NY Gov. Hochul announces nearly $16 million to combat hate crimes

Democrat Hochul announced the grants as preliminary statewide data for 2021 show a significant increase in hate crime incidents targeting Jews, Blacks, Asians and LGBT groups.

 NEW YORK LIEUTENANT Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation, in Albany.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK LIEUTENANT Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation, in Albany.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

NEW YORK – New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday attended an anti-hate crime rally at Queens College where she announced nearly $16 million in grants to strengthen safety and security measures for institutions run by nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or missions, including religious schools, synagogues and churches. 

“New York State’s diversity is our strength, yet too many New Yorkers continue to live in fear and today we say enough is enough,” Hochul, who took office last August following a decade of Andrew Cuomo, said. “Hate, racism, and xenophobia have no place in our State, and this critical funding sends a clear message that New York stands united against individuals who seek to sow hatred and divide us.”

A total of 205 organizations received 327 grants. Additionally, the FY 2023 Enacted Budget directs $25 million towards grants and increases the reimbursement cap for victims of hate crimes by $2,000.

 Law enforcement officers and firefighters work near the scene of a shooting at a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, US, April 12, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID) Law enforcement officers and firefighters work near the scene of a shooting at a subway station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, US, April 12, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)

State Senator Toby Stavisky noted the significance of the announcement being made just days ahead of Passover.

“Today in solidarity with our friends in the Asian, Jewish, Black, Latino, LGBTQ and those in need we speak with one voice," Stavisky said. "On Friday as the Jewish people observe Passover, which tells the story of the escape from slavery, we are reminded that the struggle is not over. The community faces hate on a regular basis. The Asian American community also continues to fight racism, bigotry and injustice. People do not realize that unemployment is rampant, people face housing and food insecurity and the highest poverty rate is in the Asian American community. This budget is our response to hate.” 

The grants come as preliminary statewide data for 2021 show a significant increase in hate crime incidents: 778 in 2021 as compared to 497 in 2020. Antisemitic hate crimes in New York City almost quadrupled in January 2022 compared to the same month last year. Throughout the month of January, 15 different antisemitic incidents were reported, according to NYPD crime statistics. Black, Asian and LGBT groups have also been commonly targeted. 

Democrat Hochul, a Buffalo native and former lieutenant governor who took over when disgraced Cuomo resigned last summer, has announced her intention to turn her short stint as chief executive into a full four-year term via the 2022 November election.