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Amid Mideast Violence and Spike in Hate Crimes, Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect Vulnerable Communities

AB 1185 Will Strengthen the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and Expand Access to Funding For Nonprofits at Risk of Hate-Motivated Violence

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA — This past weekend, following horrific terrorist attacks in Israel and heightened concerns in the U.S., Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1185 to enhance security assistance to nonprofits at risk of hate-motivated violence. Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus,  AB 1185 will broaden the reach of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) and help ensure that funding is directed to applicants who are most likely to be targeted by hate-motivated violence.

“California will not stand idly by while our vulnerable communities are targeted by violent extremists,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “This legislation will strengthen our ability to target security resources where they are most needed and make it clear that California stands with all communities targeted by hate. Especially at this moment when many communities are on edge, I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his leadership in standing up to violent extremists.”

"There are community support organizations that play a critical role in ensuring the safety of a large network of at-risk nonprofits," said David Bocarsly, Executive Director of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC). "Expanding the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to support the security training, vulnerability assessments, and monitoring and response systems that Jewish Federations and other community connectors provide will make this already vital program that much more impactful. It's unfortunate that security infrastructure has become so important, but we are deeply grateful to Assemblymember Gabriel for continuing to shape and reshape this program to most effectively serve Jewish and all vulnerable communities. JPAC is proud to be a partner in this effort." 


Background on AB 1185

In 2019, Assemblymember Gabriel authored AB 1548, which created the NSGP. He authored AB 1664 in 2022, which made the NSGP permanent, increased the maximum grant to $500,000, and allowed funding to be used for security training. Since that time, the NSGP has become the most popular grant administered by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and has been a critical lifeline for diverse faith communities, LGBTQ community centers, reproductive health facilities, and other nonprofits facing hate-motivated violence.

AB 1185 will enhance and strengthen the NSGP by expanding eligibility to include applicants who provide vulnerability assessments for other at-risk nonprofits. It also will ensure that applicants are not penalized for having received a grant in a prior application cycle, and requires consideration of risk so funds are directed to applicants most in need.

AB 1185 was a major priority for the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, whose members have been vocal champions of the NSGP. The Caucus has worked closely with community organizations and allies in the Legislature to secure $140 million in funding for the NSGP over the past three years. Organizations that provided rapid response to shootings in Jewish neighborhoods earlier this year, and that provide critical vulnerability assessments to hundreds of Jewish community nonprofits throughout California, will now be eligible for funding thanks to this legislation. 

Recent terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel have heightened concerns, as violence in the Middle East has often translated to increased antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States.