ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 15, 2023) — Twenty community groups gathered with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken and Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros on Monday for a roundtable discussion on preventing, addressing and better understanding hate crimes and incidents.
The roundtable was the 10th in a series across the state by Attorney General Bonta with local officials, law enforcement and community leaders.
“California has seen a rise in hate against too many communities, too many times,” Bonta said. “Hate has always been present to some degree, and so has resistance and solidarity to overcome it. I am committed to working with local leaders on pathways forward and ways to heal.”
“Anaheim is a proudly diverse, global city that draws strength from our people and cultures,” Mayor Aitken said. “That is something we must always embrace, uphold and protect. Hate thrives when unaddressed, and building community awareness is one of the most effective steps we can take to ensure Anaheim thrives as a welcoming place for all.”
The attorney general, mayor and police chief hosted representatives of 20 groups reflecting the diversity of Anaheim and Orange County.
Groups included the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Orange County Congregation Community Organization and others representing African Americans, Native Americans, veterans and others.
Preventing hate crimes and incidents requires awareness and education, panelists said.
Representatives also shared the need for culturally sensitive reporting of hate crimes and incidents and fears about reporting incidents among immigrants and young people.
“When it comes to reporting it’s important for our communities to feel comfortable,” Anaheim Police Chief Cisneros said. “The Anaheim Police Department works with all to make sure this is a safe environment. But we need to educate and communicate, and it starts in homes and schools with a role for everyone to play.”
The roundtable took place at the Orange County Family Justice Center, an Anaheim nonprofit that assists people and families impacted by domestic violence and other abuse.
It was the latest in a series held by the attorney general with prior gatherings in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside, Long Beach, Santa Ana, San Jose and Stockton.
The roundtable series started after a statewide rise in hate crimes and incidents that began during the pandemic, particularly impacting Asian Americans.
To report hate crimes in Anaheim, call the Anaheim Police Department at (714) 765-1900 or 911 in an emergency.
Across Orange County, you can also report hate crimes and incidents in multiple languages by calling 211 within the county or visiting Hatecrime.211OC.org.