Gavin Newsom Proposes More Security Funds For Religious Groups After Synagogue Attack

The California governor’s announcement comes just days after a deadly shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego.

Days after a deadly synagogue shooting in his state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proposed significantly increasing security funding for synagogues, mosques and other religious and community groups that experience hate crimes and other violence.

On Monday, Newsom announced that he planned to allocate $15 million for the “State Nonprofit Security Grant Program” in the May budget for the coming fiscal year.

The program allows nonprofits that are targets of hate ― including LGBTQ, women’s rights and immigrant advocacy groups, religious congregations and more ― to apply for grants to improve security at their facilities. This could include purchasing reinforced doors or gates, improved alarm systems, security guards or other measures, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In past years, California has allocated far less funding for the program ― $2 million in 2015 and 2017 and $500,000 in 2018, according to figures the state’s department of finance sent HuffPost. Federal funds serving a similar purpose provided nearly $2 million extra in 2015, up to a high of nearly $6 million in 2018.

Legislators would still have to approve Newsom’s proposed funding increase for the upcoming budget.

“We all must call out hate – against any and all communities – and act to defend those targeted for their religious beliefs, who they love or how they identify,” Newsom said in a news release. “An attack against any community is an attack against our entire state – who we are and what we stand for.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the shooting at the Poway Chabad Synagogue north of San Diego. Newsom said he would in
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the shooting at the Poway Chabad Synagogue north of San Diego. Newsom said he would increase spending to pay for increased security at nonprofit organizations at higher risk because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.

On Sunday, a gunman killed one woman and injured three other people in a shooting at a Chabad synagogue north of San Diego. The case is being investigated as a possible hate crime. In the suspect’s apparent manifesto, he gloated about having “European ancestry,” expressed his hatred of Jewish people and said he took inspiration from the New Zealand mosque shooting, in which an alleged white supremacist shot and killed 50 people last month.

After the synagogue attack, Democratic California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris denounced anti-Semitism and called for gun law reform, as did other 2020 Democratic hopefuls.

Hate crimes have been increasing in California, according to the governor’s office. There were over 1,000 hate crimes across the state in 2017, an increase of more than 17% from the previous year. Anti-Semitic events increased from 82 in 2016 to 104 in 2017, an increase of nearly 27%, and anti-Muslim events went from 37 in 2016 to 46 in 2017, a 24% increase.