April 26, 2009 (La Mesa)--Jim McElroy, Chairman of the Board, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), will speak on the rise in hate crimes in America during the May 6th meeting of the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club. A recent report from the SPLC shows a 50% rise in the number of hate groups in the United States. According to the SPLC, California is home to 84 hate groups, there are 4 hate groups in San Diego, and one in Lakeside.
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security sent alerts to law enforcement agencies about the dramatic rise in threats from right-wing hate groups since the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American President.
McElroy is a graduate of the University of San Diego Law School and has been involved in high profile law suits against hate groups, including the successful prosecution of the White Aryan Resistance. McElroy has received many awards for his work including National Civil Rights Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League and was named Outstanding Attorney of the Year by the San Diego County Bar Association.
The event will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. Social Time starts at 6:30 pm, the meeting begins at 7:00 pm.