Commission on the State of Hate Releases First Annual Report Outlining New Effort to Study and Combat Alarming Increase in Hate Activity
December 28, 2023
For Immediate Release
Initial report provides overview of Commission’s activities, structure, and strategic goals aimed at supporting a California free from hate
SACRAMENTO – The California Commission on the State of Hate (Commission) today released its first annual report outlining the Commission’s work to study and combat hate activity. The Commission was established to support state efforts to stop hate through research, policy recommendations, and community engagement. It is one of several major initiatives that have been advanced by the State of California in direct response to the surge in reported hate crimes in the state, which in recent years reached their highest levels since 2001 — increasing more than 20% from 2021 to 2022.
“Unfortunately, hate continues to have a devastating impact on the many communities that make California the vibrant, thriving state that it is today,” said Commission Chair Russell Roybal. “With this report, the Commission is laying out its strategic priorities and action plan for protecting communities from hate. This work is key to creating a more peaceful California where all communities can flourish. California continues to lead the way and I am inspired by the commitment of our state and community partners in working to safeguard Californians from hate.”
“This report is an important first step to address the hate that Californians continue to experience,” said Bamby Salcedo, Vice Chair of the Commission and President and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition. “It will provide a guide to the much needed work that we are doing as a commission. We are grateful for the support that the California Civil Rights Department has provided to ensure that we continue to address and ultimately eradicate hate in our beautiful state.”
“While coming together in the face of hate isn’t new, I’m inspired by the dedication of our state and community partners in combatting the recent alarming rise in hate activity,” said Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish. “California continues to lead the nation in the fight to protect the rights of all our communities. The California Commission on the State of Hate is a key part of those efforts and a testament to the state’s intentional approach to addressing hate and discrimination. If you want to join us in the fight against hate, I urge you to read this first annual report and get involved, whether it’s participating in the Commission’s community forums or uplifting resources available through CA vs Hate.”
The Commission was established by Assembly Bill 1126 (AB 1126), which was signed into law by Governor Newsom in October 2021 and funded through the Budget Act of 2022. AB 1126 tasks the Commission with understanding the state of hate in California and developing recommendations for preventing and responding to hate activity. Specifically, the Commission seeks to monitor trends in hate activity in the state, engage in research, increase awareness of the state of hate through public forums and other outreach efforts, and advise local governments, the Governor, the Legislature, and communities on how to prevent and respond to hate activity. Given the inherent complexity of this mandate, the Commission has prioritized building a solid foundation of knowledge and evidence, reviewing cutting-edge research and proactively seeking input from communities throughout the state. Where there are gaps in knowledge, the Commission is also developing community partnerships and engaging in original research efforts in partnership with leading California institutions. The Commission’s efforts to study the impacts of hate are especially critical in the face of limitations to existing data on the prevalence of hate activity, which has historically been underreported in the context of hate crimes or often not captured at all in official statistics in the context of other forms of hate activity. In addition to monthly meetings, the Commission hosts quarterly community forums, and it is currently set to remain in effect through January 1, 2027. This first annual report provides an overview of the Commission’s initial activities, structure, and strategic goals aimed at supporting a California free from hate.
The work of the Commission builds on the longstanding efforts of numerous state and community partners to combat hate and other forms of discrimination. With the support of staff at the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), the Commission aims to provide guidance to strengthen and build on existing anti-hate initiatives across California, serving as a critical hub for supporting the state’s myriad approaches. At the statewide level, these efforts include:
- The recent launch of California vs Hate, a non-emergency, multilingual hate crime and incident reporting hotline and online portal, which, in its first six months, received more than 500 reports of hate actsacross California.
- The California Department of Social Services’ Stop the Hate Program, which awards funding to nonprofit organizations to support hate crime prevention and provide services to victims and survivors of hate incidents and hate crimes.
- The California State Library’s Ethnic Media Grant Project aimed at supporting access to information through outlets and organizations serving communities that are historically vulnerable to hate incidents and hate crimes.
- Ongoing efforts by the California Department of Justice to aid and assist local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities and community partners in addressing hate crimes.
- Financial and other forms of support from the California Victim Compensation Boardfor individuals who have been the victim of a hate crime.
- CRD’s Community Conflict Resolution Unit, which, upon invitation, works with communities experiencing tension relating to discriminatory practices or hate to constructively manage or resolve conflict and minimize the potential for violence.
The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.