By Greg deGiere, Civil Rights Advocate, The Arc/UCP California Collaboration
The Senate voted 39-0 last Monday to give final passage to California’s most important hate crime bill in 19 years, sponsored by a broad coalition of civil rights and community groups led by The Arc/UCP California Collaboration.
What AB 449 will do if signed into law:
The bill will require every law enforcement agency to adopt a detailed hate crime policy that all California officers will be required to know and follow — with special emphasis on recognizing, reporting and responding to anti-disability hate crimes — the most overlooked “invisible hate crimes.”
To ensure accountability, the bill also will require all law enforcement agencies to submit their hate crime policies to the Department of Justice to check for compliance with the legal requirements.
The requirements are based on the results of a performance audit of police response to hate crimes, which found that “law enforcement has not adequately identified, reported, or responded to hate crimes.” The coalition convinced the Legislature to order the audit in 2018, and we’ve been working for what became this bill ever since.
Three ways you can TAKE ACTION to show your support:
- Have your organization email the governor a support letter at firstname.lastname@example.org. CLICK HERE to download a short letter you can use if you choose, or you can write your own.
- Send a Thank You email to the bill’s author, Assembly Member Phil Ting at email@example.com to show him your appreciation. The subject line of the email should say “AB 449 (Ting): Support.” Copy The Arc/UCP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask your network of friends, family members and colleagues to email the Governor at the same address above. The email can be as short as “Please sign AB 449.”
If you have questions or want to be included in future updates about this law, please email email@example.com