CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – State Senator Eric Lesser held a livestream interview Friday with State Representative Maria Duaime Robinson (6th Middlesex – Framingham) on the importance of Asian American Pacific Islander’s (AAPI) contributions to the U.S. and the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Prior to the shutdown of non-essential businesses last year, anti-Asian rhetoric and scapegoating from the pandemic caused a decline in patronage of Asian-owned or operated businesses. In addition, the March shootings in Georgia and recent attacks on Asian Americans have heightened the urgency for policy and community efforts to address anti-Asian rhetoric. 

Rep. Robinson was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2018 and is the first Korean-American elected to the state legislature. Previously, she led Advanced Energy Economy’s program on wholesale markets, including engagement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the regional transmission organizations. She advocates for clean air regulations and worked with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Regulation to deploy solar panels to municipal water and wastewater facilities. She is the only elected legislative member of the U.S. EPA Clean Air Act advisory committee.