NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is promising more money and easier access for communities fighting back against the recent rash of hate crimes.
Many are wondering when the funding will actually be put to use, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Thursday.
Cuomo blasted the rise in hate crimes during a “No Hate In Our State” press conference, where hundreds of community leaders and public safety officials gathered to strategize the fight against violence.
“It is a challenge to the character of this great nation,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo announced $45 million in security funding, available Thursday, and wants the state Legislature to approve an additional $25 million in grants and make houses of worship eligible to receive the much-needed money.
“I just proposed record funding to provide direct security grants to you, so that you can protect yourselves with hardened buildings, new infrastructure, new technology,” Cuomo said. “I want to see these funds flowing and flowing quickly because there is no time to waste.”
Hate crimes in New York City are up by 8% in 2020 so far. Six anti-Semitic incidents, five of them assaults, happened in the span of roughly 48 hours during Chanukah. The governor’s plan to allow houses of worship to access funding is welcome news to Jewish leaders like David Pollock.
“We have a secondary concern about our institutions,” said Pollock, the associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, “and it takes a long time for people to regain a sense of safety.”
Schools, cultural centers and day camps are now fighting for grant funding approval, and said actually getting their hands on the money could take six months or more.
“It definitely should not be six months,” Councilman Chaim Deutsch said. “If they announced it sooner, then we most probably would’ve seen the money for this coming summer season.”
Last week, Moore asked Gov. Cuomo about the holdup.
“You can’t move it faster than we’re moving it,” Cuomo said.
Experts were on hand at Thursday’s event, helping leaders navigate the red tape that comes with applying for security grant funding. The governor said they’re expediting the process, but wouldn’t say when the money will actually be in the hands of those who need it most.
To apply for a security grant, click here.
The governor is also pushing for all public schools to require young students to visit places like the holocaust museum. He said education will prevent hate from developing in children, and help curb the rising tide of violence.