Hate crime task force hears from the community

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Oregon Attorney General held a listening session in Medford on Wednesday night for the community to talk about any experience they’ve had with hate crimes in the Rogue Valley.

At the meeting, people from all over the valley gathered to share their stories of hate and discrimination in the area.

Virginia Camberos stood in front of a crowd to share a very personal experience with hate crimes, and the discrimination she says she’s faced in the Rogue Valley. Listening was
Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and her Hate Crime Task Force.

“I think that more than anything I want my voice heard you know as a person of color, I am an American and I have a voice and I’m not afraid.”

The Attorney General has been traveling across the state to hear from people like Virginia.

And Sanassa.

“I’ve experienced harassment for being Jewish and being queer.”

And Clara.

“I’m also afraid that one of these days this lady will call the immigration office.”

“Unfortunately hate crimes and other hate-motivated conduct is on the rise throughout the country, but actually we’re getting our fair share, even more than our fair share, here in Oregon”

Each speaker was only given three minutes to share their story, but Virginia says she felt heard and is confident the Attorney General will act on the testimonies given
Wednesday night.

“There is a movement going on that our attorney general is going to be listening to the voices of our community and this is a big task we have at hand,” Virginia said. “I think those voices are going to be heard and that they’re committed to hearing our voices.”

The Attorney General says her task force is on an accelerated timeline to get a hate crime bill in front of the state legislature by the time they reconvene later this month. If you weren’t able to make the meeting tonight, you’re encouraged to email your testimony to [email protected]

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