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Caucus News

Thursday, November 17, 2022

As an Arab Muslim woman teaching in California for the past decade, I have heard more hate and disinformation about my culture and faith than I care to remember.

Social media is where most disinformation starts. It spreads across California every day, ranging from conspiracy theories about climate change to rumors designed to undermine confidence in public health protections, or the hate speech that fueled the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.  

Thankfully, California is increasingly fighting back. Gov. Gavin Newsom this year signed Assembly Bill 587 into law, which requires social media companies to publicly explain their efforts to prevent hate speech, disinformation and extremism. Platforms must provide detailed reports of how they police themselves twice per year to the California Attorney General’s office.

State Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, a Burbank Democrat, said the goal of the bill is to encourage social media companies to reflect on the role they play in public discourse and the damage they cause.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Today, the leaders of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus condemned Kanye West’s spreading of antisemitism and specifically called upon sportswear manufacturer Adidas to sever their business ties with the recording artist.  

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), the chair of the Jewish caucus and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the vice chair spoke to reporters at a Zoom press conference with Teresa Drenick, the deputy regional director of the Central Pacific Region at the Anti-Defamation League.

“We’re here today because of a series of reprehensible statements and social media posts and comments by Kanye West, now known as Ye, that have directly attacked the Jewish community and have threatened harm in the most unambiguous terms against the Jewish community,” Gabriel said. “We’re here because words have consequences. And what we have seen is that these comments, these antisemitic vitriolic comments by Kanye West have emboldend other extremists. And when we saw this in a very profound and visceral way here in Los Angeles, where extremists held a put up a banner over the 405 Freeway, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Southern California and also through appalling antisemitic propaganda that was up in Jewish and neighborhoods.” 

 

Monday, October 24, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA - Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), Chair and Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, released the following statement today on behalf of the Jewish Caucus:

 

“Words have consequences. Kanye West threatened Jews, and now other extremists are openly threatening our Jewish community with hateful banners on the 405 freeway and distributing appalling antisemitic propaganda in our neighborhoods.

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA — We, the members of California Legislative Diversity Caucus—comprised of the California Legislative Black Caucus, California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, California Latino Legislative Caucus, California Legislative Jewish Caucus, and the California Legislative Women's Caucus—are appalled at the anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and homophobic statements made in conversation between Los Angeles City Council members Nury Martinez, Kevin de Leon, Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Labor Federation Pre

Friday, September 16, 2022

During a shabbat service this January at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, a gunman stormed into the synagogue, taking the congregants hostage for more than 11 hours. As the gunman made threats and demands, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker kept his congregation calm, waiting for the right moment to strike the perpetrator with a chair and usher the victims to safety. Thanks to Cytron-Walker’s expertise, everyone escaped safely.

In interviews following the incident, Cytron-Walker attributed his swift, decisive action to security training he had received from local nonprofit organizations.

More than a thousand miles away, California lawmakers took note.

The California State Legislature unanimously passed a measure in late August to strengthen protections for Californians facing hate-motivated violence. The bill, known as AB 1664, would expand the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides funding for security enhancements at institutions at risk of hate-motivated violence.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), who authored the bill, said that it was introduced to the legislature in response to the standoff at Congregation Beth Israel. Gabriel cited a recent report from the California Attorney General that found a nearly 90 percent uptick in hate crimes in the state over the last decade as further reason to expand security protections at vulnerable community centers.

“In a world where hate crimes and antisemitism are on the rise, we need more than thoughts and prayers to keep us safe,” said Gabriel.  “This new law will provide critical resources to protect vulnerable communities and sends a powerful message that California stands firmly with those targeted by hate.”