Advertisement

Newsom’s newest battle against hate crimes includes $4.5 million for Central Valley groups

Fresno City Councilmember Annalisa Perea, a leading advocate for the city’s LGBTQ+ community, praised Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday for “taking bold and necessary steps to address the alarming rise in hate and discrimination across our state.”

Newsom announced additional funds – including at least $4.5 million to Central Valley organizations – to help protect California’s diverse communities from increased acts of hate. The governor cited the Aug. 18 shooting death of a San Bernardino County business owner who refused to take down a Pride flag in front of her clothing store.

“An attack on any of our communities is an attack on everything we stand for as Californians,” said Newsom in a press release announcing $91.4 million would go to 173 organizations to support victims, provide resources, “and facilitate anti-hate prevention measures.”

That comes on top of a $44.6 million Stop the Hate media campaign launched last year to combat hate crimes, the launch this year of a CA vs Hate hotline – (833) 8-NO-HATE) – and the launch of a statewide commission to monitor and track hate crimes.

“As hate-fueled rhetoric drives increasing acts of bigotry and violence, California is taking action to protect those who are targeted just for being who they are,” said Newsom.

Fresno City Councilmember Annalisa Perea is the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the 7-member council. She has pushed for additional services and support for LGBTW+ resources.
Fresno City Councilmember Annalisa Perea is the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the 7-member council. She has pushed for additional services and support for LGBTW+ resources.

Perea – who led an effort to establish an LGBTQ+ liaison within the mayor’s Office of Community Affairs – said Newsome’s anti-hate crime efforts that include a multilingual awareness campaign and an emphasis on inclusive education “are vital components of a comprehensive strategy.”

“I believe that an attack on any community is an attack on the values of inclusivity, acceptance, and diversity that our great state embodies,” said Perea in a statement. “The LGBTQ+ community, like other marginalized groups, has too often been subjected to acts of hatred and violence.”

Perea is the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Fresno City Council.

On Wednesday, the governor also sent a letter to public school leaders that focused on their legal responsibilities “to ensure ethnic studies curricula – which give students a chance to ‘see” themselves in the fabric of our state – are appropriate and do not reflect or promote bias, bigotry or discrimination.”

Newsom also announced a statewide media campaign in various languages that will focus on traditionally hard-to-reach communities. The CA vs Hate ads will run in print, radio and digital ads.

The $91.4 million in grants will run through June 2026. They will support direct services like mental health and legal assistance, prevention services like training on de-escalation techniques, and intervention services like repairing harm from hate incidents.

“Together, we can work towards eradicating hate and fostering a society where every individual is valued and respected,” said Perea.

Among the organizations that will share the funds are:

–Radio Bilingüe efforts in the Central Coast: $205,000

–The Dolores Huerta Foundation: $300,000

–Fresno-based Education and Leadership Foundation: $575,000

–The Equality California Institute, which partners with the Fresno Unified School District: $630,000

–Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries: $800,000

–Jakara Movement: $700,000

–Oasis Legal Services: $200,000

–Stone Soup Fresno: $490,000

–The Fresno Center: $800,000

–Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.: $200,000