OAKLAND, Ca.- With only 4 days left before the election, Joseph Tanios, City Council candidate and longtime city employee, is getting hit with swastikas on his election signs. Tanios is running to represent District 4, which includes the Montclair, Piedmont Pines, Dimond, and Laurel neighborhoods. Thursday evening Tanios spoke out on his Facebook page saying:
. . . Swastikas and other messages of hate have been painted on my campaign signs. It is disgusting. I was saddened and outraged, particularly in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones in the horrible massacre.
I do not know why I am being targeted. I have not received any communications explaining why I was targeted.
I will not be held hostage to HATE, BIGOTRY, and RACISM. I am proud to be Lebanese American citizen. We must not allow these faceless, cowardly vandals to degrade the election process and our Democratic principles. For each sign they steal, I will put up new signs. I will not bow down to these cowards.
This does not represent the values of Oakland or District 4. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation. This is a city that celebrates all different races, beliefs, religions, and cultures. This is a city you can freely discuss ideas and different opinions. This is a city that welcomed me as a new immigrant. This is the city I have chosen to live for 24 years and raise my two daughters. This is the reason I chose to run for council member. I wanted to give back to the city that has given me so much.
I ask . . . that if they see defaced signs, to please take a picture of it in its location, remove it and contact me at [email protected] so that I can report it to the police.
Please join me in rising as a community, to condemn hate and protect our beautiful city from the hateful acts of these faceless, cowardly vandals.
Hate crimes are on the rise in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to FBI reports, San Jose has experienced a 133% rise in hate crimes. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reported in May 2018 that hate crimes are on the rise. (https://csbs.csusb.edu/sites/csusb_csbs/files/2018%20Hate%20Report%205-141PM.pdf)
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this,” said Tanios. “It’s time for all residents of Oakland, of all ages, to feel safe from all crime—including hate crimes. I want to make all our neighborhoods safe again. I’m not backing down in the face of hate. I love my district and I love Oakland. There’s no room for hate, bigotry or racism here.”