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Anti-Asian hate crimes spike + Labor leaders promoted + California leads in LGBT people

Sacramento Bee logo Sacramento Bee 6/29/2022 Andrew Sheeler, The Sacramento Bee

Good morning and welcome to the A.M. Alert!


California saw an alarming 177.5% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes last year, according to the 2021 Hate Crime in California Report released by Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office on Tuesday.

According to the report, with 1,763 “bias events” recorded last year, overall hate crimes increased 32.6% from 2020 to 2021 and are at their highest reported level since 2001.

Hate crimes against Black people were the most prevalent to occur, with 513 recorded last year — a 12.5% increase from the year prior.

Bonta used the occasion of the report’s release to announce the creation of a new position in the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Law Division: A statewide hate crime coordinator who will assist state and local law enforcement efforts to combat hate crime.

“Today’s report undeniably shows that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” Bonta said in a statement “In fact, reported hate crime has reached a level we haven’t seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.”

Bonta said in a statement that he will use his full authority to fight back against hate crimes in the state.

“While there is no single solution, it’s up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, they come forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California,” he said.


California labor leaders April Verrett, president of SEIU Local 2015, and Joseph Bryant, president of SEIU 1021, have been voted into top positions at Service Employees International Union’s International Executive Board.

Video: AG Bonta: Anti-Black and Asian bias fueling hate crime surge in California (CBS SF Bay Area)


Verrett was elected to serve as secretary-treasurer, while Bryant was elected executive vice president.

“We’ve reached a moment of great reckoning in our country, where our communities are under constant attack from white supremacist violence, jobs that don’t pay us enough to live, healthcare we can’t access and can’t afford, underfunded schools, and unaffordable housing,” said President Mary Kay Henry in a statement. “April and Joseph’s rich life and professional experiences provide them with the foundation to be the next generation of leaders that help SEIU meet this moment and ensure we rewrite the rules that have been rigged against workers and against people of color, while billionaires and giant corporations do whatever they want.”

The two join the leadership team as SEIU International is in the midst of its “Unions for All” campaign, “with a goal of making it possible for all workers to join together across employers, industries and geographies,” according to a SEIU statement.


California has the largest LGBT population in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureaudata analyzed in a blog post by the Public Policy Institute of California.

There are 2.7 million gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Golden State. Texas comes in second, with 1.8 million LGBT people. The PPIC blog post notes that the Census looked only at those four groups, which is why it used the LGBT abbreviation.

“California’s share of adults who identify as LGBT (9.1%) is considerably higher than the share in the rest of the nation (7.9%). It is also higher than that of any other highly populated state,” according to the blog post. “Among the ten most populated states, Texas is second (8.4%) and New York is third (8.2%); North Carolina has the lowest share (6.3%). Among all states, Oregon has the highest LGBT share (12.3%), while Mississippi and South Dakota have the lowest (5.0% each).”

According to the data, nearly half (49%) of LGBT people identify as bisexual, while just over a third (36%) identify as gay or lesbian, and 15% identify as transgender.

Younger adults are more likely to identify as LGBT than are older adults; one in five young adults, compared to one in 20 older adults, according to PPIC.

“The LGBT population of California largely reflects the overall racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s adult population. In the general population no single racial/ethnic group constitutes a majority, with Latino and white adults making up the largest groups,” according to the blog post. “Within the LGBT population, gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults follow this pattern. Transgender adults are more likely than others to identify either as Latino, multiracial, or a race other than Asian, Black, or white.”


“Gavin Newsom is buying ads in Florida… while violence and human despair continue on the streets of California and your costs continue to go up (including your gas tax which increases this Friday). To say his priorities are misplaced would be the understatement of the century.”

- Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, via Twitter.

Best of the Bee:

  • Is prison labor enslavement? California Senate to take up ban on involuntary servitude, via Marcus D. Smith.

  • The “inflation relief” package championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders could have the opposite effect, pushing inflation — now at its higher level in 40 years — even higher, top economists say, via David Lightman.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are poised to eliminate the tax on marijuana growers, in a bid to provide relief to the flagging industry, via Andrew Sheeler.

  • California voters in November will get the chance to vote on a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing residents the ability to seek abortions and use birth control, via Lindsey Holden.

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