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VIDEO: REP. MONDAIRE JONES DELIVERS FLOOR REMARKS IN SUPPORT OF COVID-19 HATE CRIMES ACT

May 21, 2021

“What I want the AAPI community to know is this: as surely as the Earth revolves around the sun, I will be with you always.”

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) delivered remarks on the House floor in support of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation to address the disturbing rise in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

Jones is an original co-sponsor of the bill, which the House is expected to vote on later today.

The Congressman’s full remarks are below and can be viewed here.

Madam Speaker,

As we near the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is long past time to confront what my colleague and dear friend Representative Meng has described as the “additional pandemic” of hatred, violence, and discrimination against our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

I’m proud to support the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act today, and I’d like to address our AAPI communities directly.

I cannot know exactly what you are feeling in this moment. But as an openly gay, Black man in America, I know what it’s like to be marginalized and harassed because of who you are. I turned 34 years old today and while the end product may look okay, there’s a lot that I carry with me.

I know what it’s like to feel both invisible and exposed, both unseen and targeted.

I know what it’s like to have to fight for rights you should be able to take for granted.

And I know that in the United States of America, no one should have to feel this way.

So what I want the AAPI community to know is this: as surely as the Earth revolves around the sun, I will be with you always. Because we can only get through this together.

I yield back.

About Mondaire: Mondaire Jones is the 33-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland, and resides in Westchester.

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