Fresno City Councilmember Annalisa Perea, a leading advocate for the city’s LGBTQ+ community, praised Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday for “taking bold and necessary steps to address the alarming rise in hate and discrimination across our state.”
Newsom announced additional funds – including at least $4.5 million to Central Valley organizations – to help protect California’s diverse communities from increased acts of hate. The governor cited the Aug. 18 shooting death of a San Bernardino County business owner who refused to take down a Pride flag in front of her clothing store.
“An attack on any of our communities is an attack on everything we stand for as Californians,” said Newsom in a press release announcing $91.4 million would go to 173 organizations to support victims, provide resources, “and facilitate anti-hate prevention measures.”
That comes on top of a $44.6 million Stop the Hate media campaign launched last year to combat hate crimes, the launch this year of a CA vs Hate hotline – (833) 8-NO-HATE) – and the launch of a statewide commission to monitor and track hate crimes.
“As hate-fueled rhetoric drives increasing acts of bigotry and violence, California is taking action to protect those who are targeted just for being who they are,” said Newsom.
Perea – who led an effort to establish an LGBTQ+ liaison within the mayor’s Office of Community Affairs – said Newsome’s anti-hate crime efforts that include a multilingual awareness campaign and an emphasis on inclusive education “are vital components of a comprehensive strategy.”
“I believe that an attack on any community is an attack on the values of inclusivity, acceptance, and diversity that our great state embodies,” said Perea in a statement. “The LGBTQ+ community, like other marginalized groups, has too often been subjected to acts of hatred and violence.”
Perea is the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Fresno City Council.
On Wednesday, the governor also sent a letter to public school leaders that focused on their legal responsibilities “to ensure ethnic studies curricula – which give students a chance to ‘see” themselves in the fabric of our state – are appropriate and do not reflect or promote bias, bigotry or discrimination.”
Newsom also announced a statewide media campaign in various languages that will focus on traditionally hard-to-reach communities. The CA vs Hate ads will run in print, radio and digital ads.
The $91.4 million in grants will run through June 2026. They will support direct services like mental health and legal assistance, prevention services like training on de-escalation techniques, and intervention services like repairing harm from hate incidents.
“Together, we can work towards eradicating hate and fostering a society where every individual is valued and respected,” said Perea.
Among the organizations that will share the funds are:
–Radio Bilingüe efforts in the Central Coast: $205,000
–The Dolores Huerta Foundation: $300,000
–Fresno-based Education and Leadership Foundation: $575,000
–The Equality California Institute, which partners with the Fresno Unified School District: $630,000
–Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries: $800,000
–Jakara Movement: $700,000
–Oasis Legal Services: $200,000
–Stone Soup Fresno: $490,000
–The Fresno Center: $800,000
–Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.: $200,000