Community organizations band together over Chinatown violence

A group of community organizations in Oakland and San Francisco came together on Tuesday to call on elected leaders to take steps to stem recent violence in Chinatown neighborhoods on both sides of the bay.

Representatives from about eight different community organizations spoke up about the recent crimes on businesses and the elderly in Oakland's Chinatown.

Cynthia Choi of Chinese for Affirmative Action said there is a definite rise in anti-Asian sentiment and crimes. 

Recent unprovoked attacks that have victimized elderly residents in Oakland's Chinatown and San Francisco have sparked outrage and worry.

In response, organizers with several community organizations have called on city leaders on both sides of the bay to do take steps to solve the problem.

They're calling for things like an increase in resources for victim's services in the Asian community, as well as investing in job training for young people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

"We need to support our communities of color," said Judy Young of the Southeast Asian Development Center. "Most jobs for our youth, young adults, educational training to make sure our young people are keeping busy and earning money."

Organizers in Oakland called on the city to expand its existing community ambassador program in Chinatown - and expressed concerns about citizen patrols forming - to try and fill a security void.

"While we appreciate the effort, we're also really concerned folks are organizing their own," said Jing Jing He of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. "Be able to share, the way our Chinatown ambassador program is used to."

Groups are planning what they're calling a multi-racial healing event with community groups from the Black, Latino and indigenous communities in Oakland and San Francisco this weekend.