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Press release hate has no place in County of Santa Clara

Supervisor Otto Lee condemns recent attacks

County of Santa Clara, CA - Supervisor Otto Lee condemns recent hateful attacks at Los Gatos Town Council meetings and across County of Santa Clara. At the recent County of Santa Clara Hate Prevention and Inclusion Task Force, HPITF, he asked the stakeholders to keep the HPITF updated on Los Gatos matter and for the HPITF to consider issuing a statement of support to Mayor Sayoc, and condemning these disgusting acts of bigotry that have no place in our community.

There is a nationwide increase of vitriolic and aggressive hate speech, including threats, at public meetings, mostly recently disrupting our community in Los Gatos. Residents made disgusting hateful comments and threats at several Los Gatos Town Council meetings online and in-person. These attacks were even made outside the homes of Mayor Marico Sayoc and Vice Mayor Rob Rennie during their online Town Council meeting on October 19, 2021.

“Disgusting acts of bigotry have no place in County of Santa Clara. It is unacceptable to spew bigotry and make threatening personal attacks against anyone in our community or their families, especially those who are in service to our neighborhoods. No public worker, elected official, or any resident should be subjected to hateful and intimidating actions,” said Supervisor Otto Lee. “Juvenile disruptions of our community spaces for debate and dialogue prevent the community from taking action to solve issues. Freedom of speech allows us to disagree, but it is not a cover for hate or bigotry.”

“I am thankful that our District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office swiftly reached out to the Los Gatos Town Hall, the Los Gatos Police Department, and Mayor Sayoc to provide resources and support the investigation into these incidents. We need to make sure protective and punitive measures are in place when hate appears in our community. A series of xenophobic and misogynistic incidents against a female Asian Mayor in Los Gatos and her son in past weeks are unacceptable,” added Supervisor Otto Lee.

At the October 23, 2021 meeting the HPITF received several updates on AAPI hate crimes and violence from the District Attorney’s Office, along with a presentation on gender identity and gender-based violence as a hate crime. The HPITF discussed transphobia, misogyny, and other gender based violence, and ways of addressing these serious issues. The HPITF also received an update from San José State University on their efforts to study and create a report on hate crimes and violence in County of Santa Clara. They are currently finalizing a report that will bring actionable recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in early 2022.

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