Billed as “Equity on the Mall,” the advocacy event drew hundreds of residents and families of color from towns across the Valley who braved rain and stormy weather to assemble on the steps of the state capitol building. Organizers hoped to engage with legislators on issues affecting their communities and express support for several key pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 54.
At the talk, Murphy repeatedly described his vision of a bright future for Merced, but failed to share much detail on how the city planned to improve its record on youth investment. City leaders have previously been criticized for slashing youth-program funding, investing about $13,000 annually in youth programs in recent years.
Murphy said that the city recently added more resources to McNamara and Stephen Leonard Parks, enabling the city to serve thousands of families through academic and recreational resources.
While anyone can fall prey to a scam artist, officials say immigrant, low-income and minority communities in the Central San Joaquin Valley are among the most frequently targeted by fraud. Language barriers and unfamiliarity with the U.S. government make them attractive targets for would-be scammers.
Undocumented communities are especially vulnerable, with fears of deportation preventing victims from interacting with authorities.
Reporters can help fill the gap in hate crime reporting through coverage of local incidents in their communities, said A.C. Thompson, award-winning investigative journalist with ProPublica. The nonprofit news outlet is working to establish a mapping database to record incidents of hate crimes across the country.
“We’re trying to add another layer of information to what’s out there,” he said. “People around the country can report hate crime incidents and hate bias.”
For those reporting on hate crimes in local communities, Thompson recommends straddling the line between sympathy and skepticism towards victims.