OAKLAND – Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) convened Bay Area faith leaders last Monday for a meeting to discuss actions to combat hate in the aftermath of the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Assemblymember Thurmond is a member of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
“We know that we cannot count on leadership at the top, specifically the President, to do anything to stop the spread of hate,” said Thurmond. “My intention in organizing this meeting was to bring together local faith and civic leaders, and come up with actions that we can take now to keep our communities safe from hate.”
Last year, after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Thurmond organized a roundtable with educators to discuss strategies for teaching tolerance and combating hate in the classroom. Thurmond also responded by authoring and passing HR 57 supporting Congressional efforts to censure President Trump, making California the first state legislature in the nation to do so. “The leader of the free world can’t continue to use language that legitimizes the actions of extremists groups that promote hate,” Thurmond said.
This year, the State of California’s budget included $10 million to restore the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The museum, through its “Tools for Tolerance” program, provides children and adults courses in inclusiveness, bias and community relations. The budget also includes $1.2 million for anti-hate speech training in higher education and $500,000 in non-profit security grants to help improve safety at places of worship and other targeted non-profits.
Those interested in applying for grants prior to the November 13th deadline should visit the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website or select this link.
“Those who hate are emboldened in our nation today, and their hate knows no bounds – Jews, Muslims, immigrants, people of color and other vulnerable communities have a heightened sense of alarm,” said Thurmond. “We are stronger together against hate. I’m asking anyone with ideas to contribute to our group’s plan to address hate in our communities to reach out and join us.”
Thurmond invited interested members of the community to reach out to his district staff at 510-286-1400 with ideas and concerns.
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.