Asian Americans seek greater political power after shootings

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks after meeting with leaders from Georgia's Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Emory University in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Vivek Murthy, nominated to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service and to be Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Caroline Brehman/Pool via AP)

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, pauses for reporters as senators head to the chamber for a procedural vote on the nomination of Shalanda Young to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2021, file photo, Katherine Tai, then the nominee for U.S. trade representative, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. A gunman killing eight people at three Atlanta-area spas has awakened much of the rest of the country to incidents of racism and hate targeting Asian Americans that have spiked amid the coronavirus pandemic. But Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders and activists say days of tragedy and fear could help motivate the community to demand greater political influence. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

WASHINGTON — Speaking on the floor of the Georgia state Senate last week, Michelle Au implored her colleagues to “stand up” to the hatred aimed at Asian Americans that’s increased during the pandemic. A day later, a gunman shook the Atlanta area by killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.