September 14, 2022

The California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today applauded the signing of an anti-street harassment bill into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

SB 1161, introduced by Senator Min, will encourage California’s 10 largest transit operators to address street harassment as a safety concern in their


public transit systems by collecting and analyzing different forms of data from riders surrounding street harassment at transit stops and on transit vehicles, and use this data when planning, developing, and executing new projects within their systems.

The 10 transit operators preliminarily identified are located within Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento, and San Diego.

In a statement, CAIR-CA Policy & Government Affairs Manager Nazeehah Khan said:

“To feel safe and protected in the public sphere—including while riding public transportation or waiting at a bus stop—is a human right. We celebrate Governor Newsom’s commitment to public safety and appreciate the shared vision of a future where vulnerable communities may exist free from discrimination or harassment.

“We are grateful to Senator Min’s leadership in protecting the safety of public transit riders in the state of California and look forward to further serving the community by promoting safer ridership with the enactment of SB 1161.”

In its 2022 Civil Rights Report, CAIR National documented a 28% increase in hate and bias incidents, which reinforces that these cases are drastically underreported. Since its official launch in March 2020, the Stop AAPI Hate coalition has received over 11,500 reports of hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the country. Almost 50 percent of incidents took place at public venues, including streets, parks, and on transit.

CAIR-CA has supported SB 1161 over the course of the last year alongside our community partners at California is No Place for Hate.