Congresswoman Grace Meng joined over 25,000 participants this past weekend in the “No Hate, No Fear” Solidarity March in New York City standing with the Jewish community against anti-Semitism and hate.
The event began in lower Manhattan with participants marching over the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn.
“Today and every day, I stand in solidarity with the Jewish community in combating the scourge of anti-Semitism and hate,” Meng said. “The spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes that our Jewish communities have faced and endured over the last year has threatened the foundation of our city, which thrives on religious freedom.”
“We must all stand up and be united in denouncing this unacceptable spike in anti-Semitic attacks, and make clear that these cowardly acts will never, ever be tolerated. But we need more than words and condemnations,” she added.
Meng is calling for more action and resources, using every tool at disposal to eradicate all forms of intolerance and bigotry.
One of the major resources to help houses of worships (synagogues, churches, mosques, temples) and nonprofit entities improve security and guard against threats and attacks, Meng said, is the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee — the panel responsible for funding every federal agency, program and project within the U.S. government including the Nonprofit Security Grant Program — Meng has helped to increase funding and awareness for these grants over the past several years, including last month when she played a critical role in boosting the annual amount to $90 million.
“Nonprofit Security Grants are vital,” Meng said. “The program’s importance cannot be overstated and as Congressional appropriator, I will do everything I possibly can to secure even more funding for next year. Money from these grants can be used for target-hardening and other physical security enhancements such as barriers, gates, safety gear and surveillance equipment.”
Over the past two-and-a-half years, Meng has obtained and announced grants for houses of worship in her congressional district in Queens, including synagogues as well as yeshivas, Jewish community centers and other schools, who are using the money to better protect their congregations, students and organization members.
She is urging all houses of worship throughout the region and across the country to apply for those grants as well, and to take advantage of the critical funding that they offer.
“Additionally, I will be working to arrange additional Nonprofit Security Grant workshops in my district, so that even more houses of worship and high-risk nonprofit institutions can learn about the program, and successfully apply for funding,” Meng added.
Meng is presently drafting legislation that seeks to improve coordination between local and federal law enforcement in targeting and reporting hate crimes, to make sure that acts of anti-Semitism are being handled appropriately at the federal level.