LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Californians are part of a coalition of community groups and state lawmakers pushing to stem a tide of hate crimes against API individuals and others that has been rising since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are focused this week on advancing two bills in the California Legislature collectively called the No Place for Hate Campaign.
The first, authored by state Senator Dave Min (D-Costa Mesa), is Senate Bill 1161. Called “Improving Public Transit Ridership Safety” it aims to protect LGBTQ+ people, cisgender women, and other vulnerable public transit riders. The legislation would require California’s 10 largest transit agencies, including LA Metro, BART, and Orange County Transportation Authority, to recognize street harassment as a rider safety concern, gather data, and create non-carceral solutions to prevent hate and harassment that occurs in their vehicles or at transit stops. BART is among the bill’s supporters.
The second is Assembly Bill 2448 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and is titled “Expanding Civil Rights Protections at Businesses.” If adopted, it would require large businesses to train their employees on how to protect, report, and respond to hate crimes for the safety of their customers.