California Council of Churches and Church IMPACT have long advocated for effective legislation to fight the scourge of hate crimes. We are facing another challenge this year.
No one can observe the shocking data on the rise of hate crimes in our state. Who among us has not seen the horrific videos of Asian Americans being brutalized, of rancid assaults on Jews, of increased violence against trans-gendered people, and vicious racism hurled at all people of color.
CCC and CCI represent a highly diverse body of people who can be potential targets of hate. We are thus part of a large coalition seeking to strengthen our hate crimes laws to stop these acts and protect our beloved community. We therefore are part of a 41-group coalition advocating for better and more effective hate crimes law enforcement.
We have been working to strengthen police enforcement of existing laws. We have amendments we wish added to the existing anti-hate crimes bill, AB 57 (Gabriel, D-45). The bill, while good, lacks what we believe are critical requirements that would massively strengthen our ability to stop hate crimes and offer far better justice to victims.
Our coalition is focusing on two things recommended by a recent state audit on hate crimes enforcement:
-a requirement that every law enforcement agency have a model policy in conformation with that created by California's Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) and
-that the state Attorney General be empowered to get compliance and reporting from those agencies.
We are inviting you and your congregation to join our coalition to add the weight of your moral voice and advocacy for your members to this petition. If you are willing to join us, please send your congregation's name, address, phone, and contact person's information to our coalition organizer: Greg deGiere at firstname.lastname@example.org. His phone is 916-224-7319.
Every congregation is welcome to become part of this coalition. We are also urging those congregations in San Diego to become involved for the simple reason that it is the home of our President pro tem of the Senate, Toni Atkins. As AB 57 moves forward and can still be amended to include our requirements, her support needs San Diego area voices in particular.
If you wish to see our amendments and to read the bill itself, please let us know, and I will forward our 10-page fact sheet to you.
We hope you will make a commitment to join us in this critically-important work. We don't want just a bill - we want a bill with real ability to halt hate crimes and improve enforcement of our laws.
Hate violence and terror have to stop. We need your help to get that done.