- On Wednesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $16 million in funds to boost the safety of more than 200 organizations at risk of being hate crime targets.
- The grants can be used for interior or exterior security equipment such as alarms, fences, panic buttons, shatter-resistant glass and public address systems, among other items.
- Each organization was eligible to apply for a maximum of three facilities, while each facility received a maximum grant of $50,000.
- Hochul said the state’s fiscal 2023 budget also allocates $25 million for its Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program, while hate crime victims can now obtain up to $2,500 in reimbursement.
- The announcements came less than two weeks after Steven Zajonc, 28, was indicted on multiple hate crime charges for allegedly attacking seven Asian women in Manhattan in February.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced nearly $16 million in funds to boost the safety of organizations at risk of being targeted by hate crimes.
The 327 grants will help 205 organizations — including churches, synagogues, religious schools, civic groups and other nonprofits — secure their physical facilities to better protect the communities they serve.
The funds can be used for interior or exterior security equipment such as alarms, fences, panic buttons, shatter-resistant glass and public address systems, among other items.
Each organization was eligible to apply for a maximum of three facilities, while each facility received a maximum grant of $50,000.
Hochul made the announcement at an anti-hate crime rally at Queens College on Wednesday.
“New York State’s diversity is our strength, yet too many New Yorkers continue to live in fear and today we say enough is enough,” she said.
“Hate, racism, and xenophobia have no place in our State, and this critical funding sends a clear message that New York stands united against individuals who seek to sow hatred and divide us.”
Earlier this month, Steven Zajonc, 28, was indicted on multiple hate crime charges after allegedly assaulting seven Asian women in a span of three hours throughout Manhattan on Feb. 27.
Aside from anti-Asian incidents, New York City has also seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks.
The grants, administered by the Division of Criminal Justice Services, are available through the state’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) program.
On top of the $16 million fund, Hochul announced that the Fiscal Year 2023 Enacted Budget directs $25 million toward SCAHC grants, while hate crime victims can now obtain up to $2,500 — up from just $500 — in reimbursement.
Hochul in February also announced a $10 million fund for Asian Americans disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the largest investment the state has ever made for the community.
Officials and community leaders welcomed the latest funding.
“From safety in the subway and increased hate crimes to senseless gun violence and the ongoing mental health crisis, New York needs and deserves all the resources possible to combat the rise in crime,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) said. “Public safety must continue to be the top priority for our city and state. Everybody deserves to feel safe whether on mass transit or walking down the street, and I thank the Governor [for] prioritizing this issue.”
Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, said: “Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with the grantees of our Hope Against Hate Campaign that Governor Hochul made possible with a $3.3 million grant. We celebrated the start of the work to build safety programs and community education in our community. We are grateful for this new investment that Governor Hochul has allocated that can be used by nonprofits, houses of worship, civic organizations, and other critical community organizations to address the safety needs of our treasured and vital institutions.”
“Fighting hate crimes is a collective communal responsibility. The person who hates me today will hate you tomorrow,” said Rabbi Joe Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis. “Thank you Governor Hochul for providing more fiscal support for security for our institutions and giving judges more discretion in hate crime cases. We of different faiths but of one family stand together when anyone is a victim of this heinous hatred.”
Featured Image via Gov. Kathy Hochul