Press Conference to Stand Against
Anti-Semitism, Hate, Bigotry, and Racism to Be Re-Scheduled
Update: The press conference planned for February 4 in Burien to denounce hate and racism was canceled as a result of inclement weather. Details on re-scheduling will be posted here as soon as they are available.
A number of homes in Burien received letters calling for violence against Jews and other groups. These letters were the latest incident in a long string of disturbing expressions of hate. In response to these incidents, Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta scheduled a press conference for Monday, February 4, at Burien City Hall to denounce hate and racism.
Scheduled speakers included a diverse group of minority community leaders, including Federation President & CEO Nancy Greer.
- Hate crimes rose dramatically in 2017. As reported by the FBI, hate crimes increased 17 percent nationally and 42 percent in Washington State.
- Nationally, of the 22 percent of hate crimes that were religiously motivated nationally, almost 60 percent were motivated by anti-Jewish bias.
- Washington State had the second highest number of hate crimes in the country.
- In addition to the Jewish community, Latinos, Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community have all been subject to increased hate crimes, bias incidents, harassment, and intimidation.
- We must do better. We must come together and work to build a better world. As Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
To address the issue of rising hate crimes effectively, we must also work to change our state’s law. To this end, in Olympia, the Federation is helping to lead a diverse group of community stakeholders to strengthen Washington State’s hate crimes law. We’re supporting and advocating HB 1732, sponsored by Rep. Javier Valdez, which:
- Declares Washington a “Hate Free Zone”
- Identifies “hate crimes” by their true name rather than as “malicious harassment”
- Establishes a multidisciplinary hate crime advisory group — a collaboration among government, members of vulnerable communities, and individuals directly impacted by hate crimes to report to the Legislature strategies to more effectively prevent hate crimes, strengthen law enforcement response, and support victims.
The Jewish Federation speaks out and fights against anti-Semitism in government, schools, and the community. We make change by:
- Collaborating with Jewish partners
- Working with local, state, and national elected officials
- Lobbying for policy changes
- Advocating for community members with schools, government, and other institutions
- Partnering with interfaith and minority coalitions to more effectively fight discrimination
- Combating virulent anti-Zionism
To learn more, contact: