TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria and Barbara Buono which would authorize the Secretary of State to establish a nonprofit organization known as the Asian American Study Foundation to promote the culture and contributions of New Jersey’s significant Asian American population was approved by the Senate yesterday by a vote of 38-0.
“New Jersey’s Asian-American population has a rich culture and heritage, and that has contributed so much to our State’s diversity,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “Yet, the community has constantly had to deal with the specters of intolerance and prejudice from ignorant individuals intent on putting down what they do not understand. An Asian American Study Foundation would go a long way towards dispelling many of the myths surrounding the culture and promote greater overall tolerance of diversity in New Jersey.”
The bill, S-2342, would direct the Secretary of State to establish the nonprofit Asian American Study Foundation, to advise the Governor, Legislature and Public of the needs, concerns and accomplishments of the State’s Asian American population, and to develop policies to improve the community, economic, health and social well-being of that population. The Foundation would be governed by a 25-member, unpaid board of trustees, and would have a budget of $10,000 to implement programs. The bill would also create programs to better education New Jersey on Asian American issues and culture.
“The Asian American Study Foundation offers a great opportunity for us to share with our children and future generations the contributions made by Asian Americans to the American way of life,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “Asian American culture reflects the best of America’s tradition of honoring and incorporating our differences, with the rich history and heritage of both homelands mixing to form a new, unique identity. We need to celebrate and promote Asian American heritage, so that we can never forget the power of diversity to unify us as a nation.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for concurrence with amendments made in the Senate Budget Committee. Once approved, it would go to the Governor to be signed into law.