Plainview: On September 7th, Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R – 18th L.D.) participated in the American Jewish Committee’s “Municipal Leaders Against Antisemitism” meeting at the Mid-Island Y JCC. Included in the dynamic forum were other elected officials and specialized law enforcement officers from both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Among the topics discussed were the U.S. National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism and the various methods employed by local governments to stamp out hate.
“This was a very timely discussion, as anyone keeping up with the news knows that we need to do more as a society to eliminate hate,” said Bontempi. “Whether the issue is a hate crime or a hurtful incident rooted in ignorance, we can do so much more via proactive law enforcement and education. If you see something, say something.”
Bontempi brought up Suffolk County’s 311 system, now that it is being promoted as a means of reporting antisemitism. She explained that she is going to ensure that the system is both accessible and reliable, as time is of the essence with these matters.
“We have to take incidents involving hate much more seriously,” added Bontempi. “Especially when youths are involved, we can use these occurrences as teachable moments, even for offenders. At root, we all want to be treated as human beings, so understanding the issue through education can go a long way.”