California governor names Commission on the State of Hate officials

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR Gavin Newsom acts on hate incidents

By Jo Erlinda Maufit
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom  announced his appointments to the Commission on the State of Hate, thus putting the agency to work.
 Created by legislation signed by Newsom last year and established in the 2022 Budget Act, the Commission will assess data on hate crimes in California, provide resources for victims, and make policy recommendations to better protect civil rights.

The Governor said those appointed to the Commission on the State of Hate were Cynthia Choi of San Francisco; Brian Levin of Orange County; Bamby Salcedo of Los Angeles; Shirin Sinnar of Palo Alto and Erroll G. Southers of Los Angeles.
Following his appointments to the Commission on the State of Hate, Governor Newsom announced additional action to build on California’s leadership in expanding opportunity and justice for all.

“In California, we recognize that our incredible diversity is the foundation for our state’s strength, growth and success – and that confronting inequality is not just a moral imperative, but an economic one,” said Governor Newsom in a statement sent to Philippine News Today.

 “Our state has made great strides in redressing historic wrongs and stubborn disparities, but we know that much work remains to tackle the barriers that hold back too many Californians and undermine our collective prosperity. California won’t shy away from this challenge – with today’s action, our state is doubling down on the ongoing work to make the California Dream a reality for every one of us,” Newsom said.

“Policy changes and cultural shifts go hand-in-hand,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “As we work together toward a more just and equitable society, good policy – like today’s executive order – will go a long way to shifting workplace cultures, as well as the hearts and minds of the workforce. For this reason, we are intentionally embedding equity into the mission and practices of state agencies and departments – a critical model for private sector employers as well. Today’s order will advance our shared goal of providing women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities what they need at work to grow and thrive in and out of the workplace.”

Executive Order

Governor Newsom also signed an executive order directing state agencies and departments to take additional actions to embed equity analysis and considerations in their mission, policies and practices. This action will help expand opportunity for all by addressing disparities for historically underserved and marginalized communities.
 Addressing unequal circumstances helps drive equal outcomes so all Californians have the chance to reach their full potential and lead healthy and rewarding lives, and all California communities can thrive and prosper. 

Under the order, state agencies and departments are directed to embed policies and practices in their strategic plans in order to further advance equity and opportunity and address disparities in access and outcomes. As part of these efforts, agencies and departments will incorporate more inclusive public engagement and data analysis to better serve all Californians.  

In addition, the order helps protect communities against hate violence and discrimination through accelerated actions, supports equitable investment of federal infrastructure funding, promotes a more inclusive and diverse state workforce, and encourages contracting opportunities for California businesses in disadvantaged regions and communities. Under the order, the California Health and Human Services Agency and Government Operations Agency will also develop recommendations to improve language and communications access to state government services and programs.

Racial Equity Commission 

The executive order also establishes the state’s first Racial Equity Commission. The Commission, developed with Senator Dr. Richard Pan and the racial equity organizations that sponsored SB 17, will produce a Racial Equity Framework consisting of resources and tools to promote racial equity and address structural racism. More broadly, the Commission will recommend tools, methodologies and opportunities to advance racial equity, and will be available to provide direct assistance to state agencies in reviewing and updating policies and practices upon request. 

“We applaud the Governor’s Executive Order on Equity today. It is abundantly clear that we must center racial equity in our government’s policies and practices to fully deliver on the hope of a CA for all. As advocates who worked on Senate Bill 17 to create the Racial Equity Commission under the authorship of Senator Pan, we value this important action taken by the Administration, which makes strides in addressing racial disparities in the state,” said leaders from Advancement Project California, the Community Coalition, the Greenlining Institute, NextGen California and SEIU California.
The appointees:
Cynthia Choi, 56, of San Francisco, has been Co-Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action since 2016 and a Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate since 2020. She held several positions at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy from 2006 to 2016, including Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships and Deputy Director. Choi was Interim Executive Director at Khmer Girls in Action from 2004 to 2006. She held several positions at the California Endowment from 1997 to 1999, including Program Officer and Regional Manager. Choi was Co-Director of MultiCultural Collaborative from 1994 to 1997. She was Program Developer at the Asian Law Caucus from 1989 to 1992. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Choi is a Democrat.

Brian Levin, 58, of Orange County, has been Founding Director at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and a Professor at the California State University, San Bernardino School of Criminology and Criminal Justice since 1999. He was a Professor at Stockton University from 1996 to 1999. Levin was Associate Director of Legal Affairs of the Klanwatch/Militia Task Force at the Southern Poverty Law Center from 1995 to 1996. He is a member of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations and an organizational representative to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Human Rights. He is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Levin earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Levin is registered without party preference.

Bamby Salcedo, 53, of Los Angeles, has been President and Chief Executive Officer at the TransLatin@ Coalition since 2015. She was HIV and Health Education Services Project Coordinator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from 2007 to 2015. Salcedo was Transgender Harm Reduction Project Coordinator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from 2007 to 2009. She held several positions at Transgeneros Unidas at Bienestar Human Services LA from 2002 to 2009, including Program Manager, Program Lead and Community Health Specialist. Salcedo was Peer Coordinator at Tarzana Treatment Centers from 2001 to 2002. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Latinx Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. Salcedo is a member of Groundswell Fund, ERA Coalition, Social Equity LA, Justice LA, Justice LA Coalition, California Lieutenant Governor’s Transgender Advisory Council, HONOR PAC and Pan American Health Organization. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Salcedo is a Democrat. 

Shirin Sinnar, 45, of Palo Alto, has been a Professor at Stanford Law School since 2012, where she has been John A. Wilson Faculty Scholar since 2015. She was Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus from 2006 to 2009. Sinnar was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2003 to 2004. She is a member of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy Editorial Board and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Sinnar earned a Master of Philosophy degree in international relations from Cambridge University and Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Sinnar is a Democrat.

Erroll G. Southers, 65, of Los Angeles, has been Associate Senior Vice President of Safety and Risk Assurance at the University of Southern California since 2022, Adjunct Staff at the RAND Corporation since 2017, an Advisor at Avata Intelligence since 2013 and Managing Director at TAL Global Corporation since 2010. Southers held several positions at the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2022, including Professor of Practice in National and Homeland Security, Director of International Programs, Adjunct Professor and Associate Director of Research and Transition. He was Assistant Chief of Police commanding the Office of Homeland Security and Intelligence at Los Angeles World Airports from 2007 to 2010. Southers was Deputy Director for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security from 2004 to 2006. He was President and Chief Executive Officer at Risk Management Consultants International from 1996 to 2004. Southers was a Special Agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1984 to 1988. Southers is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Research Advisory Committee, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree and a Doctor of Policy, Planning and Development degree from the University of Southern California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Southers is a Democrat.