In first act as Assemblymember, Nguyen reintroduces failed legislation pushed by former Assemblymember Cooper




In her first action representing California Assembly District 10, Stephanie Nguyen has introduced legislation previously introduced by her Assembly predecessor, Sacramento County Sheriff-elect Jim Cooper.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 32, seeks to reclassify certain hate crimes. According to Nguyen's press release, the "Bill seeks to reclassify hate crimes to ensure perpetrators of the most violent hate crimes are not eligible for early release from prison."

Nguyen, who previously served on the Elk Grove City Council, was sworn in on Monday and replaced Cooper, who served in Assembly District 9. Nguyen represents District 10, which like the previous Assembly District 9, includes all of Elk Grove. 

Cooper's legislation, Assembly Bill 266, was introduced in 2021. However, it was rejected in the Assembly Public Safety Committee last January by a 5 - 2 vote.

"We've seen a massive spike in hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Jewish and LGBTQ communities," Nguyen said. "Acts of violence inspired by racism and hate are among the most heinous crimes a person can commit, we cannot allow individuals who seek to cause harm and divide our communities early release from prison." 

While Cooper supports the bill, which is likely to be supported by police and district attorneys', it has met resistance. Aside from no support in the Assembly, groups including the American Civil Liberties Association and the California Public Defenders Association have opposed. 

The ACLU and CPDA have yet to respond to an email inquiry seeking comment on the legislation. However, a review of both bills reveals nearly identical language.

"This bill is not about violent crime, it is about harsher punishment for non-violent crimes," ACLU representative Kathy Sher said when the bill was heard in committee earlier this year. "Targeting non-violent hate crimes by re-categorizing them as violent will do nothing to stop violent hate crime."  

The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee, and according to Nguyen's press release will be heard sometime next year. 
 
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2 comments

Atticus Finch said...

No surprise here. Ms. Nguyen never showed any propensity for original ideas while she was on the city council so why should she start now? Cloning a failed bill from Cooper without any efforts towards meaningful revisions is exactly the reason why Nguyen shouldn't be in state office. This second attempt, if passed, would do nothing to help improve the quality of life for Elk Grove residents.

Acts of violence, regardless of how they are inspired, are just that, acts of violence and should not be given deferential treatment because a person is a minority. If you assault or murder an LGTBQ person because they are LGTBQ, you are still assaulting/murdering a person first, regardless of their sexual preferences.

Atticus Finch said...

I wanted to clarify a few points. I do not condone violence of any sort towards anyone for any reason (self defense excluded). What really, really irks me is when politicians of all stripes pretend to be addressing issues when really all it boils down to is window addressing. It's an excuse for them to get on their soap box and regurgitate the same rhetoric and talking points to make it appear as if they are working towards solving an issue. In reality, these hate crime enhancements (adding more jail time once a conviction is secured) does very little to act as a deterrent to these types of crimes. Have we noticed any decrease in hate crimes across the country? We already have federal hate crime statutes on the books and it does not deter those who are bent on hurting others due to their race, religion, or sexual preferences.
Get some real work done Ms. Nguyen and stop wasting tax payer money.

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