California Reparations Committee to Meet in San Francisco | USA News®
By JANIE HAR, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s first reparations task force meets in person Wednesday, the first time members have met face-to-face since their inaugural meeting nearly a year and just a few weeks ago after the group voted to limit restitution to descendants of enslaved black people.
The two-day event will be held at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco’s historic Fillmore neighborhood, a once-thriving neighborhood with African-American nightclubs and stores until government redevelopment forced residents . Its pastor is the Reverend Amos Brown, vice president of the task force and president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the two-year reparations task force in 2020, making California the only state to move forward with a mission to study the institution of slavery, d educating the public on its findings and developing remedies. Federal reparations came to nothing, but cities and universities across the country are taking up the issue.
In a dramatic vote last month, the California task force voted 5-4 to limit reparations to descendants of people who can show descent from enslaved or free black people in the United States from the 19th century. Those in favor of broader eligibility argue that lineage-based reparations unfairly exclude black people who have also experienced systemic discrimination.
Since its inaugural meeting in June, the nine-member panel has devoted much of its time to hearing from experts in important areas such as housing and homelessness, racism in banking and discrimination in technology.
Wednesday’s agenda includes testimony from education experts, while on Thursday the committee is due to discuss a report to be released in June that shows how the institution of slavery continues to reverberate in across California, including in the form of disparities in household income, health, employment, and incarceration.
Members of the task force were appointed by the governor and the leaders of both legislative houses. A reparations plan is due to the legislator in 2023.
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