Irvine City Councilwoman Melissa Fox will ask her Irvine City Council colleagues Tuesday to book a community meeting addressing a recent spate of hate crimes, including a recent bomb threat to the local Jewish Community Center (JCC).
“Our city has a long and proud tradition of celebrating our great diversity and welcoming everyone to our community,” Fox says in a statement. “We are grateful for the many cultures, faiths and languages that shape the uniqueness of lrvine. But I’ve recently been contacted by numerous residents expressing their fears that they are experiencing increasing levels of intolerance directed toward them simply because of their religion or their country of origin. Furthermore, other residents from our immigrant communities have expressed concerns about how the recent increase in hate crimes nationally may affect local policing efforts. These developments are deeply troubling to me and to many others throughout our wonderfully diverse community.”
Among the incidents Fox cites as having “unsettled many Irvine residents” are: the bomb threats to more than 20 JCCs across the country (including Irvine’s); hate crimes directed toward Irvine’s Muslim residents; two Indian Americans being shot in Kansas in what is suspected to be a hate crime; mosques being torched in California, Texas, Washington and Florida; and Jewish cemeteries being desecrated in Missouri, Pennsylvania and New York.
“I believe that now is the time for us to reassure all members of our community that we celebrate diversity, embrace inclusion, and will ensure equal protection under the law,” says Fox says, who calls that the impetus for her asking that Tuesday’s Irvine City Council agenda include a request for city staff to coordinate a community meeting, possibly in cooperation with the Orange County Human Relations Commission or members of faith-based communities.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.