San Jose, CA—On Tuesday January 31st, over 120 community members attended a Hate Crimes Hearing put on by County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and President of the Board Dave Cortese as part of a Special Children, Seniors, and Families Committee (CSFC) Meeting. Supervisors Chavez, Cortese and their other CSFC colleagues were joined in the Hearing Body by County Executive Jeff Smith, County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, County Sheriff Laurie Smith, San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and SJSU Chief of Police Peter Decena, among others. The issues covered ranged from public safety and justice, civil rights and protected classes, race and religion, education and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities.
“The hostile rhetoric directed at minorities during the election has now begun to manifest as tangible, legally-ambiguous and morally-bankrupt policies that are cultivating widespread fear, confusion and chaos,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chair of the Children, Seniors and Families Committee.
County officials, community leaders and service providers participated in a series of panel presentations before numerous public speakers provided their insight.
Supervisor Chavez acknowledged that the Hearing presented an opportunity for the County to play a leadership role in communicating recommended policies, initiative and outcomes that came out of the testimony and discussion to cities for a comprehensive and interconnected, local strategy. The Hearing Body recognized the need for the County to be a leading voice in the fight against divisive and dangerous rhetoric targeting religious minorities, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, women and the LGBTQ community.
President Cortese and Supervisor Chavez plan to build on the success of these hearings by making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors based on the testimony and discussion heard at all three Immigration, Women’s Issues and Hate Crimes Hearings.