MEDFORD, Ore. — State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is set to visit Medford in an effort to gather feedback on the issue of hate crimes, according to a statement from the AG's office.
“It is appalling that hate-motivated crimes are on the increase in Oregon; this reality requires us to act. At these listening sessions we hope to create a safe place for Oregonians to share their experiences as targets of discrimination and hate motivated conduct,” said Rosenblum.
The AG is joined by her Task Force on Hate Crimes — a group formed in May of 2018 in order to study and craft proposals on ways that state lawmakers might strengthen Oregon's laws to help prevent hate-motivated crimes.
“Our task force is currently working with the Oregon legislature to propose bills that would strengthen Oregon’s hate crime laws. There are a lot of ideas about how to address hate crimes, but I need to hear directly from the community. This approach served us well with our police profiling listening sessions which led to successful reforms,” Rosenblum said.
Data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over 2017 showed 146 reported hate crimes throughout the state of Oregon, stemming from 29 reporting law enforcement agencies. Yet reporting by OPB found that the vast majority of agencies in the state reported zero hate crimes to the FBI — even when, in at least one case, those localities were known to have handled high-profile hate crime cases — indicating that even when hate crimes are prosecuted, they may go underreported.
AG Rosenblum will be in Medford on January 9 at the Medford Public Library [see full details below], asking that members of the public share their stories about "hate-motivated incidents" in their communities and experiences with discrimination. Community members who wish to remain anonymous can share without revealing their names, or can submit written accounts.
When: January 9, 2019 @ 6:00-8:00 PM
Where: Medford Public Library - 205 S. Central Ave, Medford, OR 97501
At each listening session in Portland, Eugene and Medford next week we hope to create a safe place for Oregonians to share their experiences as targets of discrimination and hate motivated conduct. https://t.co/wSUfB9adDO
— Ellen Rosenblum (@ORDOJ) January 2, 2019