Los Angeles - Today, Councilmember David Ryu released an open letter signed by 20 AAPI organizations calling for resources and support to protect Jewish Angelenos following a spate of anti-Semitic attacks across the United States. The solidarity letter, signed by Councilmember Ryu and 20 leading Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations in Los Angeles, accompanies a Resolution introduced by Councilmember Ryu today urging the FBI to create a special task force to investigate the rising tide of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 22, 2020
Contact for Councilmember Ryu:
Coalition of AAPI Leaders Call for Increased Support following recent anti-Semitic Attacks
Letter and Resolution declares solidarity with LA’s Jewish community
Los Angeles - Today, Councilmember David Ryu released a letter signed by 20 AAPI organizations calling for resources and support to protect Jewish Angelenos following a spate of anti-Semitic attacks across the United States. The solidarity letter, signed by Councilmember Ryu and 20 leading Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations in Los Angeles, accompanies a Resolution introduced by Councilmember Ryu today urging the FBI to create a special task force to investigate the rising tide of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
“Our communities are neighbors, we share similar values and similar stories of struggle, sacrifice, and resilience,” the letter reads. “As leaders in the AAPI community, we recognize that the times are dangerous, and demand that we stand together and do more to fight against these hateful acts. Don’t just speak, put it into action.”
The letter calls for increased resources to protect vulnerable organizations and houses of worship, increased information sharing regarding security threats to Los Angeles’ Jewish community and other minoritized groups, an FBI task force to investiaget anti-Semitism and for all Angelenos to join the signatories in solidarity with the Jewish community during an increase of overt anti-Semitism. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), there were 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States in 2018, the third-highest year on record since it began tracking such data in the 1970s.
“Growing up in Los Angeles, one of the things I valued most about my City was its diversity and inclusion of all people, no matter what they looked like, how they prayed or who they loved,” Councilmember Ryu, who recently became the first Asian-American to serve on City Council leadership, said. “The AAPI community is no stranger to hate and discrimination. I think we feel a shared call to root out hate in all its forms, to protect our diverse cultural fabric, and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors facing unprecedented attacks. An attack against one of us is an attack against us all.”
Councilmember Ryu also introduced a Resolution in City Council calling on the federal government to establish an FBI-led task force to address the unprecedented upsurge in anti-Semitic hate crimes and attacks. The letter and Resolution come after numerous high-profile anti-Semitic attacks across the United States, including in Poway, California, Monsey, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey. In December 2019, a Beverly Hills synagogue was also vandalized.
"We are very grateful to Councilmember Ryu and the leadership of the AAPI community who are expressing solidarity with the Jewish Community at a time when it is experiencing unprecedented levels of violent anti-semitic hate crimes and rhetoric," Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wisentahls Center said. “We especially appreciate that Councilmember Ryu is adding his voice and leadership to the Simon Wiesenthals Centers call for the FBI to create a Special task force on anti-semitism, to try to take direct action against this rising menace.”
“We thank Councilmember Ryu and the AAPI communities' support for the Jewish community in this difficult time,” Natan Pakman, Senior Associate Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles, said. “We join this call for additional resources to protect organizations and houses of worship, greater communication and information sharing on security threats, and solidarity across the city against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. ADL has long had a close collaboration with AAPI groups through the Asian Jewish Initiative and now through LA For Good, whose goal is to advance alliances and partnerships among the diverse communities of Los Angeles through constructive dialogue, exploration of common ground, joint community projects, and coalition building.”
In 2017, Councilmember Ryu co-introduced a motion asking the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to study hate crimes in the City of Los Angeles, and seek increased funding to protect vulnerable communities and institutions, legislation that is still working its way through Council. In 2019, Councilmember Ryu launched a Hate Crimes Security Fund to support security upgrades at vulnerable institutions. The fund, available to cultural, religious, ethnic or LGBTQ+ institution in Council District Four, is a part of Councilmember Ryu's discretionary funds.
Read the letter here.
Read the Resolution here.
Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.