In 2010, a couple of prosecutors in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office came up with the idea of a national Asian Pacific Islander (API) prosecutors’ organization. As it was being founded, the prosecutors reached out to newly elected District Attorney Jeff Rosen who supported their vision.
The organization, which came to be known as the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association (NAPIPA), has thrived since its founding. It now has approximately 600 members in six chapters across the country. And DA Rosen, who is a member and has shown his support by attending and speaking at a number of the organization’s events, has devoted himself to listening to and promoting public safety issues that deeply affect our communities.
One of our most important goals as an organization is to increase the number and influence of API prosecutors.
Our DA has increased the number of API prosecutors in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office by 59% (from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2020) and has promoted five API attorneys to supervisory positions during his tenure.
For example, DA Rosen promoted a veteran prosecutor as the first API in the office’s history to be named as an assistant district attorney, a member of the executive management team.
During his tenure as DA, he has assigned two API prosecutors to serve the community through the Community Prosecution Unit. Currently, one API prosecutor serves as the first-ever full-time liaison with the Vietnamese community.
DA Rosen has hosted prosecutors from South Korea and Taiwan on several occasions for weeks to learn about the American criminal justice system and learn from them.
One of the most tragic and terrifying recent crime trends has been the rise of anti API hatred in the US. DA Rosen has worked to confront it here in Santa Clara County.
DA Rosen produced a public service announcement—one of the first by any DA’s Office—denouncing hate crimes, including those against the API community.
Just in the past several weeks, DA Rosen and his Chief Assistant Jay Boyarsky have spoken at numerous major anti-Asian hate crime rallies in Santa Clara County.
And in the last couple months, DA Rosen has filed hate crime charges against criminals who targeted victims based on their API ethnicity—including a woman who spat on a man having lunch in Mountain View and a violent sexual assault on a Filipina woman in a San Jose train station.
We strongly support DA Rosen in his ongoing efforts to reflect API’s proud and powerful presence in our community. As the top public safety officer in the largest prosecutorial office in Northern California, he has shown a commitment to the API community and to NAPIPA.
We look forward to DA Rosen continuing to support the API community, both in the office and at large.
Editor's note: Huang, Jhin and Adams are deputy district attorneys in Santa Clara County, but the views expressed in this letter are those of the authors, who clarify the views do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office or NAPIPA. Opinions are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].