Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Establishing New Program to Protect Californians Against Hate Crimes

Friday, October 11, 2019

SACRAMENTO — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1548 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley), which establishes the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to provide security funding to nonprofit organizations at risk of hate-motivated violence.  This legislation builds upon California’s historic commitment to allocate $15 million in security funding in this year’s state budget, which was made following the deadly attack at the Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California earlier this year.

“In a world where hate crimes and antisemitism are on the rise, we need more than thoughts and prayers to keep us safe,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, who serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.  “This new law will provide critical resources to protect vulnerable communities and sends a powerful message that California stands firmly with those targeted by hate.”

Improving security has become an urgent priority for many communities following a recent surge in violent extremism that has included the deadly shooting at a synagogue in Halle, Germany earlier this week. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, members of the LGBTQ community, African Americans, and Jews remain the most frequent targets for hate-motivated violence, which also threatens Muslims, Sikhs, immigrants, individuals with disabilities and others.

AB 1548 will help protect vulnerable Californians by formally establishing the NSGP under the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Funds will be allocated to at-risk nonprofits through a competitive grant program and may be used to fund physical security enhancements and security personnel.  The maximum grant is $200,000 per institution. Many nonprofit institutions, including houses of worship and community centers, operate on extremely tight budgets and would be unable to fund needed security enhancements absent this new program.

AB 1548 passed the Legislature with bipartisan support and was supported by a broad coalition that includes LGBTQ, Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic organizations.

"Here in California and across the country, hate crimes against people of color, immigrants, the Jewish community and LGBTQ people are on the rise,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California, a leading LGBTQ civil rights organization. “That's why Equality California is proud to stand with Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel in taking action to improve security at institutions that protect and serve these targeted communities. We applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for showing that California is better than hate and for signing AB 1548 into law."

“As a sponsor of AB 1584, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California is grateful to Governor Newsom for his leadership on the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program and his commitment to funding the program in his 2019 budget,” said Julie Zeisler, Executive Director of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC).  “We thank Governor Newsom for signing AB 1548 into law to codify the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program and ensure that nonprofits at risk of a hate crime have the security that they need to serve their communities."

Jesse Gabriel is Assistant Majority Whip of the State Assembly and Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. He represents the 45th Assembly District, which includes much of the west San Fernando Valley. Gabriel currently serves on the Committees on Housing and Community Development, Higher Education, Banking and Finance, Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Appropriations.