Newsom makes appointments to new anti-hate crime commission – San Bernardino Sun

Brian Levin, a Cal State San Bernardino criminal justice professor from Orange County, is among the first contingent to be appointed to a new anti-hate crime commission by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Levin, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was a proponent of the bill establishing the Commission on the State of Hate throughout the legislative process. Authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, it was signed into law in 2021.

Newsom announced his slate of five people to the nine-member statewide commission on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Other appointees are Cynthia Choi, a co-director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate; Bamby Salcedo, president and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition; Shirin Sinnar, a Stanford Law School professor; and Erroll G. Southers, associate senior vice president of safety and risk assurance at USC.

In a previous interview with the Southern California News Group, Levin said the Commission on the State of Hate could help smaller communities with limited resources.

“This commission would be complementary to other agencies that (are) fighting hate and work alongside them,” Levin said. “It will bring multiple stakeholders together and leverage data, expertise, and community input in this battle against hate.”

There is no compensation for the positions on the Commission on the State of Hate, and it does not require Senate confirmation. While Levin is registered without party preference, the rest of the appointees are Democrats, according to the Governor’s Office.

On social media, Levin thanked Newsom, Bloom and others for the appointment to the “commission which we worked so hard to create.”

The Assembly speaker and Senate Committee on Rules will also make appointments.

‘Much work remains to tackle barriers’

Additionally Tuesday, Newsom signed an executive order instructing state agencies to take further steps to enact equity in their policies and practices, such as engaging with disadvantaged and underserved communities when developing strategic plans.

“Our state has made great strides in redressing historic wrongs and stubborn disparities, but we know that much work remains to tackle the barriers that hold back too many Californians and undermine our collective prosperity,” Newsom said in a statement.

The governor also signed a slate of bills related to equity — including a bill from Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, he said could make public transit safer for all.

Min’s SB 1161 instructs the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose to conduct a survey transit operators can utilize to better support and strengthen safety on public transit. The legislation was sponsored by Stop AAPI Hate.

Min said it’s “long overdue” for operators to utilize a data-driven approach to make sure public transit is safe for all.

“This one is very near and dear to my heart because I believe strongly in public transit, (and) I believe strongly in the rights of people — regardless of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, identity, or physical capacity — to ride public transit without the fear of being harassed, but we know that’s not the case,” Min told the Southern California News Group.

“This bill will hopefully start a process where we can make public transit safe for everybody,” he added.

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