Contact: Sophie Ellman-Golan |


NYC Against Hate commends City Council for aggressive and thorough oversight, pushes for well-funded community-based anti-violence programs to address rising hate violence.

Watch a recording of the hearing here

New York, NY At Tuesday’s City Council Oversight Hearing on Hate Crimes, members of the NYC Against Hate coalition testified before the assembled members of the council’s Public Safety and Civil & Human Rights Committees. Also testifying were representatives of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Taskforce, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Coming just weeks after the NYPD released Q1 crime data showing that hate violence in New York City is higher than ever, the hearing confirmed the failure of the city’s current NYPD-led strategy. Acknowledging the unchecked increase in identity-based violence, council members from across the political spectrum probed the NYPD’s inability to reverse the upward trend and called for increased investment in non-carceral community-based prevention.

Under questioning, the NYPD confirmed that its clearance rate for hate crimes remains at or below 50%, but the problems don’t stop there. At the hearing, Civil & Human Rights Committee Chair Nantasha Williams said, “We know from research and common sense that hate violence is massively underreported — the number of complaints the NYPD received is likely a fraction of the number of incidents actually occurring… So at best the NYPD is making arrests in half of a fraction of the total number of incidents. In addition, only about 15% of those arrests lead to hate crimes convictions. So a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. How can this possibly be an effective approach to reducing hate violence?”

The NYPD also testified that almost half of those arrested on suspicion of hate crimes have a history of mental illness, making it clearer than ever that using policing and prosecution to address this problem is doomed to failure. Despite this, the Adams administration has allowed the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) to become dangerously understaffed — the city’s nerve center for coordinating community-based responses to hate violence has dwindled to just three employees. In addition, months into Adams’s tenure, the mayor has yet to promote veteran Deputy Executive Director Hassan Naveed or successfully install a new hire, leaving OPHC without an Executive Director in the midst of a hate violence crisis.

The hearing concluded with representatives from the NYC Against Hate coalition calling for dramatically increased investment in non-carceral approaches to hate violence prevention. New York City Anti-Violence Project Community Organizer Gobi Romo said, “The city has historically overemphasized policing, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and prosecutions to address hate violence, which are ineffective strategies at preventing violence and do not heal communities. LGBTQ survivors of hate violence often do not or cannot go to the police, which means, in a system where most reporting and resources for survivors is tied to policing and prosecution, there is underreporting and survivors of violence are left without any support or access to important services and resources. This is why community-based approaches to safety are so important.”

Following the hearing, New York City Council Member Tiffany Cabán said, “Decades of experience have proven that policing does not prevent hate violence. We desperately need significant investments in community-based hate violence prevention and survivor support. The critical element to preventing hate violence, and healing from it after it occurs, is relationships based on mutual trust. That relationship cannot exist with law enforcement, who over-police many of the same populations targeted for hate violence.”

The NYC Against Hate coalition commends the New York City Council for taking its oversight role seriously and asking tough questions of the NYPD and other agencies. The coalition also continues to celebrate the Council’s response to the Mayor’s preliminary budget and its push for key investments in anti-violence and anti-hate violence programs as a good first step to addressing hate violence in New York City. However, hate violence prevention in the city budget remains massively underfunded in proportion to the need as the city faces its second year of rising hate violence due to the housing, economic, and health crises associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council’s response specifically calls for increased funding for trauma recovery centers, overdose prevention centers, hate violence prevention, and violence interruption programs, as well as increased funding for the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC). The Council also importantly refrained from calling for increased police resources to address hate violence, which many marginalized communities cannot access due to poor past experiences with the police or fear of criminalization or further violence. The Council’s response also calls for increased investments in health, housing, and life-affirming infrastructure which make all New Yorkers safer.

