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Letter to the House urging cosponsorship of hate crimes legislation

April 11, 2007

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592), introduced by Representative Conyers (D-MI).

In spite of our nation's substantial advances toward equality over the past 40 years, prejudice and hatred continue to lead to violence.  As educators, NEA members share a commitment to protecting the civil and human rights of our students and communities. We believe the federal government must play a leadership role in confronting criminal acts motivated by prejudice.

NEA has taken aggressive steps to address the issue of hate crimes in the context of schools and school districts. NEA and its affiliates have worked to develop training for educators and programs for students regarding hate crimes and human relations skills. But our efforts in this area will not be successful absent a comprehensive federal/state/local partnership to address hate crimes. 

This legislation has strong bipartisan support in Congress; the support of more than 210 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious groups; and the support of the overwhelming majority of American people. We urge your support for this important initiative. To add your name as a cosponsor to H.R. 1592, please contact Susana Gutierrez at the Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, at 5-2825.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy