By Tessa Cherian
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in hate crimes across the United States. Frequently, hate crimes are motivated by factors such as ethnicity and sexual orientation. More specifically, in New York, there has been a rise in anti-Asian and anti-Black hate crimes in urban areas like New York City. To fight these growing numbers, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York signed a new initiative, written by New York Senator Anna Kaplan, to prevent such violence. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblypeople Rebecca Seawright and Charles Lavine.
Artwork by Suha Tasfia
Hochul may set a precedent for governors with her approach to mitigating hate crimes.
These two pieces of legislation were not only in support of preventing hate crimes, but also education efforts for those who commit them. Together, the legislation focus on increasing funds for the protection of minorities and making communities safer through increased surveillance.
The first piece of legislation mandates hate crime culprits to go through training, counseling and paying penalties. The second piece emphasizes developing a statewide campaign for the inclusivity of all people, regardless of individual differences. These programs and policies will be set in place during the end of December.
Some students at New Hyde Park Memorial feel that establishing this plan is key to bringing about positive change in the community.
“I believe that Governor Hochul’s actions are key to ensuring a safer future for New York. Hearing all the news about people attacking each other because of things like race is really disheartening. However, I’m glad that a strong initiative was taken,” senior Aditi Kaur said.
“Mandating education for hate crime committers is key to trying to solve the root of the problem which remains discrimination. Educating and counseling those who may lack the ability to empathize with others is really important to prevent hate crimes,” sophomore Serena Sabu said.
$246 million will be invested in funding federal programs and organizations that will implement the changes highlighted in the legislation. It will be utilized in various community-based organizations, one being the New York’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program. The organization plans to direct their allocated funding towards improving the state’s physical security, such as alarms and shatter-resistant glass. Additionally, the New York State Police is working alongside the Division of Homeland Security to educate New Yorkers about the new hate crime laws.
Ultimately, Governor Hochul’s initiatives to prevent hate crimes have been met with both praise and hope for their effectiveness.