California Panel Calls for Billions in Reparations for Black Residents
A California commission on Saturday approved a recommendation that could mean paying out hundreds of billions of dollars to black residents to address past injustices. It is the broadest effort in the United States to devise a
The nine-member Reparations Task Force, whose work is closely monitored by politicians, historians and economists across the country, addresses a myriad of racist harms, including housing discrimination, mass incarceration and inequality. We have developed a detailed plan for how we should treat the compensation. Access to healthcare.
A panel created through a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the wake of nationwide racial justice protests after the killing of George Floyd in 2020, conducted an investigation to find ways to remove the Sun from the Bay Area. I have spent over a year organizing listening sessions to Diego.
It is the responsibility of legislators to weigh the recommendations and decide whether to enact them into law, a political and financial challenge that has not yet been considered.
The task force’s final report, which will be sent to lawmakers in Sacramento by the July 1 deadline, includes estimated damages calculated by several economists working with the task force.
One such estimate given in the report was that black neighbors were disqualified from taking out mortgages and owning homes to deal with redlining harm by banks. Eligible black Californians should receive up to $148,099 to deal with . This estimate is based on the figure of $3,366 a year living in California from the early 1930s to the late 1970s.
To combat the effects of overcrowding and mass incarceration, during the decades-long drug war from 1971 to 2020, each eligible person received $115,260 for each year they resided in California, Or about $2,352, the report estimates.
In theory, a lifelong state resident with a life expectancy of 71 years could be eligible for compensation totaling about $1.2 million for housing discrimination, mass incarceration, and additional damages outlined in the report. There is a nature.
All of these estimates are preliminary, the report said, and will require additional research by legislators to reveal more details. Based on this, total damages related to housing and mass incarceration could exceed $500 billion.
Panel members considered various methods for distributing reparations, with some favoring tuition and housing subsidies, while others preferred direct cash payments, but ultimately Direct payment recommended.
“The initial down payment is the beginning, not the end, of the process of addressing historic injustice,” the report said.
Last year, a task force of elected officials, academics and lawyers determined that enslaved African Americans or “descendants of free blacks will live in the United States by the end of the United States.” , determined the eligibility criteria. The 19th Century should be recompensed.
Still, there were occasional controversial discussions on Saturday about articulating the criteria for certain sections of the report, particularly regarding compensation.
If lawmakers pass legislation on payments, the panel suggested creating a state agency to process claims and make payments, giving priority to seniors. About 6.5% of Californians, or approximately 2.5 million people, identify as black or African American.
“This is about closing the income and racial wealth gaps in this country, and this is a step,” said Gary Hoover, an economics professor at Tulane University who studies compensation, in an interview. rice field. “Wealth is sticky and can be transferred across generations. Reparations can close that stickiness.”
In a final report vote on Saturday at Northeastern University’s Mills College Oakland campus, the committee also proposed that state legislators prepare a formal apology to black residents. Preliminary reports published last year showed that enslaved blacks during the Gold Rush were forcibly relocated to California, where racially restrictive pledges and red flags were enforced in many of the state’s largest cities in the 1950s and 1960s. Drawing a line outlined how black Californians were segregated.
In emotional testimonies over the past year, black residents have often stood before panels to reveal personal stories of racism.
The task force marked the first such effort by a state, but similar measures aimed at creating a commission to investigate reparations stalled in Congress for decades.
In a brief remark before Saturday’s panel, Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democrat with a constituency that straddles Oakland, praised the work her members did.
“California is taking the lead on this issue,” said Lee, who is running for the U.S. Senate. “This is a model for other states looking for damages, pragmatic means to address their need for damages.”
According to the latest Federal Reserve Consumer Finance Survey, the median wealth of black American households is $24,100, compared to $188,200 for white households. in California, Recent reports Black families earn 60 cents for every dollar white families earn, according to the nonpartisan California Institute of Public Policy. This is the result, among other things, of inequality in education and discrimination in the labor market.
Rep. Reggie Jones Sawyer, one of two state legislators on the panel, said he had spoken with Mr. Newsom in recent weeks, and the bill would be approved based on the panel’s report. He expressed an optimistic view that
“The reality is that blacks in California have no institutional laws and policies in the state’s political, social, and economic climate that deny blacks the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for generations. suffered and still suffers.” Jones-Sawyer, representing the Los Angeles area. “This is truly a test of America’s original sin, slavery, the effects it caused, and its lingering effects on modern society.”
Jones-Sawyer said he plans to introduce some form of legislation early next year.
But after Floyd’s death, efforts and support for racial justice now face an economy overshadowed by recession fears. In January, Newsom announced that the state was facing a $22.5 billion deficit in the 2023-24 fiscal year. This is a turnaround from a $100 billion surplus a year ago.
Nationally, opinions about compensation are largely divided by race. last fall, investigation A Pew Research Center survey found that 77% of black Americans believe that the descendants of America’s enslaved people should be rewarded in some way, and 18% of white Americans said the same thing. I’m here. Democrats were split on the issue, too, with 49% against and 48% in favor. Other polls on the issue showed similar divisions.
Still, cities across the country are pushing for compensation proposals. In 2021, officials in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, approved her $10 million in compensation in the form of housing subsidies.
Most recently, the San Francisco Oversight Board endorsed reparations that could offer millions of dollars. And in nearby Hayward, California, city officials are holding public hearings on proposals for compensation for land taken from black and Latino families in the 1960s.
Attorney Camilla Moore, chair of the California Task Force, said Congress “will respect the task force’s official role as a legislative advisory body and will work in good faith to enact our final proposal into law.” said he was sure.
“We’re going to see them take action very soon,” Moore said.