Jason Gibbs | A Condemnation of Hate

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

The following letter from current Councilman Jason Gibbs was submitted before the end of his term as Santa Clarita’s mayor for 2023. 

In Santa Clarita, we stand together against hate, discrimination, and bigotry in any form. As a city, we strive to provide events and forums that allow our cultures and heritages to be shared, understood, appreciated and valued for being part of our incredible community. 

On Sept. 16, an anonymous bomb threat was made against Congregation Beth Shalom as they gathered for the Jewish High Holy Days. While we are grateful that no one was harmed and no such device was discovered, kids and adults alike had the sacredness and safety of their sanctum attacked, causing fear and panic at a place that is meant to be safe and secure. This office shared our condolences, love and prayers to Rabbi Jay Siegel and the congregation, as threats, regardless of their origin, continue to demonstrate a disgusting comfort level with perpetuating violence and a generational hurt against the Jewish people in our community. 

Horrifically, this local threat of violence was replaced with a very real and world-changing assault in Israel. On Oct. 7, the annual holiday of Simchat Torah, Israel was attacked from Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 people, and hundreds of hostages were taken from their homes and families. Women, children and the elderly would not be spared the brutality, inhumanity and outright terrorism of this generational conflict, and that pain was felt and shared here in Santa Clarita. On Oct. 10, Councilwoman Marsha McLean and I stood with our Jewish brothers and sisters on the steps of City Hall to share our grief, prayers and dismay at the atrocities the world had witnessed. In Santa Clarita, we stand together against hate, discrimination and bigotry of any form. 

On Dec. 10, I again joined our local synagogues, standing shoulder to shoulder, as we gathered for the community menorah lighting. One of my first community acts as mayor in 2022 was the honor of lighting the menorah in a symbol of light, hope, unity and friendship here in Santa Clarita. This will be one of my last acts as mayor, and to bookend this incredible journey standing alongside our Jewish community is truly a privilege and an honor. We stand with Israel, we stand with their neighbors who long for and desire peace, and we pray for a quick end to a war that is bringing pain and tragedy to communities throughout the world. 

In Santa Clarita, we stand together against hate, discrimination and bigotry in any form. 

Jason Gibbs            

Mayor (2023), Santa Clarita

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