Supervisors Nathan Fletcher speaks during a media briefing. Image from live stream.

In an effort to combat recent incidents in Santee of people in grocery stores using their COVID-19 face coverings to display symbols of racism and hate, in addition to the recent rise of hate crimes based on bias and prejudice, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Sunday that he will propose the creation of a human relations commission to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“In the last several years, divisive rhetoric, hate speech and outward acts of violence have been on the rise across the United States, and while no community is ever immune to it, it has come out from the shadows and into the light in San Diego County,” Fletcher said.

The proposed Leon L. Williams Human Relations Commission would consist of 25 voting members representing a cross-section of the community, Fletcher said. The objective of the commission will be to “foster an inclusive culture and more equitable San Diego County.”

Fletcher cited the rise in antisemitism with the mass shooting at the Chabad of Poway in 2019 and recent derogatory graffiti targeting Asian Americans found last week at a Little League field in the Allied Gardens neighborhood of San Diego.

Williams was the only African American to have served on the Board of Supervisors. Fletcher met with community leaders last year about forming a commission after he learned the county no longer had the one founded by Williams.

The proposed commission was originally scheduled to be introduced in February but was postponed after the coronavirus began to spread.

— City News Service

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