Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that establishes an Asian American Pacific Islander Commission within the Department of State.
The commission will be charged with developing policies to address the social and economic needs of the growing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in New Jersey. Under this new law, the commission will be required to submit an annual report to the governor and the Legislature about the commission’s activities.
“As the fastest-growing ethnic group, our Asian American and Pacific Islander community is a key part of the great diversity in our state,” Murphy said. “While we celebrate the important contributions they make to our society and economy, we also recognize the challenges they encounter to access economic resources and opportunities. With today’s bill signing, this newly created commission will represent this diverse population and ensure to advocate on behalf of AAPI throughout New Jersey.”
Sens. Vin Gopal (D-Ocean Twp.) and Linda Greenstein (D-Cranbury), and Assemblymen Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), Sterley Stanley (D-East Brunswick) and Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck) were the primary sponsors of the bill.
“As we move forward in the 21st century in our multicultured state, we need to make sure all our people, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, are valued and encouraged, in whatever endeavor they undertake,” Gopal said. “Our state is home to the third-largest percentage of Asian American and Pacific Islander residents in the nation.
“I welcome the signing of this legislation to establish the AAPI Commission, which will raise awareness among AAPI individuals of governmental affairs and community and social service resources that may be of benefit to them. Overall, this new law will help raise visibility and improve understanding, as well as to foster more positive dialogue and communication and serve to recognize the many and varied contributions AAPI individuals have made and continue to make in New Jersey.”
Mukherji, Stanley and Johnson offered a joint statement:
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their diverse culture play a significant role in New Jersey,” they said. “This commission will ensure representation and access to resources by raising awareness to several challenges facing the AAPI community and focusing on addressing the needs of these communities. Their work will help the state develop ways to recognize the cultures and tackle the social, economic and health needs of the AAPI community.”