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California’s Anti-Hate Portal Tops 1,000 Reports in Year One

State data released one year after the launch of California vs. Hate, the hotline and online portal for reporting hate crimes and incidents, shows its impact. People statewide reported more than 1,000 acts of hate.

Kevin Kish, director of the California Civil Rights Department, wears a dark suit and red tie while speaking at the press conference on the impact after one year of California vs. Hate. A woman next to him translates in American Sign Language. A sign in the background is cut off, but reads "There's support ..."
Kevin Kish, director of the California Civil Rights Department, speaking at the press conference on the impact after one year of CA vs. Hate.
(Caravan Film Crews)
More than 1,000 residents in about 46 counties have used the California vs. Hate platform to report hate acts in the year since its debut, with race and ethnicity bias being the most widely cited motivations, state officials said.

The initiative, launched in May 2023 by the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), has a hotline and an online portal through which people can anonymously report hate crimes and incidents. On Monday, CRD released data revealing its impact during year one of operations.

Historically, data has been a powerful tool through which to understand and address hate incidents, with initiatives emerging both from the nonprofit and public sectors. Somewhat uniquely, California vs. Hate is a statewide reporting hotline created to combat a rise in reported hate crimes — which had risen nearly 33 percent from 2020 to 2021.

Last year, CRD told Government Technology that data from the platform would be aggregated, in a way that would not share any personally identifiable information, to help the state understand trends and deploy resources in a data-informed way. Now, with a year of data in hand, CRD will explore how to more effectively respond to acts of hate.

Because the data is still new, a department spokesperson said via email, many of CRD’s currently planned initiatives are informed by engagement with community partners, and by outreach goals. However, the spokesperson noted that the department is working with the University of California, Berkeley’s Possibility Lab to strengthen data collection and analysis efforts.

“The CA vs Hate data is an important addition to other existing data sources regarding hate crimes and hate incidents, and can help inform the policies and practices that will enable us to more effectively respond to acts of hate,” the CRD spokesperson wrote.
An image illustrates a blue map of California's counties and the CA vs Hate logo and reads: "1,020 actual reports of hate across CA across nearly 80% of the state's counties."
California vs. Hate image illustrates the 80 percent of counties in which hate reports have been made.
(California Civil Rights Department)
Initial data submitted to CRD reveals that 1,020 acts of hate were reported to the hotline. Of those reports, about 4 out of 6 people agreed to follow up for care coordination services. Also worth noting, nearly 80 percent of California’s 58 counties were represented in reports, or more than 46 counties, and all 10 of the state’s most populated counties were represented.

Bias motivation information for 560 reports that underwent additional staff review revealed that race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation were the most cited bias motivations — with 35.1 percent, 15.1 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively. Of reports related to race and ethnicity, anti-Black, anti-Latino, and anti-Asian bias were the most cited reasons — or 26.8 percent, 15.4 percent, and 14.3 percent, respectively.

Officials logged a total of 2,118 contacts from members of the public seeking assistance, some of which were not related to hate acts; all of these people were directed to resources. The most common reason people gave for making reports was discriminatory treatment, comprising 18.4 percent of reports. The next two most common reasons were verbal harassment, and the use of derogatory names or slurs, each making up 16.7 percent of reports.

“This work is only just beginning,” CRD Director Kevin Kish said in a statement, “but it would not be possible without the advocacy of our community partners and the foresight of our state’s administration and Legislature.”

The state, both independently and in partnership with the Stop the Hate Program and Ethnic Media Outreach Grants, has launched a variety of combative efforts to strengthen its support network. These initiatives include outreach campaigns, capacity-building work, and community engagement efforts.

Officials will do more work in this area, the spokesperson said, including a California vs. Hate billboard campaign to increase awareness of the platform and a digital ad partnership with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, to create a new pathway to reach the public. The state will also be using a new partnership with California Black Media to strengthen community-specific engagement.
Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.