Press Release: 2022-05-26

Sen. Lesser Speaks Out Against Targeted Acts of HateĀ and Violence On Floor Of Senate

Sen. Lesser Speaks Out Against Targeted Acts of Hate and Violence On Floor Of Senate:

Senate unanimously approves Sen. Lesser’s amendment to double Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant program funding

On the floor of the Massachusetts State Senate, Senator Eric P. Lesser delivered remarks on his amendment to double funding for the Commonwealth’s Nonprofit Security Grant program for vital security enhancements and protocols at houses of worship, community centers, and other institutions at heightened risk of hate crimes, terrorism, and other violence.

The remarks were given in response to yesterday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo on May 14th, as well as the surging trends in hate and violence against Black, Asian, LGBTQ+, Jewish, and other groups across the country. According to a recent ADL report, in 2021, Massachusetts was ranked seventh for the most antisemitic incidents across the entire country, and there were 109 antisemitic incidents in Massachusetts last year.

Since 2017, Senator Lesser has worked alongside Senate President Emerita Chandler and Senate Majority Leader Creem to establish the Nonprofit Security Grant program. The program has grown from $75,000 in grants for three religious and cultural institutions to $1.5 million in FY22. Following Senator Lesser’s speech, the Senate voted to unanimously approve Senator Lesser’s amendment, doubling the funding for the program to $3 million for FY23.

Senator Lesser’s full remarks can be viewed here: