement that day condemning hate and violence against Asians and Pacific Islanders.