Decals helping to identify local businesses as a safe place for victims of hate crimes or harassment have been introduced in La Jolla.
In a press conference Wednesday, San Diego City Councilmember Joe LaCava introduced the stickers that will be on display at participating establishments in the coastal neighborhood. They will show support to protect members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, especially after reports of hate crimes against them have spiked in the last year.
“It’s a simple and easy decal that shows everyone, you are welcome here,” said Natasha Wong, President of Balboa Park’s House of China. “And it’s a resource to report hate and discrimination.”
The program originated in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. With more hate crimes targeting AAPI residents, Council Member LaCava said he wanted those members to know they are also protected.
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“I’m hearing about incidents all the time, and we need to put a stop to this,” LaCava said. “We need to let these people know that we’re here for them, we’re going to protect them, we’re going to stand up with them and make sure they’re safe and comfortable walking in our public streets. “
La Jolla was chosen as a spot to pass out the decals because of the neighborhood’s walkability and the number of businesses in its downtown area.
The program, which was started by the San Diego Police Department, has provided about 600 decals for businesses across the county with more to hand out.