“Arizona Bi-Partisan Budget Efforts Help Create Vital Security Grant for the State’s Most Vulnerable Faith Communities”
PHOENIX, AZ – On Friday, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs signed the State Budget into law which included a $5 million state-based nonprofit security grant program (as originally introduced in Senate Bill 1713) that offers small and medium-sized houses of worship streamlined access to funding to help cover safety costs incurred by increased security threats.
Arizona Faith Network’s (AFN) Executive Director Reverend Katie Sexton-Wood issued the following statement:
“The adoption of the state-level nonprofit security grant program for local houses of worship at high risk of hate crimes or attacks because of the nonprofit’s ideology, beliefs or mission is a huge win for the interfaith community as a whole. The Arizona Faith Network was able to gather support from a wide variety of diverse faith communities across the state, and with the backing of Republican Senator David Gowan, push it across the finish line.
“This is a historic step in the right direction, directly addressing the increasing acts of violence, vandalism and hate against vulnerable religious communities here in the state. The bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate shows that the acts of extremist violence will not be tolerated, and that security must be a priority for all communities of faith in Arizona.
“Thank you so much to Senator Gowan for his unwavering support, as well as to Governor Hobbs and the Arizona legislature for working together to ensure all Arizonans are safe in their houses of worship.
Arizona State Senator David Gowan (R – D19) issued the following statement:
“Individuals seeking the comfort of a religious service should have the confidence of knowing they are in a safe environment. This new security grant program allows for small and medium-sized houses of worship to benefit from the same security measures that larger congregations have through the federal program – ensuring a safe environment for all.”
About Arizona Faith Network: Arizona Faith Network is an interfaith organization dedicated to bringing people together to promote peace and understanding through interfaith education and dialogue as well as healing of the world through collaborative social action. We are made up of people of different faiths who covenant with each other in solidarity and mutual respect. We recognize that our diversity makes us stronger and while we seek to find common ground, we also lift up our differences as unique individuals and communities. Together we are committed to both civil dialogue and transformational action while we seek to keep our faiths and beliefs as an inspiration and direction for all that we do. For more information visit https://www.arizonafaithnetwork.org.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix is a proud Board Member of the Arizona Faith Network, and was proud to help spearhead this campaign.