NYC Against Hate continues to call on the Council and Mayor to expand funding for these key programs:

  • The P.A.T.H. Forward program was initiated by the de Blasio administration and in its first year directed $2.4 million in funding to six anchor organizations to provide programs and services that address hate violence, as well as provide grants to additional organizations that serve vulnerable populations. The goal is to ensure a comprehensive, community-driven approach to preventing bias incidents and hate crimes, and to advance community-based approach to public safety; strengthen relations among diverse communities through programming and restorative justice practices; provide educational resources and training; develop strategies to enhance reporting; improve data collection on bias incidents and hate crimes; and to expand victim services. NYC Against Hate calls on Mayor Adams to increase funding for the program to $10 million, directed to the same experienced anchor organizations so that they can build on the program’s successes to date.

  • The City Council’s Hate Crimes Prevention Initiative provides resources to community-based organizations to engage in culturally-competent hate violence prevention and education, and comprises a significant portion of the programmatic budget of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. It was funded at approximately $1.7 million dollars in FY20. In the years since, this funding has been cut repeatedly. NYC Against Hate supports the New York City Council’s proposal to increase funding for HCPI to $5 million dollars in FY23.

  • The Hope Against Hate Campaign is the Asian American Federation-led response to the anti-Asian violence devastating New York City. NYC Against Hate asks that the Council fully fund this campaign alongside the direct services provided by our community organizations through a $6 million allocation to the AAPI Community Support Initiative. Hope Against Hate will establish safety ambassador programs in Asian enclaves across New York City.

“The New York City Council Oversight Hearing on Hate Crimes laid bare the Mayoral administration’s inadequate, inconsistent, and scattershot approach to hate violence prevention,” said Leo Ferguson, Director of Strategic Projects at Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ). “The modern white nationalist movement has been expanding for five years, and we are four years into New York City’s current hate violence crisis. Two mayoral administrations, two police commissioners, two Council speakers, and many other officials have proclaimed ‘zero tolerance.’ The city has spent tens of millions of dollars operating and expanding the NYPD hate crimes task force. But in that five year period, there have been only 87 hate crime convictions in New York City. And the number of bias incidents continues to go up and up; our current strategy of policing and prosecutions is not working.”

Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project said, “We commend the City Council for spotlighting budget disparities that weaken the ability of LGBTQ social service agencies like ours to mitigate hate violence. Incidents of violence, including police violence, continue to disproportionately impact BIPOC transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people, immigrants, people who are low-income and others marginalized in our society. We urge the administration to fully fund vital programs that uplift those most at risk for hate violence and ensure they have the resources they need to stay safe and thrive.”

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AAPI hate crimes have surged more than 339% nationwide last year, with NYC surpassing its 2020 hate crimes rate. While some of our community members may call for more policing, many of our community members also know that increased policing does not equal safer cities, or decreased crime rates,” said Benice Mach, Project Coordinator for the Mobility Labs Program at the Chinese-American Planning Council. “Community-based organizations (CBOs) are best situated to offer longer term solutions and more direct community engagement to address and prevent hate violence. The City must expand funding for CBOs working in the community like the NYC Against Hate coalition, which includes a diverse group of organizations representing communities across the city to coordinate responses to incidents of hate violence and equip New Yorkers with tools to address harassment in public spaces.”

"The testimony from our partners in this work and questions from City Council members only reinforced what we said at Tuesday’s hearing: The City needs to invest in community-based safety measures like those being implemented by organizations participating in our Hope Against Hate Campaign," Asian American Federation's Associate Director of Advocacy and Policy Ravi Reddi said. "From the creation of safety pamphlets and e-resources to continued, robust community engagement on self-defense and upstander trainings with community members who trust us, our CBOs are doing the work. They are leading by example, and the City needs to step up and support them.”


NYC Against Hate is a coalition of community-based organizations working across identities to make New York safer for our communities. The coalition was convened by Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) and the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP). Jewish, Arab-American, Muslim, LGBTQ, and Black and Brown New Yorkers are uniting to create community safety for our communities and build a stronger New York City. We believe that the only effective solution to hate violence and bias incidents is in our communities, not in more policing and prosecution.