UPDATE: Watch our video from the event.
A march and rally in downtown Palo Alto this Sunday aims to raise awareness of the injustices facing Asian Americans and ramp up efforts to increase voter registration within this group.
The May 2 event is scheduled to start with a march at the city parking garage at 528 High St. at 2 p.m. It will end outside City Hall at 250 Hamilton Ave. for a 3 p.m. rally. The event is being organized by City Council members Greg Tanaka and Lydia Kou, who have been vocal in recent weeks about hate crimes that have targeted the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Tanaka, Kou and Mayor Tom DuBois authored a resolution approved by the council on March 23 that denounces xenophobia, racism and discrimination against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Tanaka is launching an "8 by 8" campaign, in which individuals are challenged to invite eight friends, family members or acquaintances to register to vote within eight days. The campaign is in response to concerns that although Asian residents make up 38% of the population in Silicon Valley, they represent only 15% of registered voters, according to a statement.
Participants who post with the hashtags #StopAsianHate #8by8 to social media will benefit from giveaways of milk tea and baked goods while supplies last. Attendees also will be provided with yellow whistles, part of a national campaign called "The Yellow Whistle" to support self-protection and solidarity against anti-Asian violence and discrimination.
Scheduled guest speakers for the rally include Tanaka; Kou; former Rep. Mike Honda; state Treasurer Fiona Ma; Assembly member Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park; "Survivor" season 13 winner Yul Kwon; Old Navy co-founder Jenny Ming; Anna Mok, president of Ascend Foundation; and Gilbert Wong, trustee of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District and former Cupertino mayor.
After the remarks, booths will be set up by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, Palo Alto Chinese Parents' Club and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Peninsula Chapter. There also will be exhibits showing the Chinese rail workers in North America and the Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters projects at Stanford.
Participants are encouraged to register for the rally, which also helps organizers with contact tracing, at gregtanaka.org/8by8.