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In Effort To Stop Senseless Violence, Asian American Federation Starts 'Hope Against Hate' Campaign

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There was a call for action Thursday, amid the rise in attacks against Asian-Americans.

The Asian American Federation is asking for tens of millions of dollars from federal, state and local governments for a new campaign to combat the crimes, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.

"He moved forward toward me and slashed my face," Noel Quintana said.

Quintana has the physical scar, a reminder of what has become an increasing trauma. Asian Americans have been out living life when they've been attacked.

"I called for help, but nobody came," Quintana said.

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On Thursday, the Asian American Federation unveiled an emergency campaign called "Hope Against Hate."

"We demand that our elected officials prioritize our safety, instead of sending us their thoughts and prayers. We don't need that anymore," Asian American Federation executive director Jo-Ann Yoo said.

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The federation wants federal, state and local governments to establish a safety ambassador program, culturally competent victim support services, and de-escalation and self-defense trainings in various languages.

"We think it is the right solution for immediate street safety for our Asian New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable members," the Asian American Federation's Joo Han said.

LINK#StopAsianHate Resources

The group is requesting $30 million to address the issue.

"I think we probably need even more than that. We will put the money in," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer added.

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Schumer, New York's senior senator, also supports legislation aimed at preventing attacks on Asian communities.

"Do you think that federal law is necessary to change the definition of hate crimes?" Cline-Thomas asked.

"Our greatest problem has been not that there isn't a law on the books, but it hasn't been paid enough attention to. It doesn't have direct people in charge of enforcing it," Schumer said.

While federal lawmakers take up the issue in Washington, the Asian American Federation is seeking support from local government and businesses, saying it can't do this alone.

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