Fighting Against Hate Crimes and Protecting the Diverse Community Culture of Los Angeles
Posted by Councilmember Englander on March 10, 2017 at 8:59 AM
This week, I stood with my colleagues, Councilmembers David Ryu, Bob Blumenfield, and Paul Koretz, to submit a motion requesting LAPD, with the assistance of the City Attorney, report to City Council on recent trends in reported hate crimes and religious, ethnic or racially motivated violence, particularly those directed at our Los Angeles’ Jewish community; efforts to respond to hate crimes and increase security around Jewish facilities, including, synagogues, cemeteries, schools and community centers; enhanced security protocols that can be taken during Jewish holidays; and any cooperative efforts to help determine the vulnerability of these institutions and secure their facilities.
We also requested they report to the City Council on any federal, state or local funding that could be sought by the City to help enhance security around faith-based facilities, as well as any security grants that could be secured by non-governmental or faith-based entities to help defray the costs of security assessments, site visits and infrastructure improvements to further secure their facilities.
The greater Los Angeles area calls itself home to nearly 3.5 million immigrants, who trace their roots to scores of countries, cultures, ethnicities and religions. For nearly 150 years, immigrants have played a vital role in shaping the region’s economy and culture time, and time again, the residents of Los Angeles have chosen to embrace the diversity that continues to strengthen our City.
Over the last few weeks, the City of Los Angeles has seen an uptick in vandalism, including the spray painting of swastikas on public and private property.
Jolted into action by the wave of hate crimes, faith-based organizations have united to stem bigotry in our communities. In Los Angeles, The Jewish Federation, through its Community Security Initiative, has been working with synagogues and schools to improve security around facilities and proactively monitor threats.
With the second largest Jewish population outside Israel, we should take recent instances of anti-Semitism seriously. It is incumbent that the City of Los Angeles secure its residents and protect the diversity that continues to define and strengthen the region.