Gov. Hochul signs two bills to educate NYers against discrimination and hate crimes
Governor Kathy Hochul decried the rise in violent domestic terrorism in New York and the nation, and signed two bills into law that she says will takes steps toward trying to prevent it.
Hochul says recent disturbing events include the arrest of two armed men in New York’s Penn station who had made threats against a Jewish synagogue, and the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket patronized by African-Americans that killed ten people.
The governor, says “domestic violent extremism is the greatest threat to homeland security.” And she says New Yorkers are entitled to a sense of security as they go about their daily lives, no matter who they are.
“No Asian woman of any age coming home from work should ever worry about where she stands on a subway platform,” Hochul said. “No young Jewish boy should have to look over his shoulder as he’s walking to a Yeshiva.”
Hochul says no Trans man or woman should ever have to fear for their safety walking down the street, and no Black New Yorkers should ever fear becoming a “target” in a grocery story.
Hochul signed two bills. One requires people who are convicted of a hate crime to undergo mandatory training in prevention and education. Another establishes a statewide education campaign, carried out by the state’s Division of Human Rights, to promote acceptance, inclusion and tolerance of diversity in New York, that Hochul says is aimed to “de-radicalize” people.
Senator Anna Kaplan, an Iranian of Jewish descent who came to the US fleeing anti-Semitic violence during that country’s Islamic Revolution, is the sponsor of that bill. She says the issue is “personal”.
“I saw firsthand how extremism took over our communities, and then over our country,” Kaplan said. “And we can never let that happen here in our state.”
In addition Hochul says $50 million in funding is available to nonprofits to want to launch anti hate programs. She says as many as 1,000 new programs could be created.
The New York State Police have already stepped up protection for communities at risk of hate crimes
Lastly, Hochul says she plans a “unity summit”, in the near future with community leaders, to try to find ways to combat hate and discrimination.
"New York belongs to the good, not those with hate in their hearts,” Hochul said.